April 2, 2005
IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa baseball team picked up its first Big Ten win Saturday afternoon when it split a doubleheader with Michigan State. Iowa won the first game 7-6, then dropped game two 11-5.
The Hawkeyes made things very interesting in game one, blowing a three-run seventh inning lead only to come back and win the game in the bottom of the inning.
Leading 6-3 in the final inning, the Hawkeyes gave up three runs to let the Spartans tie things up. Starter Casey O’Rourke hit the leadoff batter, then gave up a bunt single to Steve Gerstenberger. Tim Gudex then entered the game in place of O’Rourke. Two more singles, an error and a sacrifice fly tied the game up at 6-6.
The Hawkeyes came into the bottom of the seventh determined not to let their first conference win slip away, quickly loading the bases with one out. Pinch hitter Skylar Moss ripped a line drive off the second baseman’s glove, allowing Jesse Brownell to come home with the winning run.
In game two, the Spartans pounded out 12 hits on five different Hawkeye pitchers. Iowa took an early 2-0 lead with RBI singles from Dusty Napoleon and Jason White, but the Spartans came right back in the top of the third with three two-out runs to take a 3-2 lead. Michigan State scored in every inning the rest of the way, including five runs in the top of the sixth.
Down 11-2 in the bottom of the seventh, the Hawkeyes did what they could to get back in the game, scoring a trio of runs in the final frame, but it wasn’t enough.
Iowa (5-13, 1-2) and Michigan State (10-12, 2-1) will wrap-up the weekend series tomorrow with a single game starting at 1 p.m.