May 17, 2008
IOWA CITY, IA – The Iowa baseball team lost its final game of the 2008 season, 9-7, to Ohio State Saturday afternoon at Duane Banks Field. Today’s game featured eight combined extra base hits. The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes split this weekend’s four-game series.
Iowa finished its season with a 22-33 overall record and 10-22 mark in conference play. Ohio State improved to 30-24 overall and 15-15 in the league and will play in next week’s six-team Big Ten Tournament in Ann Arbor, MI.
“It would have been nice to finish with a win, but we played good baseball and unfortunately came up a little short today,” said Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm. “Their two big innings hurt us. Avoiding big innings will be a point of emphasis next season.”
Senior Caleb Curry had a great game in his final competition as a Hawkeye. Curry went 3-for-5 with three RBI, a run scored and a Hawkeye season-best four stolen bases. The four thefts were one shy of Iowa’s single-game record, but he did increase his season total to 45, which breaks Tony Burley’s previous record of 42 set 27 years ago in 1981. Additionally, his three RBI raise his season total to 65, which places him eighth on Iowa’s single-season RBI list. He surpassed Rick Jennings (63 in 1986) and Tim Costo (64 in 1990) with his three RBI today. Curry was Iowa’s leader in multi-RBI games this season with 20.
Also pacing the Hawkeyes today was Kevin Hoef and Kyle Riffel. Hoef went a perfect 4-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored. The junior raised his batting average 13 points with today’s effort, which was his first game of the season with four hits or more. Riffel went 2-for-5 with a run scored and made another outstanding defensive play in the outfield for the third straight game to end his Iowa career.
The Black and Gold staked the Buckeyes an 8-1 lead before making a late surge to make the game interesting. Ohio State plated four runs on four hits in the first frame off Hawkeye starter Zach Kenyon, who got the loss. Ohio State added four more runs on three hits in the fifth to extend its advantage.
The Hawkeyes started to chip away at the Buckeye lead in the fourth and fifth innings. Junior Wes Freie and senior Matt Mossey each recorded RBI groundouts, while Hoef smashed an RBI triple for Iowa’s first three tallys.
Ohio State added an insurance run in the seventh to stretch its cushion to 9-3.
Undaunted, the Hawkeye bats caught fire in the bottom of the eighth and mounted a comeback. Iowa batted around scoring three runs on four hits and ultimately left the bases loaded. The inning featured a Curry two-run RBI double down the right field line and a Zach McCool sacrifice fly.
Iowa added another run in the bottom of the ninth on Curry RBI groundout to score Hoef. The Hawkeyes had the tying runs on base, but Ohio State closer Eric Best struck out Iowa’s last two batters to silence the Hawkeye threat.
“I feel like we made progress this season although our record doesn’t reflect that,” said Dahm.
Ohio State starter J.B. Shuck pitched seven innings to earn his fifth win of the season.
GAME SUMMARYOhio State 400 040 100 - 9 12 1Iowa 000 120 031 - 7 11 0
WP - Schuck (5-3)LP - Kenyon (1-3)SV - Best (8)