Feb. 28, 2009
DELAND, FL — The Iowa baseball team was defeated by South Alabama at Conrad Park on Saturday, 11-9. Iowa played a solid defensive game however, was unable to get its offense going against crafty left-handed pitcher Lance Baxter until the seventh inning. Iowa made a last effort rally in the bottom of the ninth, scoring six runs–however an eight run deficit to begin the inning proved to be too much. The game featured 10 extra base hits.
Iowa came into the bottom of the ninth down 11-3. Zach McCool started the inning off with a walk, followed by a Kevin Hoef walk. One out later, Justin Toole reached on a single and with the bases loaded Wes Freie laced a double to center to score three runs. Ryan Durant singled to left field to drive in Freie–and T.J. Cataldo hit a two-run bomb to bring Iowa within two runs.
In the loss, pitcher Freie faced 23 batters and struck out seven of them giving up no walks. Toole continued to see the ball well going 4-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a two runs scored. McCool went 1-for-3 with a stolen base and a walk. Cataldo went 2-for-5 with three RBI and the Hawkeyes second homer of the year. Hoef was hit by two pitches in the contest; he is averaging one per game this season.
The Jaguars got on the board in the fourth, to take a 1-0 lead. With two outs Sean Laird homered to left to plate the lone run.
Iowa stuck back in the bottom of the fourth to tie it up, 1-1. Toole continued to swing the bat well and smashed a double down the left field line. One out later, he advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and with two outs scored on a Baxter wild pitch.
South Alabama kept chipping away in the fifth, scoring two to take back the lead, 3-1. The inning featured three hits. The Jaguars added an insurance run in the sixth, 4-1.
The Hawkeyes manufactured two runs in the seventh to make it a 4-3 ballgame. McCool started the two-out rally with a single up the middle, followed by a Hoef hit-by-pitch. Trevor Willis loaded the bases on a shortstop fielding error and Toole hit in McCool on a single to first base and Hoef scored on a throwing error by the first baseman.
The Jaguars plated three in the eighth to seal the deal and make it 8-3. The inning featured two homeruns. South Alabama added three in the ninth for a 11-3 game.
Sophomore center fielder and 2008 freshman all-American Kurtis Muller did not compete Friday night or Saturday and isn’t expected to play against Southern Illinois Sunday.
Iowa is scheduled to play Southern Illinois at Conrad Park Sunday. First pitch is set for 9:45 a.m. (CST).
South Alabama 000 121 043 - 11 13 3
Iowa 000 100 206 - 9 10 1
WP - Baxter (1-0)
LP - Freie (1-1)
SV - Brown (1)