Hawkeyes Fall to Kansas in Ninth Inning, 5-4


April 7, 2009

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IOWA CITY, IA — The Iowa baseball team’s ninth inning rally came up short against Kansas today at Duane Banks Field in a 5-4 loss. The Hawkeye offense scattered nine hits, however left 10 runners on base, seven in scoring position, in the loss. Four costly Hawkeye errors resulted in two unearned runs. Today was the third-straight game the Hawkeyes had the tying runs on base, in a loss. Iowa’s ninth inning rally came up short–leaving the tying run on third, and the winning run on second.

“We didn’t deserve to win this game,” said Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm. “Kansas played better than us today. We made multiple mistakes today, missed signs, base running mistakes and failed pickoff attempts. We are making mistakes that we shouldn’t be making this time of the season. You’re not going to win if you don’t play a complete game. We have to play better. We have to find a way to win these ball games.”

Nick Brown, in his first start at DH, went 3-for-5 with a career-high three RBI to lead the Iowa offense. Kevin Hoef continued to swing the bat well from last weekend, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Kurtis Muller went 2-for-4 and T.J. Cataldo went 1-for-2 with an RBI. Toole failed to get a hit in four at bats, thus snapping his 15-game hitting streak.

The Hawkeyes (11-16) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, Hoef hit a line drive to the shortstop and reached base on a fielding error. Hoef later advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a Kurtis Muller single to right. With runners on the corners, Brown hit a towering single off the top of the right field fence to score Hoef.

The Jayhawks (19-12) charged back in the third, scoring two to take a 2-1 lead. Kansas left two runners on base, but took advantage of one Hawkeye error.

Iowa tied it up, 2-2, in the bottom of the inning on three hits. Hoef reached on a single to left field to put runners on first and second. Two outs later, Brown singled to left center to put runners on the corners. Cataldo picked up his team-high 27th RBI with a base hit up the middle.

The visitors took back the lead in the seventh, 3-2. The Jayhawks took advantage of a Schatz failed pickoff attempt, advancing Robby Price from first to third and later scored on a base hit.

The Black and Gold tied the game up yet again, 3-3 in the bottom half of the seventh. Hoef picked up his second single of the afternoon to start an Iowa two-out rally, but after pulling a muscle on the run down to first Trevor Willis entered the game to pinch run. Muller was patient at the plate and drew a walk to put runners on first and third. Brown continued to swing the bat with authority driving in a run with his third single of the day.

The Jayhawk offense took back the lead in the ninth, plating two for a 5-3 game. Brian Heere picked up his fifth hit of the game, one shy of the school record, to lead Kansas off. The Jayhawks took advantage of one costly error to score two, however, turned a double play with the bases loaded to get out of the inning.

The Hawkeye offense tried to come up with a winning, ninth inning rally, however came up short to lose 5-4. Freshman pinch hitters Dallas Burke and Andrew Ewing drew walks, with one out to give the Hawkeyes hope. Muller continued the Iowa threat, sending a humpback single to center to load the bases. Brown drove in his third RBI of the contest with a ground out to second to put runners on second and third. The game ended on a Phil Keppler strikeout.

Freshman Phil Schreiber pitched five and two-third innings allowing two hits, only one earned on nine hits. He allowed no walks in a no-decision performance. The Hawkeye bullpen featured Patrick Schatz, Steve Turnbull, Kyle Heim and Mike Schurz. Heim got the loss, having faced only one batter and allowing him to reach base, and later score.

The Hawkeyes and Jayhawks will play the final game of the two-game series tomorrow at Duane Banks Field. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

GAME SUMMARYKansas      002  000  102  -  5    16    1Iowa        101  000  101  -  4    9      4
WP - Heim (0-1)LP - Murray (1-1)