Hawkeye Rally Falls Short at Illinois


April 10, 2011

Box Score

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – – The University of Iowa baseball team lost Sunday’s series finale to Illinois, 11-7, at Illinois Field. The Hawkeyes had a 7-6 advantage late, but surrendered five runs in the bottom of the eighth to propel the Fighting Illini to the four-run win and the rubber match of the series.

Iowa outhit Illinois, 13-12, in the loss. Four Hawkeyes (Mike McQuillan, Chett Zeise, Kurt Lee, Andrew Ewing) recorded multi-hit games. McQuillan, who leads Iowa with 12 multiple hit games, went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. Zeise went 2-for-4, Lee went 2-for-5 and Andrew Ewing finished 3-for-4. Tyson Blaser recorded a double to extend his hit streak to 10 games.

Illinois (11-15, 3-3) sprinted out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The Fighting Illini took advantage of three walks and three hits to grab the early advantage.

Iowa (12-17, 2-4) got on the board in the fourth inning with a run, making the score 5-1. The Hawkeye offense continued its rally in the sixth and seventh innings. The Black and Gold tallied three runs in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 5-4. Bryan Niedbalski had an RBI single and Trevor Willis recorded a two-out single to drive home two runs.

Iowa tied the contest in the top of the seventh inning. McQuillan launched his first home run of the season to right center to even the score, 5-5. The home run was the third for the team in the three-game set.

The Fighting Illini answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the seventh, reclaiming a 6-5 advantage.

The Hawkeye offense rallied once again. In the top of the eighth inning, Iowa took advantage of a couple Illinois errors to tally two runs and take a 7-6 lead.

However, the Fighting Illini responded again in the bottom half of the eighth, notching their second five-run inning to claim an 11-7 lead. Illinois scored all five runs with two outs. The Hawkeyes put two runners on in the top of the ninth, but were unable to push across any runs.

Patrick Lala took the loss for Iowa. The junior pitched an inning and a third, giving up three runs on three hits. Ricky Sandquist, Zach Kenyon, Tim Fangman and Phil Keppler all saw action on the mound for the Hawkeyes today.

Wes Braun earned the win for Illinois, pitching two innings in relief.

Iowa returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Kansas at Duane Banks Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

Illinois 11, Iowa 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Iowa (12-17, 2-4) 0 0 0 1 0 3 1 2 0 7 13 2
Illinois (11-15, 3-3) 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 X 11 12 3
Game Decision
W: Braun (ILL) 3-3
L: Lala (IOWA) 3-3