March 26, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team’s bats were silenced by Bradley starter Elliot Ashbeck in a 7-0 Braves’ victory Wednesday afternoon at Duane Banks Field.
“We were not good at the plate today in a day where we needed to be,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “Our offense wasn’t able to get anything going against Ashbeck. I am not real pleased with how we went out today. It was a tough day to play in miserable, cold conditions, and we didn’t swing the bats very well. You have to tip your hat to Ashbeck and wipe this game away.”
Ashbeck (4-0) pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing five hits and finishing with three strikeouts to a single walk. The right-hander retired the first six batters he faced before giving up a third-inning single. Iowa had its best scoring opportunity in the fifth when it put two runners on with one out, but Ashbeck got out of the jam by getting Nick Day to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Three Iowa pitchers — junior Sasha Kuebel, freshman Matt Allen and sophomore Jared Mandel — held the Braves scoreless over the first five innings, surrendering a single hit and allowing three total base runners. In the sixth, Bradley grabbed the 1-0 lead.
Brave leadoff hitter Chris Godinez led off the frame with a one-out double against UI freshman Jake Reinhardt before Spencer Gaa followed with an infield single putting a pair on base. After making the call to the bullpen to sophomore Tyler Radtke — Iowa’s fifth pitcher — the Braves took a 1-0 lead via a Radtke wild pitch.
Bradley blew the game open in the eighth inning, batting a round and plating six runs on five hits to push the advantage to 7-0. After Gaa singled to lead off the frame, three-hole hitter Max Murphy connected on a two-run blast over the left field fence, pushing the lead to 3-0.
The Braves followed with a single, hit by pitch and walk to load the bases before Isaac Smith singled home two runs to push the lead to 5-0. Godinez followed with a two-run double to left field, scoring Smith from first base, extending the lead to 7-0.
Reinhardt (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing one run on two hits in 1/3 of an inning. Iowa was forced to use a combined eight pitchers after probable starter Andrew Hedrick rolled his ankle in practice Tuesday and wasn’t available. The Hawkeyes finished the game with six hits, two coming from junior Jake Yacinich.
“We had to staff the game and for the most part, they did a great job,” Heller said of his pitching staff. “A lot of guys went out there that hadn’t thrown a whole lot and battled to give us a chance. On a mid-week game when our pitchers are staffed like this, we have to score runs, and we weren’t able to do that today.”
Iowa (14-7) returns to action Friday opening a three-game series at Michigan. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. (CT) at Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.
|Bradley 7, Iowa 0||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|W: Ashbeck (BU) 4-0|
|L: Reinhardt (IOWA) 0-1|