May 3, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The University of Iowa baseball team spotted Ohio State a 7-0 lead over the first three innings, ultimately falling, 9-4, Saturday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium in the series opener.
“It was a day where we didn’t play very well,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “They hit a couple of wind-blow home runs, and we had a couple of free bases before that, which led to big innings early on and put us behind. We had a chance to score early, but (OSU starter Tanner) Tully was good through six innings.
“Our guys didn’t quit, they scrapped and gave ourselves a chance to come back late. We put a couple of runs on the board and had an opportunity if we could have gotten the big hit or got one up in the wind, it might have been one of those comebacks that don’t happen very often. But it didn’t happen today.”
After Iowa let a first-inning scoring opportunity — two on, nobody out — slip away, the Buckeyes plated the game’s first three runs in the bottom of the second. Designated hitter Zach Ratcliff made the score 2-0 with a two-run, wind-aided blast down the right field line before catcher Connor Sabanosh hit a two-out RBI single to right field to push the lead to 3-0.
Ohio State stretched its advantage to 5-0 in the third before plating single runs in each of the next two innings to push its lead to 7-0. Josh Dezse connected on a two-run blast to right center in the third inning and had an RBI single to right field in the fourth before the Buckeyes’ seventh run came on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Craig Nenning in the fifth.
After tallying two hits over the first six innings against Ohio State starter Tanner Tully, the Hawkeyes got on the board against the left-hander in the seventh. Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst opened the frame with a leadoff single before junior Kris Goodman followed with a one-out single to put two runners on. Iowa then loaded the bases when Nick Day reached on a fielder’s choice and Goodman advanced to second on an OSU fielding error.
With two outs, junior Jake Mangler pushed across Iowa’s first run via a hit by pitch before Tyler Peyton drew a bases loaded walk to make the score 7-2. The two teams then traded runs in each of the final four half innings, pushing the margin to 9-4.
After giving up an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh, Iowa loaded the bases with one out in the eighth following a Dan Potempa walk and consecutive singles by Jimmy Frankos and Goodman. Day drove in the third Hawkeye run, reaching on a fielder’s choice before Eric Toole grounded out to second to leave a pair stranded.
The game’s final two runs came via the long ball, as Dezse connected on a towering solo home run in the bottom of the eighth before Peyton hit a solo home run off the top of the wall in centerfield in the ninth. It was his first career long ball.
Hedrick (3-3) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits over five innings. Junior Brandon Shulista pitched the final three innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits. He had five strikeouts against two walks.
Tully (5-2) notched the victory, scattering five hits and allowing two unearned runs over seven innings. He had five strikeouts, but walked two and hit four Hawkeyes.
Three Iowa players — Peyton (2-for-4, two RBIs, 1 run), Frankos (2-for-4) and Goodman (2-for-4, 1 run) — accounted for six of the team’s nine hits. It was the first time in five games where the Hawkeyes failed to tally at least 10 hits.
Game two of the series will begin Sunday at 2:05 p.m. (CT) and be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
“We have to come back tomorrow with a lot better effort, throw more strikes on the mound and find a way to be the aggressor,” said Heller. “Today after the first inning, it didn’t seem like we were.”
|Ohio State 9, Iowa 4||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Iowa (25-21, 7-9)||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||1||4||9||2|
|Ohio State (26-20, 7-9)||0||3||2||1||1||0||1||1||X||9||12||1|
|W: Tully (OSU) 5-2|
|L: Hedrick (IOWA) 3-3|