April 8, 2015
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By BEN SCHMITZ
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The 15th-ranked University of Iowa baseball team suffered a 4-3 midweek setback to Milwaukee on Wednesday night at Duane Banks Field.
“There’s no shame in losing to Milwaukee this year, they’re a very good team,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “If you would have told me they were only going to give up eight hits, and we were going to lose, I would have been surprised by it.
“Our pitchers did a nice job. Where we’ve been struggling in these midweek games is offensively at the plate. I don’t know if there is an answer for that, we just need to go out and execute early. We had a couple opportunities to do that, once with runners at second and third with one out, and we didn’t get a runner across. It ended up being a huge opportunity in the big scheme of things.”
The Panthers struck first, plating the opening run in the first inning and building a 2-0 advantage off an additional score in the fifth. Milwaukee’s Luke Meeteer sparked the initial offense, scoring from second off a Mitch Ghelfi single to right field to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Meeteer-Ghelfi duo added on in the fifth, extending the lead to a pair of runs off Meeter’s second score in the contest. The junior outfielder led off with his second double to left field and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Ghelfi brought him home with a hard-hit sacrifice fly to center field.
The Hawkeyes rallied back to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs off two hits. UI junior Joel Booker narrowed the gap to 2-1 with Iowa’s initial strike, scoring off a Milwaukee error on Dan Potempa’s two-out grounder to the shortstop. Senior Kris Goodman plated the equalizer, coming home on a Nick Roscetti single to the left side, evening the score at two.
The Panthers were quick to retake the lead, scoring a solo run in the top of the seventh for a 3-2 lead before extending their advantage to 4-2 an inning later. Derek Peake reached safely after working a 3-1 count for the free base to start the inning before plating the go-ahead run in the seventh off a fielder’s choice from Ghelfi.
In the eighth, Tyler Herman delivered the damage, scoring from second on a Peake two-out single to right field.
Iowa tried to rally in the bottom of the frame, but were limited to a single run. Daniel Aaron Moriel got things started with a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. John Barrett kept the inning alive by connecting on a ground ball that slipped passed the shortstop, scoring Moriel to narrow the deficit, 4-3, for the final score.
Following a contest that featured nine Iowa pitchers, junior Tyler Radtke (2-1) was pinned with the loss, allowing one run off zero hits while issuing a pair of walks in 1/3 an inning.
“Overall I was happy with our pitching,” said Heller. “There was a hiccup or two late when we allowed them to walk two guys and score just after we had tied the game. We had chances, we just couldn’t get the hits.”
The Hawkeyes hit the road for league play this weekend with a trip to No. 16 Maryland. First pitch on Friday is set for 5:30 p.m. (CT).
“Maryland is an outstanding team,” said Heller. “They went to the Super Regionals last year and beat the national runner-up Virginia in one of their games. They were essentially one game from Omaha and the College World Series with everyone returning.
“We’re in a good spot so if we can go out and play like we have in these past weekend games we’ll have a shot to be in all three games this weekend.”