May 2, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan scored two runs in the sixth and tacked on four in the seventh to hand the 15th-ranked University of Iowa baseball team an 11-5 loss in the second game of the weekend series Saturday afternoon at the Wilpon Complex.
With the score tied at five, the Wolverines broke through against Iowa reliever Jared Mandel in the sixth. Two of the first three batters in the inning reached via walks before Jackson Glines hit a comebacker to Mandel on the mound.
The Hawkeyes got the lead runner at second, but the ball squirted out of Taylor Kaufman’s glove on the double play attempt to keep the inning alive. After Travis Maezes drew a walk to load the bases, first baseman Carmen Benedetti made Iowa pay, roping a two-out double to the wall in right field, giving the Wolverines a 7-5 lead.
Michigan broke the game open in the seventh, scoring four runs on five hits to build an 11-5 lead. Kendall Patrick, Drew Lugbauer had RBI doubles to plate the Wolverines’ first two runs before Jacob Cronenworth and Benedetti had RBI singles to stretch the lead to six.
The Hawkeyes went in order in the eighth and ninth innings to see their six-game winning streak come to an end. Iowa stands at 32-12 overall and 14-3 in Big Ten play heading into tomorrow’s series finale.
Iowa finished with seven hits in the game, all coming in the first five innings. Senior Kris Goodman had two hits, going 2-for-4 with a double and triple. Senior Dan Potempa went 1-for-5 with two RBIs.
Mandel (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on one hit in 2/3 of an inning. Junior Tyler Peyton struggled in the start, allowing five runs on seven hits over five innings. Iowa issued seven walks in the game, while striking out a pair.
“We have to pitch better,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “We’re one of the top pitching staffs in the league and for two days we haven’t looked like it. We’re giving up free bases right and left and not locating pitches, and when you do that, you’re going to get beat.”
The offenses took center stage to start the game, as the teams combined for 10 runs over the first 3 1/2 innings. Iowa grabbed the 1-0 lead in the first when Goodman had an RBI triple into the left centerfield gap, scoring Peyton who reached on a two-out walk.
The Wolverines grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom half, stringing together three straight hits against Peyton. Glines lined a one-out solo home run down the right field line to tie the game at one and Benedetti had a one-out RBI double to centerfield.
Iowa and Michigan traded single runs in the second and two spots in the third with the Wolverines leading 5-4 through three. The Hawkeyes tied the game with a single run in the top of the fourth to tie the game at five.
“I liked our fight,” said Heller. “We came out with energy and knocked (Evan) Hill out early. We scored in the first four innings, but then we’d go right out and give up runs.”
Junior Jimmy Frankos hit an RBI single to right centerfield to tie the game at two in the second before Patrick hit a solo blast over the 26-foot wall in left field to give the Wolverines a 3-2 advantage. The Hawkeyes regained the lead on a two-run double from Goodman in the fourth, but Michigan again answered, using a Benedetti RBI double and a Jake Bivens RBI single to lead 5-4 through three.
The Hawkeyes evened the game at five in the top of the fifth inning, but missed a chance for more. Junior Joel Booker started the frame with a hit by pitch and Eric Toole followed with a single to left field. After sacrificing both runners up a base, Booker scored when Peyton reached on a Maezes throwing error.
Michigan starter Evan Hill followed with a walk to Goodman to load the bases, forcing the Wolverines to go to the bullpen. Mac Lozer entered with one out, and got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts to keep the game knotted at five.
Michigan’s Matt Ogden (4-1) earned the win on the hill, throwing four shutout innings in relief. Iowa tagged Hill for five runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings, and Lozer threw 1 2/3 innings of one-hit ball.
Benedetti and Patrick were thorns in Iowa’s side. Benedetti went 4-for-5 with three doubles and five RBIs, while Patrick was 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs.
The rubber match of the series will begin at 12 p.m. (CT) Sunday.
“(Our guys will) come out and play hard,” said Heller. “It’s going to come down to (starter) Calvin (Mathews) being able to locate. When our pitchers do that, we have a chance and when they don’t, you see the result today. We know Calvin will be a warrior and go out and battle for us.”