May 21, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
MINNEAPOLIS — Third-seeded Michigan scored runs in six innings and pounded out 13 hits to hand the 15th-ranked and second-seeded University of Iowa baseball team a 8-5 loss in a winner’s bracket game Thursday night at the 2015 Big Ten Tournament at Target Field.
The Wolverines’ win is the first upset of the tournament and it pushed the Hawkeyes into the loser’s bracket where it will square off against sixth-seeded Indiana in an elimination game Friday at 3:30 p.m. (CT).
“It was an ugly day at the ballpark for us,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “It didn’t go as planned from the get go. But as bad as it was, — we gave up 13 bases tonight after having zero yesterday — we still fought back and gave ourselves a chance.”
Iowa broke on to the scoreboard first, using a leadoff home run from Eric Toole in the bottom of the first inning to give the Hawkeyes a 1-0 lead against Michigan starter Ryan Nutof. The blast was the first of Toole’s career.
The Wolverines responded, scoring six unanswered runs — two in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, and one in the fifth — to take a 6-1 lead. Cody Bruder had a solo home run, and Kendall Patrick doubled home a run in the second before UI starter Blake Hickman’s day was done in the third following a leadoff walk.
After junior Ryan Erickson entered in relief, Michigan scored an unearned run in the third on a Travis Maezes RBI single, Patrick had a solo home run, and Jackson Glines had an RBI single in the fourth, and Bruder scored the sixth run on a Kevin White sacrifice fly in the sixth.
The Hawkeyes showed some life in the sixth, using a two-out rally to cut the lead to 6-4. Senior Jake Mangler started the frame with a single up the middle before junior Tyler Peyton roped a double into the right centerfield gap to put runners on the corners.
Michigan got one run back in the seventh on a Patrick sacrifice fly, scoring Maezes, who started the inning by reaching on an error. The Wolverines then took advantage of a leadoff walk in the eighth, before scoring on a Bruder double down the left field line.
The Hawkeyes scored a single run in their final at-bat when Goodman and Nick Roscetti reached on a pair of Michigan errors. Junior Daniel Aaron Moriel had an RBI single to left field to cut the deficit to 8-5. Iowa brought the game-tying run to the plate twice in the ninth, but Michigan closer Jacob Cronenworth got a strikeout and foul out to earn his sixth save.
Hickman (9-2) suffered the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits in two innings. Erickson allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits over four innings, and junior Tyler Radtke gave up one run on two hits in three innings.
Nutof (5-3) earned the win, allowing four runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings. He had five strikeouts and zero walks.
The Hawkeyes finished with seven hits on the day with Goodman leading the way, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Friday’s elimination game against the Hoosiers will be televised live on BTN. Iowa (39-15) swept the regular season series from March 27-29 in Iowa City.