Feb. 19, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
DALLAS — No. 31 Dallas Baptist took advantage of three University of Iowa errors to hand the Hawkeyes a 5-1 loss — all five runs were unearned — in the 2016 season opener at Horner Ballpark.
“This was a great baseball game until we gave it away with some free bases against a very good team,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “I was happy that we were in a game that was a high-intensity college baseball game for seven innings. For the most part we handled it; we showed glimpses of being a good team.”
Trailing 1-0 through six innings, the Hawkeyes got a jolt from senior Daniel Aaron Moriel in the top of the seventh inning when the catcher hit a first pitch laser over the wall in left field to tie the game at one.
Dallas Baptist grabbed the momentum and broke the game open in the bottom half with a one-out rally. With runners on the corners and two outs, the Patriots’ Connor Hall tried to lay down a bunt single, and senior Ryan Erickson fielded the ball, but sophomore Grant Klenovich couldn’t handle the throw at first base, allowing Dallas Baptist to take a 2-1 lead.
The Patriots made Iowa pay with a pair of singles — an RBI base hit to right field by David Martinelli and a two-run single by Austin Listi to stretch the lead to 5-1.
“We had some mistakes and all of them hurt us,” said Heller. “You learn if you give bases in a tight game you’re probably going to lose.”
Dallas Baptist grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the third. Hall had a one-out single — the first hit Iowa starter Tyler Peyton allowed — moved to second on an errant Peyton pickoff attempt, and third on a passed ball. Martinelli’s sacrifice fly plated the first run.
Peyton (0-1) was the tough luck loser, allowing two unearned runs over 6 1/3 innings. He allowed two hits, struck out six, and issued one walk.
“Tyler pitched great, he came out and gave us a chance to win,” said Heller. “He was as sharp as he ever has been.”
Three Dallas Baptist pitchers limited Iowa to three hits in the contest. Starter Colin Poche allowed two hits over five shutout innings. Sean Stutzman (1-0) earned the win, allowing one run over 3 1/3 innings. He had two strikeouts to four walks. Seth Elledge got the final two outs to earn the save.
“We got our good swing off a lot, but we didn’t make solid contact,” said Heller. “When we get our pitch, we have to hit it. Tomorrow you’ll see a team that maybe takes a deep breath and swings the bat better than we did tonight.”
Game two of the series begins Saturday at 2 p.m. (CT).