March 18, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The University of Iowa baseball team limited No. 12/19 Missouri State to just five hits, but fell, 4-1, in the series opener Friday afternoon at Hammons Field.
“Our energy was good and our effort was there, but it was a disappointing loss on a day where I felt like we had a chance to beat a good team on a Friday,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “We needed to play better.”
Sophomore C.J. Eldred took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He had one strike and issued a season-high six walks in the game. Eldred had two walks on the year entering the start.
Sophomore Nick Allgeyer got the final seven outs without allowing a hit. He had one walk and one strikeout in 2 1/3 innings.
“We held them to five hits and did a decent job on the mound, even though C.J. didn’t have his best stuff,” said Heller. “We struggled with passed balls, wild pitches, and walks that put them in situations where a two-out hit was going to hurt us, and it did.”
The Hawkeyes used a one-out rally to plate the game’s first run in their opening at-bat. Senior Nick Roscetti extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single to right field before senior Tyler Peyton found a hole through the left side to put runners on the corners. Sophomore Austin Guzzo made the score 1-0 reaching on an RBI fielder’s choice.
The Bears took advantage of a leadoff double from Hunter Steinmetz in the bottom half to tie the game at one. Steinmetz moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Blake Graham.
Missouri State grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Justin Paulsen had a two-run single to give the Bears a 3-1 advantage. The fourth run crossed the plate an inning later when Johnson scored on an Allgeyer wild pitch.
The Hawkeyes put two runners on in the sixth with nobody out and left five stranded over the final three innings, but couldn’t deliver. Iowa finished with eight hits in the game with Roscetti finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored. Senior Daniel Aaron Moriel was 2-for-2.
“I liked some of the things I saw at the plate,” said Heller. “We out-hit them 8-5 and hit some balls hard right at them, but we punched out 11 times, and that was disappointing to see. We had a couple of opportunities, but left the bats on our shoulder for strike three. That has to change.”
Missouri State’s Jordan Knutson (3-1) earned his third win, allowing one run on six hits over 5 2/3. He had six strikeouts without issuing a walk. Sam Perez tossed 2 1/3 innings of one-hit ball and Bryan Young got the final three outs for his fifth save.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 2:05 p.m. (CT).