March 20, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — No. 12/19 Missouri State rallied from a four-run seventh inning deficit to hand the University of Iowa baseball team an 8-6 defeat and complete the weekend sweep Sunday afternoon at Hammons Field.
Trailing 6-2 heading to the bottom of the seventh, the Bears plated three runs to close the deficit to 6-5. Jordan Hovey hit a two-run home run and Jake Burger’s RBI single trimmed the Iowa lead to one run.
The Bears started the eighth with a one-out single and a walk against reliever Tyler Radtke, forcing the Hawkeyes to go deeper into the bullpen. Hunter Steinmetz welcomed sophomore Nick Allgeyer with a bunt single to load the bases and Missouri State tied the game on a passed ball when junior Josh Martsching became Iowa’s third reliever of the inning.
After walking Spencer Johnson to load the bases a second time, Burger lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield to give Missouri State its first lead and Justin Paulsen doubled in the sixth run, but Iowa avoided further damage by throwing out Johnson at the plate.
Bear reliever Bryan Young closed out the game with a clean ninth inning to pick up his sixth save of the season. Sam Perez (3-0) earned the win, allowing two runs on two hits over four innings. He fanned five, while issuing one walk.
“The guys are fighting, we’re just in one of those spots where we’re having confidence issues and that’s what happens when you lose ball games,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “We have to find a way to be tougher and overcome it.
“They believed they were going to win, they’re a good team, and they kept coming after us, and we didn’t attack. We played not to lose after we had the lead. That’s what has to change; we have to play the game one way.”
Radtke (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings. Iowa used seven pitchers in the game; senior Calvin Mathews went three innings in the start, allowing two runs on three hits over three innings.
“Calvin got us out to a decent start, but went only three innings,” said Heller. “Luke Vandermaten came in and was good today and we tried to go three innings, and he ended up giving up a couple of runs. After that we pretty much had a total collapse and it cost us the game. We blew a 6-2 lead; you hate to see that.”
For a second consecutive game, Iowa jumped out to an early lead, pushing single runs across the plate in the second and third innings. Roscetti had a two-out single and advanced to third on a Missouri State error before scoring on a balk.
The Bears’ first run came on a solo home run from Alex Jefferson in the bottom of the third before Iowa regained the two-run advantage on an RBI single from senior John Barrett. Robert Neustrom scored after walking and stealing second to get into scoring position.
Burger connected on a solo home run down the left field line to lead off the bottom of the fourth, making the score 3-2. Iowa scored its fourth run in the fifth when Booker singled and scored on a Roscetti RBI double to right center.
The Hawkeyes stretched their advantage to 6-2 with two runs in the seventh. Barrett started the inning with a walk before Booker doubled to left center to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Freshman Zach Daniels drove in the fifth run, reaching on a fielder’s choice before a Klenovich sacrifice fly gave Iowa a four-run lead.
Iowa finished with eight hits in the game, five coming from Booker and Roscetti at the top of the lineup. Booker finished 3-for-5 with three runs, while Roscetti was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
“Offensively, it was one of the most sustained games we played,” said Heller. “We scored in five innings and had pressure on them all game long.”
The Hawkeyes (6-11) return home to face Bradley in a midweek game Wednesday at Banks Field. Game time is set for 3 p.m. (CT).
“It’s going to be good to be home,” said Heller. “Hopefully it will help with our confidence and we can get a good streak going.”