April 1, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
MINNEAPOLIS — Three Minnesota pitchers limited the University of Iowa baseball team to three hits in a 4-1 series-opening victory Friday afternoon at Siebert Field.
“It was one of those games where we had chances because they gave us free bases, but we didn’t swing the bats at all,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “(Matt) Fiedler was selectively wild and made some big pitches when we had runners in scoring position. We weren’t able to do much.
“It was a game that could have gone either way. They took advantage of the few opportunities they had and we didn’t.”
Gopher starter Matt Fiedler (4-2) tossed seven innings to earn the victory, allowing one run on three hits. He had six strikeouts to four walks in the game. Relievers Lucas Gilbreath and Brian Glowicki pitched two hitless innings with Glowicki getting the final two outs to earn his first save.
The Hawkeyes took advantage of free bases to score the game’s first run in the second. Sophomore Austin Guzzo started the inning with a walk and Fiedler hit senior Jimmy Frankos to put two runners on. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up 90 feet, freshman Zach Daniels legged out a two-out infield RBI single to give Iowa a 1-0 lead.
Minnesota grabbed the lead in the fourth against UI starter C.J. Eldred, taking advantage of two walks and two hits. Fiedler helped his own cause with an RBI single up the middle to tie the game before Connor Schaefbauer’s RBI groundout pushed the lead to 2-1.
The Gophers added to their lead in the sixth with a three-hit inning. Fiedler started the inning with an infield single and moved to second on an Iowa throwing error before Austin Athmann was plunked to put two runners on. Micah Coffey followed with a hard single that ricocheted off Eldred’s knee into right field for an RBI, making the score 3-1.
Minnesota’s fourth run scored on a double play ball off the bat of Schaefbauer.
Iowa’s offense didn’t muster a hit from the sixth inning on, but the Hawkeyes had chances via free bases. Iowa brought the tying run to the plate in its final at-bat, but Glowicki got the game’s final two outs via strikeout.
Eldred (2-3) suffered the loss despite throwing his second consecutive complete game. He allowed four runs on seven hits over eight innings and had four strikeouts to two walks. Daniels paced the Hawkeyes at the plate, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.
“C.J. battled and deserved a better fate,” said Heller. “We didn’t get him any runs again, which was disappointing.”
Game two of the series is slated to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday.