PEORIA, Ill. — Bradley scored the game’s final five runs to rally from a 4-1 deficit to hand the University of Iowa baseball team a 6-4 defeat and snap the Hawkeyes’ 19-game midweek winning streak Wednesday night at Dozer Park.
Iowa’s last midweek defeat came at Bradley on April 14, 2015. The Hawkeyes are 22-13 heading into a three-game weekend series against Rutgers.
The Hawkeyes led 4-1 through 6 1/2 innings before the Braves scored two in the seventh and three in the eighth to pull ahead for good. Bradley improved to 16-18 overall.
“This was a tough loss,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “It’s never good to lose one late like we did tonight.”
Junior Andrew Ivelia sent a two-run home run to left center field to cut Iowa’s lead to 4-3 in the seventh. After Zach Fairchild singled down the right field line in the eighth, the senior scored — advancing all the way from first base — on a Nick Nelsen throwing error to tie the game at four.
Bradley’s Andy Shadid drove in the go-ahead run on an RBI single to left and an Ivelia double to left field made the score 6-4.
Iowa trailed 1-0 heading into the fifth inning before scoring in three consecutive innings to take a 4-1 lead. Back-to-back singles by junior Matt Hoeg and sophomore Mitchell Boe and a Chris Whelan walk loaded the bases before Bradley’s Mitch Janssen’s balk forced in Iowa’s first run.
The Hawkeyes took the lead on an RBI groundout from senior Mason McCoy, taking a 2-1 advantage. Iowa pushed its lead to 3-1 in the sixth on a Tyler Cropley RBI single, and Iowa loaded the bases in the seventh on a pair of singles from Jake Adams and Robert Neustrom and a Ben Norman walk. The Hawkeyes managed only one run in the inning when Adams scored on a fielding error by Bradley third basemen Brendan Dougherty.
“For the most part, we didn’t play that poorly,” Heller said. “We had some good at-bats up and down the lineup, but we left some runners on a couple times and that hurt us.”
Nelsen (0-3) suffered the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits in one inning of relief. Iowa starter Drake Robison gave Iowa a solid start, giving up up one run on four hits, while striking out three over four innings.
“We got a great start out of Drake tonight,” Heller said. “He gave us what we needed.”
Bradley reliever Jim Jarecki (1-0) picked up the win. The freshman gave up one on three hits over the final two innings.
Neustrom (2-for-5), Cropley (2-for-4) and Hoeg (2-for-4) each posted multi-hit games and the trio accounted for six of Iowa’s 10 hits in the game.
The Hawkeyes return to action Friday, hosting Rutgers at 6:05 p.m. (CT) at Banks Field in the first of a three-game weekend series.