NEW ORLEANS — Ball State used a seven-run fourth inning to hand the University of Iowa baseball team its first loss of the 2018 season, downing the Hawkeyes 14-6 on Saturday at Maestri Field in game two of the All-State Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and second innings. Senior Tyler Cropley had an RBI single in the first and Ben Norman had an RBI single in the second, but then the Cardinals took control
After tying the game on a Seth Freed two-run home run in the third, Ball State erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 9-2 lead through four innings. The Cardinals pushed their lead to 10-2 through six.
The Hawkeyes responded briefly, scoring three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth. Iowa scored three runs on a Ball State error in the seventh before Tanner Wetrich singled, stole second, and scored Iowa’s final run in the eighth on a Luke Farley RBI single.
Ball State put the game away with four runs in its final two at-bats with three runs coming off a three-run home run from Zach Milam.
Iowa starter Brady Schanuel suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on five hits over 3 1/3 innings. He had four strikeouts and four walks. All four Hawkeye relievers gave up at least one run.
Cardinals’ starter Kyle Nicholas earned the win, allowing two runs on seven hits over five innings. Reliever Drey Jameson allowed four runs (one earned) over three innings, but fanned nine of the 15 batters he faced.
QUOTING IOWA HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“We had chances to blow the game open early and we had some bad base running that ran us out of an inning that I thought would have been a blowout inning. Brady made a good pitch to the player who hit the home run to left field. Brady deserved a better fate; he pitched better than the score indicates.
“We rallied a few times, but we had some poor at-bats in some clutch situations. We had a lot of free bases and it finally caught up to us tonight.”
– Iowa finished with 10 hits in the game, coming from eight different players. Wetrich tallied his first multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs.
– Wetrich started the game at shortstop — his first at the position this season — while Kyle Crowl started for the first time at second base.
The Hawkeyes (4-1) return to action Sunday, closing out the All-State Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic against host New Orleans. First pitch is slated for noon.
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