Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch – 2017-18 | Fight For Iowa | Hawk Talk Monthly – March 2018 | Game 1 Box Score (PDF) | Game 2 Box Score (PDF) | Game 1 Photo Gallery | Game 2 Photo Gallery | Highlights | Boxscore
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team swept a doubleheader against Evansville on Saturday at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes defeated the Purple Aces, 10-3, in game one before clinching a series victory with an 8-3 triumph in the night cap.
Iowa moves to 3-0 at home this season and 10-6 overall heading into Sunday’s series finale.
“Both games were well played today,” said Iowa head coach Rick Heller. “There was a mistake here or there, but on a long cold day, I was proud of our guys. It was two steps in the right direction. Now we’ll see how we answer the bell tomorrow because I know Evansville will come out and give great effort.”
Game 1 | Iowa 10, Evansville 3
Iowa’s offense broke out of a five-game slump with a 14-hit outburst in the opener. The Hawkeyes poured it on early, scoring three runs in the first, third, and fourth innings before scoring one final run in the fifth.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning behind a three-hit inning. Junior Chris Whelan, who was playing his first game of the season in his return from injury, singled to start the game and scored on a two-run home run from junior Robert Neustrom. Senior Matt Hoeg added a sacrifice fly in the inning.
Iowa pushed its lead to 6-0 in the third courtesy of RBI singles from Hoeg and Justin Jenkins, and the third run scored on an Evansville wild pitch. Junior Tanner Wetrich had a two-run single in the fourth before Jenkins’ RBI single to right field pushed the Hawkeye advantage to 9-1.
Junior Nick Allgeyer (2-1) earned his second victory of the season, allowing one run on four hits over six innings. He had four strikeouts against two walks. Evansville’s Jace Burke (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on four hits over 1 1/3 innings.
HELLER ON GAME 1
“In game one, we got off to a great start. We had Chris Whelan back in his leadoff spot and he brought a lot of energy. He got on base with a hit in his first at-bat back and Neustrom followed with a home run into the wind to get things going. I liked out how we came out to play today. Our energy was great and we had better at-bats up-and-down the lineup. In a two-game stretch, that is the best we have swung the bat this season.
“Nick Allgeyer gutted one out for us. He was a little under the weather this morning, and we were nervous if he was going to make the start. He toughed one out and gave us a quality start.”
Game 2 | Iowa 8, Evansville 3
Iowa’s offense continued where it left off in the night cap, scoring eight runs on 11 hits and the Hawkeye pitching staff surrendered just two hits, leading the team to its second series victory (and fourth winning weekend) of the season.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back, scoring two in the second, three in the third, two in the fourth, and one final run in the sixth.
Iowa loaded the bases in the first inning against Evansville starter Austin Allinger, but it took a clutch two-out hit from sophomore Kyle Crowl to get the ball rolling. Crowl delivered with a two-run double into the left centerfield gap to give the Hawkeyes a 2-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes pushed their lead to 5-0 courtesy of a second Crowl extra-base hit. Following a Tyler Cropley walk and an Austin Guzzo double, Crowl sent a two-run triple into the right centerfield gap to extend the lead to 4-0. Hoeg’s RBI single accounted for Iowa’s final run of the inning.
Iowa pushed its lead to 7-0 on a Cropley sacrifice fly and a Guzzo RBI ground out in the fourth before Neustrom connected on his second home run — this time an opposite field shot down the left field line in the sixth — to stretch the lead to 8-0.
Junior Brady Schanuel (3-2) earned his third victory, allowing a single hit over five innings. The right-hander fanned six in the start, but issued four walks.
Evansville scored three runs in the seventh on a three-run home run from Troy Beilsmith before freshman Cam Bauman and sophomore Grant Leonard got the final seven outs to close out the Hawkeyes 10th victory of the season.
Four players — Neustrom (3-for-4, 3 R, HR, RBI), Whelan (2-for-3, 2 R), Crowl (2-for-3, 4 RBIs), and Hoeg (2-for-4, RBI) — accounted for nine of Iowa’s 11 hits.
HELLER ON GAME 2
“The big story in game two was Kyle Crowl. It’s a different game if Kyle doesn’t clutch up with a couple of big hits. He drove in four runs after we had had a couple of bad at-bats with him coming to the plate. We’re looking at a one run game if Kyle doesn’t clutch up, so that was good to see.”
– Whelan made his 2018 debut, starting as Iowa’s designated hitter and leadoff hitter in both games. He finished 4-for-8 with four runs scored.
– Neustrom took over the team lead in home runs, connecting on his second and third home runs of the season. The Sioux City, Iowa, native now had 13 career blasts.
– Crowl’s four RBIs in the game two victory were a career-high.
The Hawkeyes (10-6) return to action Sunday, facing Evansville in the series finale at 1:05 p.m. (CT).
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Stay up-to-date on all the happenings with the Iowa baseball program on social media via Twitter (@UIBaseball), Instagram/UIBaseball, and Facebook/IowaBaseball.