EVANSTON, Ill. — The University of Iowa baseball team rallied late, but fell to Northwestern, 7-6, in extra innings on Friday night at Rocky Miller Park.
The Hawkeyes fought back from a 5-3 deficit to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning. Junior Robert Neustrom led off a single to centerfield before senior Austin Guzzo followed with a two-out single to put runners on the corners.
After pinch runner Kace Massner moved into scoring position on catcher’s indifference, sophomore Justin Jenkins tied the game with a two-run single, making the score 5-5 to send the game into extras.
The Hawkeyes took the lead in the 10th. Junior Chris Whelan singled to start the frame before moving into scoring position on a Grant Judkins sacrifice bunt. Senior Matt Hoeg gave Iowa a 6-5 lead with an RBI to right field, but Iowa missed a chance for more when Ben Norman struck out to leave the bases loaded.
Northwestern rallied in the bottom of the 10th against reliever Grant Leonard, using a one-out walk and single to put the game-winning run on base. With two outs, the Wildcats’ Jack Dunn delivered a two-run single up the middle to give Northwestern the walk-off 7-6 victory.
Iowa struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the second. Hoeg singled and moved to second on a passed ball before scoring on a Kyle Crowl RBI single. Northwestern tied the game in the fifth, scoring on a Hawkeye fielding error and Northwestern took the 2-1 lead in the sixth on Jack Claeys’ solo home run to left field.
The Hawkeyes fought back to take a 3-2 lead with a two-run seventh, getting RBIs from Crowl and Lorenzo Elion, but Northwestern answered right back, tying the game at three on a Ben Dickey solo blast to left field.
The Wildcats took 5-3 lead in the eighth against Iowa reliever Zach Daniels. A walk and single put two runners on before Daniels’ intentionally walked Dickey to load the bases. Northwestern took the lead on a wild pitch and added a second run on a balk.
Redshirt junior Nick Allgeyer went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs off six hits, while striking out four. Leonard (1-1) suffered the loss, while Northwestern’s Sam Lawrence (1-0) recorded his first victory of the season.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“It was a tough loss for us. We had opportunities and our guys fought back, scoring two in the ninth to tie it up. I am proud of our effort, but we were not that sharp today both defensively and on the mound. Lavelle was pounding the strike zone for them and was good. I thought we were in a good spot. Our bullpen was not great today and we suffered and gave up runs. It’s disappointing to fight back like that and not win.”
- Iowa out-hit Northwestern, 11-10, in the game. It was just Iowa’s third loss of the season when out-hitting its opposition.
- Senior Matt Hoeg (2-for-5, RBI, R), sophomore Kyle Crowl (2-for-4, 2 RBIs), and sophomore Justin Jenkins (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) all had two-hit games.
- The Hawkeyes are now 1-2 in extra-inning games and 7-9 on the road in 2018.
- Allgeyer posted his 11th quality start of the season, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
The Hawkeyes (28-17, 9-8) return to action Saturday for game two of the three-game series. The first pitch has been moved up one hour to a 1 p.m. (CT) start time.
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