IOWA CITY, Iowa – Falling behind 7-0 through the first three innings, the University of Iowa baseball teamed stormed back with six runs in the fifth inning to close to within 8-7, before falling, 10-8, to Nebraska in game two of the weekend series Saturday afternoon at Duane Banks Field.
“It was great fight, but we just didn’t get the knockout blow and we had opportunities,” said head coach Rick Heller.
Nebraska hit three home runs in its seven-run third inning, highlighted by a Cam Chick grand slam. The Husker second baseman blasted two home runs on the day.
After a solo home run by redshirt senior Zeb Adreon – his first of the season – in the fourth, Iowa’ offense came alive the following inning.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Snep began Iowa’s six-run fifth inning with his first career home run. The Hawkeyes used three more extra-base hits, two walks, and two hit by pitches to bat through the lineup in the fifth. Redshirt senior Austin Martin’s two-RBI single cut Nebraska’s lead to 8-7.
MARTY COMES THROUGH!
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) March 20, 2021
With one out and the bases loaded, Nebraska shut the door with back-to-back strikeouts to prevent the lead from slipping away.
In the sixth Chick hit his second home run of the game to give Nebraska a 10-7 advantage. Martin tallied his third RBI of the game in the bottom of the seventh, but that was all Iowa’s offense could muster in the final three innings.
“Chick killed us, offensively and defensively, especially with the two-run homer after we cut it to a one-run game,” said Heller. “That was a big blow that put us in a hole.”
Sophomore Drew Irvine (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing six runs (four earned) on five hits over 2 1/3 innings. Iowa’s bullpen allowed four runs on eight hits over the final 6 2/3 innings.
The Hawkeyes finished with a season-high 12 hits and tied a season-high with eight runs. Senior Ben Norman finished 3-for-5 for his second three-hit game of the season, including his first triple, while Matthew Sosa and Adreon had two-hit days. Martin drove in three Hawkeye runs and redshirt freshman Peyton Williams had two RBIs.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“I was happy with how we approached things all day. It was good energy, we were focused and into the game, but (Chance) Hroch did a good job of locating and keeping the ball down with the wind blowing out early. We kept grinding at-bats and finally we caught a couple of breaks and got some hits and showed a lot of fight coming back.
“Unfortunately, we had the bases loaded with less than two outs and didn’t get a run in there. We had that happen a couple of times during the second half of the game that ultimately was the big reason we came out two runs behind.”
• Iowa and Nebraska have split the first four games this season.
• The game featured six home runs with a stiff wind blowing out to left field.
• Norman has hit safely in six straight games, including two three-hit contests. The outfielder has six RBIs over the last four games.
Tomorrow’s series finale is set for 1:05 p.m. (CT) and will be streamed live on BTN+.