Iowa Drops Rubber Game in Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana scored in six of eight innings, including a five-run fourth, that propelled them past the University of Iowa baseball team, 12-8, in Sunday afternoon’s series finale at Bart Kaufman Field.

The Hoosiers won the weekend series, taking two of three games, to snap the Hawkeyes’ five-weekend winning streak. Iowa is now 19-13 overall.

Indiana took control in the fifth with a two-out rally. Collin Hopkins got things going with a one-out double before Iowa starter Cam Baumann fanned James Espalin for the second out. The Hoosiers then got hot, stringing together two singles, a triple and a two-run Cole Barr home run that made the score 7-2.

“Early if we could have got a two-out hit, it might have been a different story at the end,” said head coach Rick Heller. “We had runners on and didn’t get the two-out hit. That’s the thing they did all day long, they kept getting two-out hits, especially in the fourth.

“Those were all with two outs when you think you’re going to get out of the inning, and they kept stringing them together. That was the story.”

Trailing 8-2 in the sixth, Iowa began chipping away. Redshirt junior Trenton Wallace hit a no-doubter two-run blast – his first of the year – to make the score 8-4 and redshirt junior Izaya Fullard hit a solo homer to left center in the seventh to get Iowa to within 8-5.

After Indiana got one run back in the bottom of the seventh, Iowa connected on its third home run of the day – a two-run shot from redshirt senior Ben Norman – to cut the lead to 9-7. It was Norman’s 10th blast of the season.

Indiana got some much-needed insurance in the eighth. With two outs and one runner on, Iowa went to reliever Grant Leonard. The Hoosiers followed with consecutive hits, including a two-run home run from Ethan Vecrumba that stretched the lead to 12-7.

Iowa got its final run in the ninth against Indiana closer Matt Litwicki on back-to-back doubles from Dylan Nedved and Matthew Sosa, but he got Wallace to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

Baumann (4-3) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs (all earned) on 11 hits over 3 2/3 innings. The southpaw entered the game with a 4-1 record and a 1.45 ERA over his last seven appearances (six starts).

Fullard, Nedved and Wallace accounted for seven of Iowa’s 11 hits. Fullard was 3-for-5 with a double and home run, while Wallace drove in a season-high three runs.

“It was disappointing to not pitch well. I thought our offense, against good arms, was as good as it has been all season this weekend. Today I was proud of the hitters, they kept battling and coming back. We kept beating ourselves and that’s unfortunate.

“To get runs off Litwicki like we did and we got runs on Bierman; we were disciplined and focused one through nine. The guys were dialed in and we had chances.”

– Fullard has nine multi-hit games over his last 12 contests and 11 for the season. The infielder’s average has risen 104 points since April 11 from .214 to .319.
– It was Iowa’s third game with three or more home runs this season. Coincidentally, Iowa has dropped two of the three games.

The Hawkeyes return home for consecutive series, beginning with a three-game set against Penn State from May 7-9 at Duane Banks Field.