EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern’s two-eighth inning runs were the difference maker in the University of Iowa baseball team’s 5-4 loss to the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.
Iowa drops its first game in four contests against Northwestern (13-19) to fall to 23-17 this season.
“(Northwestern) came out hot, hit the first pitch of the game for a base hit and dinged us for three runs in the first inning,” head coach Rick Heller said. “Then, Cam Baumann really settled down. He threw six more innings after that of shutout ball. He pitched fantastic. He slowed the game down and gave us a chance to comeback.”
Northwestern’s one-out, bases-clearing double by David Dunn off Baumann to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead was the only offense Northwestern had to show for in the first seven innings.
Baumann, a redshirt junior from Fairfield, Iowa, allowed only one baserunner after the first inning and retired the last 11 batters he faced. The southpaw threw only 86 pitches and fanned five Northwestern hitters over seven innings, before handing the ball over to closer Dylan Nedved in the bottom of the eighth with the game tied at three.
KKKKKam Baumann has settled in.
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 22, 2021
After Iowa’s first time through the order, the Hawkeyes were able to get to Northwestern starter Hank Christie.
Iowa capitalized on a leadoff walk and a misplay by Dunn in centerfield to score two unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning. Redshirt senior Matthew Sosa singled home redshirt freshman Peyton Williams for Iowa’s first run of the game and a Nedved sacrifice fly to left scored Wallace to make it a 3-2 game.
Williams delivered the game-tying RBI in the top of the seventh with a single to center to score freshman Michael Seegers, who recorded his first career multi-hit game with a 3-for-4 effort.
Nedved retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the eighth on groundouts, before Northwestern used three straight singles to two score two runs and take a 5-3 lead.
Nedved was robbed of extra bases to lead off the ninth for Iowa, but with one down, Iowa didn’t go away. Seegers doubled down the left field line for his third knock of the game and redshirt senior Ben Norman singled to shallow left to put runners on the corners with only one out for redshirt junior Izaya Fullard.
On a nice defensive play by Northwestern’s third baseman, Fullard grounded into a fielder’s choice, which scored Seegers from third. With the Fullard as the game-tying run on first and the count full, Williams struck out swinging to end the game.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do much with Northwestern’s starter Hank Christie. He did a good job of hitting the corners and really competed. We didn’t do much for the first five innings and finally started to get to him. Once we got into the bullpen, we were able to mount some rallies and get some runs on the board.”
“Unfortunately, with two outs in the eighth, Dylan had a tough time getting them out and they ended up scrapping two runs. (Northwestern) fought hard and played well. They made some great plays defensively. That’s two days in a row where they’ve made tremendous plays. We mounted a nice rally in the ninth but came up a short.”
- Iowa has not committed an error in three straight games.
- Today was Baumann’s second start of the season against Northwestern. He pitched six innings and allowed only two runs to earn the win in his first start against the Wildcats.
- Baumann’s five quality starts rank second-best on the team behind Trenton Wallace’s seven.
- Nedved (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season out of the bullpen.
First pitch for tomorrow’s series finale is set for noon (CT). The game will be streamed live on BTN+ (subscription required).