EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern’s Shawn Goosenberg’s second home run of the game was a two-run, walk-off home run to lift the Wildcats to an 8-6 win over the University of Iowa baseball team on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.
Iowa allowed five home runs in the loss to drop the weekend series. Iowa (23-18) won the season series over Northwestern (14-19), 3-2.
“Their system worked,” head coach Rick Heller said. “(Northwestern) ran guys in-and-out on the mound. We didn’t get a feel. They teetered on the brink, but we never got the big hit and let them off the hook in the first inning with a bad at-bat. We had the right guys up so many times during the course of the game to break it open and they didn’t come through. That’s the story.”
Iowa managed only eight hits (two doubles) off seven Northwestern pitchers, but clawed its way back from a 4-0 deficit through three innings. The Hawkeyes tied the game at six in the seventh inning and had chances to take the lead in the eighth with the bases loaded and in the ninth with the leadoff man reaching, but the Hawkeyes couldn’t capitalize.
“(Northwestern) had guys that stepped up and clutched up,” Heller said. “We had opportunities to do that and didn’t get the job done. We didn’t execute at times that hurt us. That’s what happens when you let them hang around and Goosenberg made us pay.”
Northwestern hit three home runs in the first two innings to jump out to a 4-0 advantage and chase Iowa starting pitcher Duncan Davitt, who allowed four runs over one and 1/3 innings, from the game. Freshman right-handed pitcher Will Semb relieved Davitt in the second inning.
Semb tossed three straight scoreless innings from the second to the fourth, allowing the Iowa offense to get going.
Redshirt senior Matthew Sosa and redshirt freshman Brayden Frazier reached on a walk and a hit-by-pitch to start the top of the fourth and came around to score on an RBI single by redshirt senior Brett McCleary and a fielder’s choice by freshman Michael Seegers to make it a 4-2 game.
Redshirt senior Ben Norman made it a one-run game with a double to deep right field to score Seegers.
Northwestern catcher Michael Trautwein hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth off Semb to re-up Northwestern’s lead to 6-3.
Again, it was Sosa and Frazier to jumpstart Iowa’s offense out of the sixth and seventh spot of the lineup. The duo led off the sixth with back-to-back singles, with Sosa scoring on a balk and Frazier scoring on a two-out double by Norman to cut the deficit to 6-5.
Redshirt senior Austin Martin, who started at designated hitter, delivered the game-tying RBI in the top of the seventh with a single off the pitcher’s leg to score redshirt freshman Peyton Williams, who led off the inning with a walk.
With the game tied at six, Martin was stranded at second, and Iowa stranded four baserunners in the final two innings.
Redshirt sophomore Drew Irvine (2-5) entered the game in the sixth inning and tossed three straight scoreless innings. He struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth, before running into trouble in the ninth.
After retiring the nine-hole hitter Tony Livermore with his sixth strikeout in relief, Irvine issued a walk to leadoff man Anthony Calaraco to bring up Goosenberg, who ended the game with a two-run home run off the left field foul pole.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“(Irvine) made a good pitch. He didn’t hang it. The guy was out in front and it was down and away and he got the barrel on it. The crazy thing is that the wind had shifted two innings prior and was blowing back toward right field and it started foul and the wind brought it back and hit the foul pole. Two innings earlier it was going to be foul by 20 feet, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was our offense. We know they’re a good hitting team and are one of the top home-run hitting teams out there. They hit five home runs off us today. We could have pitched better, but we didn’t walk guys, didn’t commit errors, didn’t give up free bases – we gave up one free base and lost. That doesn’t happen.”
- Iowa allowed five home runs against Northwestern in its 12-9 win over the Wildcats on April 26.
- Iowa has not committed an error in four straight games.
- Norman (2-for-4, two doubles, two RBIs) and McCleary (2-for-4, one RBI) each recorded multi-hit games. Norman’s 13 multi-hit games are tied for the second most on Iowa.
Iowa wraps up the regular season next weekend in East Lansing, Michigan, against Michigan State for a three-game series. First pitch for Friday’s series opener is set for 5:35 p.m. (CT).