Hawkeyes Drop Series Opener to Illini

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois – The University of Iowa baseball team was defeated, 10-5, on Friday night by Illinois at Illinois Field.

The Fighting Illini put up nine runs in the first four innings of the game and the Hawkeyes were unable to mount a comeback. Illinois had the long ball working as the conference leaders in home runs hit three in the contest.

“We didn’t have the start we hoped for”, said head coach Rick Heller. “Giving up nine runs in the first four innings makes it tough to come back. I felt like the offense tried and fought hard, but every time we cut the deficit, we couldn’t put a zero up. Once we did start putting zeros up the offense went flat.”

Cade Obermueller started on the mound throwing 1 2/3 innings allowing five runs on five hits. He struck out three and walked two in his return from injury.

Aaron Savary took the ball next for the Hawkeyes and allowed four runs on five hits over 2 1/3 innings. Chas Wheatley threw an inning and allowed a solo home run.

Sam Hart and Reese Beuter combined to throw the final three innings allowing one hit and striking out six.

Both Davis Cop and Ben Wilmes were 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs each. Wilmes had a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Raider Tello added an RBI going 3-for-4 on the night.

Six of Illinois runs came with two outs compared to Iowa’s pair of two-out RBIs.

“We have to play better and pitch better,” said Heller. “To spot a team nine runs on Friday, especially the first-place team, is really disappointing. We need to be better tomorrow, there is not much else to say.”

Iowa and Illinois return to action tomorrow for game two of the series at 3 p.m. (CT) at Illinois Field.