Iowa Drops Series Finale to Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois – The University of Iowa baseball team was defeated, 6-3, by Illinois on Sunday afternoon at Illinois Field.

The Hawkeyes took an early 2-0 lead after hitting home runs in the first two innings. Andy Nelson hit a first pitch leadoff home run and Connor Hennings hit a solo shot in the second.

Illinois would respond by putting up five runs on three home runs in the third inning, The Hawkeyes plated a run in the fourth, and the Illini got it back in the eighth.

Marcus Morgan started on the mound for Iowa, throwing 2 2/3 innings allowing five runs on three hits.

“Disappointing loss and a disappointing Sunday for us,” said head coach Rick Heller. “We jumped out to a two-run lead. Morgan didn’t have good command, but he worked out of two jams in the first and second.  We had two outs in the third and gave up five runs on three home runs and free bases. Couldn’t get Watts in fast enough to stop the bleeding.”

Anthony Watts entered and threw 3 1/3 scoreless inning allowing just one hit, before turning the ball over to Ben DeTaeye who allowed one run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings of work. Sam Hart struck out the one batter that he faced in the contest to end the eighth.

Five of the Illini’s six runs occurred with two outs to Iowa’s one two out RBI.

“We left one out there today in my opinion,” said Heller. “One bad inning and we didn’t do a lot offensively after the first inning. Just got beat.”

Iowa returns home to face off with UIC on Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. (CT) at Duane Banks Field.