Iowa Baseball Sweeps Evansville To End Losing Streak

By RossWB on March 19, 2018 at 9:55 pm
Running down a home plate

@UIBaseball

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What's a good way to end a five-game losing streak? Well, if you're the Iowa baseball team, it involved returning home for a three-game series against Evansville that begins a nine-game homestand. Iowa ended their skid with a blowout 10-3 win over the Aces early Saturday, followed that up with another blowout 8-3 win later on Saturday, and wrapped up the weekend with a 4-3 come-from-behind win on Sunday. As Jeremy noted in his preview last week, the Aces aren't a particularly good team, but Iowa needed to stop the bleeding after their losses to UAB, UNLV, and Missouri State and they managed to do just that. Hopefully these wins give them some much needed confidence to go on and continue winning, even as the competition ramps up. 

SATURDAY: IOWA 10, EVANSVILLE 3

Chris Whelan made his long-awaited return to the Iowa lineup this weekend and he made an immediate impact, getting a leadoff single in this game and then scoring Iowa's first run of the game on Robert Neustrom's 2-run homer. Matt Hoeg added a sac fly RBI to give Iowa 3-0 lead after one inning. Iowa added three more runs on four hits and an error in the third and another trio of runs on three hits in the fourth. That gave Iowa a 9-1 lead; they added another run in the fifth and went on cruise control after that. 

Iowa's bats broke out of their slump in a big way in this game, scoring 10 runs on 14 hits; they also drew six walks and benefited from three errors and Neustrom getting hit by a pitch. Four Iowa players had at least two hits, led by Tanner Wetrich's 3/3 outing with two doubles, a team-high three RBI, and a run scored. Neustrom went 2/4 with a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI. Whelan had a strong game in his return, going 2/5 with two runs scored. Justin Jenkins went 2/3 as Iowa's other multi-hit player. Tyler Cropley, Austin Guzzo, Kyle Crowl, and Mitchell Boe added Iowa's other hits. 

Nick Allgeyer got the start and he once again delivered a quality outing, going six innings and giving up one run on four hits while walking two and striking out four. Nick Nelson relieved him and gave up two runs (one earned) on three innings in a single inning of work. Ben Probst finished off the game with two scoreless innings and just one hit conceded.

SATURDAY: IOWA 8, EVANSVILLE 3

Iowa used another fast start at the plate to bury Evansville on Saturday. They scored two in the first off a Kyle Crowl double that scored Robert Neustrom and Chris Whelan. They added three more on three hits in the third, highlighted by a Crowl triple that scored Austin Guzzo and Tyler Cropley. Iowa added two more in the fourth thanks to a Whelan single, Neustrom double, Cropley sac fly, and Guzzo groundout. Iowa added a final run on a Neustrom homer in the sixth. Evansville's only runs came on a 3-run homer in the seventh. 

The batters led the way for Iowa again, with eight runs on 11 hits. Once again four Iowa batters had multi-hit games, led by Robert Neustrom's 3/4 performance with a double and a home run. Crowl went 2/3 with a double and a triple and knocked in a team-high four RBI. Whelan went 2/3 and drew two walks, while Matt Hoeg went 2/4. Guzzo and Boe had Iowa's other hits, a pair of doubles. Extra base hits have been an issue for Iowa this season, but they had the slugging going today with four doubles, a triple, and a homer. 

Iowa's pitching was very strong in this game, holding the Aces to three run (all on that single 3-run homer) on two hits. Brady Schaneul pitched five shutout innings and gave up just one run while striking out six, but he did have four walks. Shane Ritter replaced him and gave up three runs on a hit and two walks in 1.2 innings of work. Cam Baumann and Grant Leonard finished off the game with 2.1 innings without any hits or runs and three strikeouts. 

SUNDAY: IOWA 4, EVANSVILLE 3

Iowa's offense was much quieter on Sunday, putting up four runs on eight hits. They fell behind 1-0 in the first, but tied the game in the second with a Kyle Crowl homer. They went down again 2-1 in the sixth, but answered with a tying run on a Zion Pettigrew single in the seventh. Iowa got the go-ahead runs in the eighth, with Tyler Cropley giving Iowa the lead with an RBI single and Kyle Crowl hitting in the eventual game-winning run with an RBI single. Evansville got one back in the top of the ninth after a leadoff triple and an RBI groundout, but Iowa settled down and finished them off after that. 

Kyle Crowl had another strong game at the plate for Iowa, going 2/4 with a home run. Cropley was Iowa's other multi-hit batter in this game, going 2/3 with a double. Whelan, Neustrom, Hoeg, and Pettigrew added Iowa's other hits. 

Cole McDonald got the start for Iowa in this one and was mostly solid, going five innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks, while striking out four. Zach Daniels went 3.1 innings in relief of McDonald a run on two hits while waling one an striking out five. Grant Leonard picked up a save by picking up the final two outs of the game. 

NEXT: Iowa welcomes Saint Louis on Tuesday (3:05 PM CT, BTN Plus) and Loras College on Wednesday (4:05 PM CT). Iowa needs to keep the wins flowing while they work through the easier portion of their schedule. 

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