Another Big Ten series for Iowa, another set of weather-induced changes. For the fourth time in five weeks, Iowa's weekend series involved a doubleheader and for the second time in four weeks, it involved a three-game series being cut down to just two games. Friday's scheduled game became a doubleheader and inclement weather scuttled any hope of playing the third game of the series on either Saturday or Sunday. So Iowa settles for a split and improves to 21-11 overall and 6-4 in Big Ten play.
FRIDAY GAME 1: IOWA 7, NEBRASKA 1
Iowa took the opening game of Friday's doubleheader in commanding fashion. Nebraska struck first, with an RBI single in the bottom of the first, but that was it for their offense. Iowa immediately responded with a run in the top of the second when Justin Jenkins scored off a wild pitch. Mitchell Boe gave Iowa 3-1 lead in the fourth inning with a 2-RBI double. Things really broke open late, as Iowa tacked on three runs in the eighth and another in the ninth. Boe hit an RBI single in the eighth, followed by back-to-back doubles by Chris Whelan and Robert Neustrom that scored Boe and Whelan. Jenkins added an RBI double in the ninth to complete Iowa's 7-1 win.
Nick Allgeyer produced another strong outing on the mound for Iowa, lasting seven innings and giving up just one run on five hits, while striking out four. After giving up that early run, he only gave up three hits in his remaining six innings, although he did issue four walks. Zach Daniels replaced Allgeyer for the final two innings and kept things under control, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out two and giving up no runs. Allgeyer's efforts earned him Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors too:
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) April 16, 2018
At the plate, Iowa managed 10 hits and drew five walks while scoring seven runs. The bottom of the order was doing the most damage in this game, though -- Mitchell Boe went 2/3 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI while Justin Jenkins went 2/4 with two doubles and two runs scored and Ben Norman went 2/5 with a double and a run scored. Chris Whelan also had a two-hit game, going 2/5 with a double and a run scored. Neustrom and Lorenzo Elion added Iowa's other hits on the day. Six of Iowa's 10 hits were doubles, a rare display of extra-base power for them on the year, but one that made it much easier to score seven runs.
FRIDAY GAME 2: NEBRASKA 10, IOWA 4
That power display kept up to an extent for Iowa in the nightcap of the Friday doubleheader, as they smashed three home runs. Unfortunately, they only managed five hits total and Nebraska also found their power, hitting four doubles and a pair of home runs. Neustrom got Iowa started well with a solo home run in the top of the first, but Nebraska answered back with a pair of 2-run homers in the third inning. Tyler Cropley cut the Nebraska lead to 4-3 with a 2-run shot of his own, but Iowa never got any closer. A Nebraska solo homer made it 5-3 in the fifth and they blew the game open with four runs in the seventh, before adding a 10th and final run in the eighth. Kyle Crowl hit a solo home run in the ninth, but that was the extent of Iowa's would-be comeback.
Brady Schanuel got the start in this game, but he struggled mightily. He lasted just three innings, throwing 76 pitches and giving up four runs on five hits and three walks, though he did manage five strikeouts. Still, Iowa's relievers couldn't quite stop the bleeding, either. Nick Nelson replaced Schanuel and threw two innings, giving up one run on one hit. Grant Judkins replaced Nelsen and got roughed up the most of Iowa's relievers, lasting an inning and a third and giving up three runs on three hits and two walks. Cam Baumann recorded no outs and walked in a run, before Grant Leonard replaced him and managed to get the final two outs of the seventh inning. Derek Lieurance gave up a run on three walks while lasting two-third of an inning and Trenton Wallace came in to get the final out for Iowa in the eighth. All told, Iowa gave up 10 runs on 10 hits and also walked 10 batters. You aren't going to win many games when your pitchers put that many guys on base.
At the plate, most Iowa batters struggled as their five hits came from four players. Neustrom went 2/4 with a home run and Crowl and Cropley each went 1/4 with a home run as well. Whelan recorded Iowa's only other hit of the game in a 1/4 outing. Unlike Nebraska, Iowa also wasn't able to draw many walks, collecting just two free passes from Nebraska pitchers during the game.
NEXT: Weather permitting, Iowa is set to welcome Northern Illinois (11-23 overall, 3-9 MAC, 7-19 road) on Tuesday (4:05 PM CT, BTN Plus), before heading back on the road for a weekend series against second-place Minnesota (23-10 overall, 7-1 Big Ten, 8-5 home) on Friday-Sunday.