Track & Field Dominates at Musco Twilight; Baseball Stumbles

By Jeremy Karll on April 27, 2017 at 8:46 am
Run, Hawkeye, Run
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Many sports are coming to an end. Gymnastics competed in the NCAA Championships Finals last week, Iowa women's golf took part in the Big Ten Championships, and tennis is getting ready for the Big Ten Tournament this weekend. At the same time, baseball and softball struggled to win.

Iowa Baseball (24-15, 6-6 B10)

In a week where everything should have gone right for Iowa baseball, mostly everything went wrong.

The weekend started with an 8-3 win over Rutgers. Trailing 1-0 after the first inning, Austin Guzzo and Matt Hoeg, hitting in the seven and eight hole, respectively, took over. Guzzo went 3-for-4 and Hoeg went 2-for-4 with a home run, double and four RBIs. Robert Neustrom also went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run, while Mason McCoy and Chris Whelan combined for five hits at the top of the order. Nick Gallagher didn’t have his best stuff on the mound, but he still lasted six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and four walks. He improved to 5-1 on the year. Zach Daniels pitched the final three innings, earning his first save of the season. Daniels struck out Mike Martinez with bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning to keep Iowa’s 6-2 lead intact. You can read more about Daniels' impact this season here.

Then, the series went bad for Iowa. On Big Ten Network, Iowa managed very little offense and played bad defense in a 5-3 loss. Whelan hit two home runs, driving in all three Iowa runs, while Tyler Cropley and Jake Adams combined for five hits. Although, three Iowa errors led to three unearned runs for Rutgers. Ryan Erickson, who committed two of Iowa’s three errors, lasted six innings, giving up four runs on six hits while striking out three. Erickson fell to 1-2 as the Hawkeyes gave up five runs after taking a 1-0 lead in the third.

Sunday’s game is one that Rick Heller wants to forget. Iowa lost 13-5 and allowed 16 hits. They trailed 10-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth. Cole McDonald, who fell to 2-3, allowed four earned runs in two innings. Drake Robison allowed four earned runs in one inning, and Nick Nelsen allowed five earned runs in one inning. The only positives are that Sammy Lizarraga and Shane Ritter held Rutgers scoreless for the final five innings.

Iowa sort of bounced back with a 4-3 walk-off win over Milwaukee on Tuesday night. Milwaukee isn’t a team that should have hung around until the ninth inning, but a win is a win after an eight-run loss to Rutgers. Jake Adams hit a 400-foot home run for the Hawkeyes, while Mason McCoy hit a walk-off single. McCoy's single barely hit in front of the plate but managed to bounce over the reaching arms of Milwaukee's third baseman and shortstop. Heller opted towards using six pitchers, and this time the bullpen looked strong. Robison ended up recording the win after pitching two shutout innings to close the game for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa hosts Penn State this weekend and then travels to Western Illinois on Tuesday May 2. Desmond King will be throwing out the first pitch on Friday, probably on the same day he gets drafted.

Iowa Softball (16-27, 7-10 B10)

Iowa softball had close to no offense against No. 5 Minnesota last weekend. Although, they still escaped the week with a win on Tuesday night against Western Illinois.

Iowa started the week with a 5-0 loss to Minnesota. Allison Doocy pitched well, allowing two earned runs (four total) in 4.2 innings, but was hurt by three Iowa errors. It ended up hurting Iowa late in the game, as Minnesota scored four in the fifth and one more run in the sixth.

The Hawkeyes continued the series with a 9-1 loss in five innings. Minnesota jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings. Shayla Starkenburg allowed six earned runs (nine total) on 10 hits in four innings. Cheyenne Pratt and Claire Fritsch, who scored on a throwing error in the third, each had a hit.

With Doocy on the mound, Iowa stayed competitive in the final game of the series. Despite Doocy allowing two earned runs (three total) on seven hits over six innings, Iowa only managed two hits and lost 3-0. Doocy gave Iowa a chance in both of her starts, but Iowa couldn’t figure out Minnesota’s Sara Groenewegen, who is now 22-2 this year.

The Hawkeyes won a much-needed midweek game over Western Illinois on Tuesday, 3-1. They scored all their runs in the first inning, allowing Shayla Starkenburg to pitch with a lead. Starkenburg pitched a complete game, striking out three. Offensively, the Hawkeyes managed six hits. Pratt continued her good week by going 2-for-3, Angela Schmiederer went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Devin Cantu went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

Iowa travels to Ohio State this weekend and Drake on Tuesday.

Iowa Golf

Iowa women’s golf placed 10th at the Big Ten Championships last weekend, shooting 931, +67. Michigan State (866, +2) won with No. 12 Northwestern (868, +4) and No. 30 Ohio State (877, +13) rounding out the top-three teams. Despite Iowa not finishing as well as they would have liked to, junior Jessica Ip tied for 12th (221, +5). In the final round, she shot at or below par on 15 holes. Senior Jessie Sindlinger ended her career by tying for 43rd (233, +17) and junior Morgan Kukla tied for 61st (241, +25).

Iowa men’s golf placed third out of 15 teams at the Robert Kepler Inviational, their final regular season event. No. 10 Illinois (864, +12) and No. 12 Kent State (874, +22) finished ahead of the Hawkeyes (899, +47). Senior Carson Schaake led the way (218, +5) by tying for third. Sophomore Matthew Walker (223, +10) tied for 13th and senior Raymond Knoll (228, +15) tied for 28th to round out Iowa’s top three perfomers.

The men’s golf team will compete in the Big Ten Championships from April 28-30 in Baltimore.

Iowa Gymnastics

Iowa didn’t advance to the NCAA Championships Finals as a team. The Hawkeyes placed fourth with 412.500 points, coming one place short of advancing. Oklahoma, who went on to win the NCAA Championships Finals, won the section with 430.600 points. Illinois and Minnesota rounded out the top-three teams. 

The Hawkeyes still sent eight members to compete individually to close out the 2017 season, though.

Seniors had a strong showing for the Hawkeyes. Andrew Botto ended his decorated Iowa career with another great performance in all-around. He placed 14th with a score of 80.850. Also, Cory Paterson tied for 10th on parallel bars with a season-high 14.450 points and 12th on high bar with 14.200 points for Iowa’s two best finishes of the night.

Junior Austin Hodges also competed on high bar, tying for 20th with 13.600 points. Sophomore Rogelio Vazquez placed 40th on parallel bars with a score of 13.100.

On pommel horse, Hodges led a trio of Hawkeyes by tying for 27th with 13.500 points. Freshman Nick Merryman placed 37th with 12.950 points and sophomore Kevin Johnson finished 45th with 11.300 points.

Junior Nick Springett placed 26th on rings with a score of 13.800 with junior Dylan Ellsworth finishing right behind him with 13.750 points to finish 29th. Ellsworth also placed 18th on vault with 14.450 points.

Iowa Track and Field

After claiming 13 meet titles at Musco Twilight last weekend, Iowa men’s track and field has moved up to No. 23 in the USTFCCCA rankings and the women’s team has moved up to No. 39. Here are the entire rankings.

At Musco Twilight, senior Aaron Mallet did what he always does – win. For a fourth straight year, Mallet won the 110-meter hurdles at Musco Twilight with a time of 13.56 seconds. He now owns the fifth best time in the country, too.

Also in sprints, sophomore Mar’yea Harris won 400-meters at 46.33 seconds. Senior Adams Jones, winning 1500-meters with a time of 3:45.48, and sophomore Ian Eklin, setting a meet record in 3000-meters with a time of 8:23.41, came out strong for the Hawkeyes in long distance.

In field events, senior Avery Meyers and sophomore Reno Tuufuli placed first and second in shot put and discus throw. Meyers won shot put with a throw of 18.30 meters, while Tuufuli won discus with a throw of 56.58 meters. Sophomore Andy Jatis took home a meet title in pole vault, clearing 4.71 meters.

On the women’s side, senior Alexis Hernandez won 200-meters at 24.29 seconds. Senior Kelly Breen placed second in 3000-meter steeplechase. Her time of 10:59.99 places seventh in school history, too.

Just like the men, the women dominated in field events. Freshman Nia Britt won shot put by throwing 14.49 meters and freshman Laulauga Tausaga won discus with a throw of 52.47 meters.

In pole vault, sophomore Amy Smith cleared 3.65 meters to win. Junior Jahisha Thomas also won triple jump by jumping 12.86 meters.

Iowa will compete in the Drake Relays on April 26-29.

Iowa Tennis

The men’s tennis team (14-14, 2-9 B10) concluded the regular season by going 2-1 last week. They lost a hard fought match to No. 16 Michigan, 5-2, to start the week. Despite winning the doubles point, freshman Jason Kerst defeating Davis Crocker was Iowa’s only singles point. No. 81 Jathan Malik beat No. 115 junior Josh Silverstein 6-4, 6-4 in the only ranked match.

Iowa bounced back with a dominating 4-0 win over Michigan State. Freshman Kareem Allaf beat Josper Koenen 7-5(5), 6-1 and junior Jake Jacoby defeated Ivan Rakic 6-2, 6-3. Kerst also took down Alexander Kim 7-6, 6-2, for his second win of the week.

The Hawkeyes concluded the regular season by not dropping a set to North Dakota in their 7-0 win. Doubles partners of Silverstein and Allaf, and senior Nils Hallestrand and sophomore Jonas Larsen, each won 6-0 to give Iowa the doubles point.

Just like the men, the women’s tennis team (16-8, 5-6 B10) finished the regular season strong, beating Nebraska 4-3. Freshman Elise Van Heuvelen defeated Vasanti Shinde 6-1, 6-2 and sophomore Adorabol Huckleby took down Mary Hanna 6-4, 6-4, for Iowa’s two straight set wins. Junior Zoe Douglas and sophomore Kristen Thoms both won in three sets, too.

Both teams will be competing in the Big Ten Championships this weekend.

Iowa men’s tennis is the 10 seed and taking on seven seed Penn State on April 27. The winner will play second seed Michigan. Here’s a link to the entire bracket.

Iowa women’s tennis is the seven seed and taking on 10 seed Indiana on April 27. Just like the men, if they win, they will take on second seed Michigan. Here’s a link to the entire bracket.

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