Iowa returned home after last weekend's largely unsuccessful roadtrip to Minnesota (Iowa went 1-2) to begin a six-game homestand, their second-longest of the season (Iowa has a nine-game homestand scheduled for the end of April). The friendly confines of Duane Banks Field have been very good to Iowa this year (the Hawkeyes were 5-1 at home entering yesterday's game), so it's vitally important that Iowa takes advantage of these home games and starts adding to the W column. So far, so good -- Iowa blasted Milwaukee last night, 9-1, to improve to 6-1 at home and 12-14 overall.
Milwaukee isn't a particularly good team (11-13), but Iowa took it to them, which was good to see. The dominance for Iowa started on the mound, where six Iowa pitchers combined to hold the Panthers to just two hits and one run over nine innings. Three freshmen -- Shane Ritter, Cole McDonald, and Sam Lizarraga -- led the way, each posting two innings of shutout, no-hit work. The only Milwaukee baserunners in the first six innings came on two Ritter walks. Nick Allgeyer, Tyler Radtke, and Zach Daniels pitched the remaining three innings for Iowa, and gave up the only hits (and run) that Milwaukee scored all day. If there was a complaint about the pitching, it might be that Iowa had just six strikeouts combined for the game.
Iowa's offense got on track right away in the first inning thanks to a Joel Booker run. Booker singled, stole second, and then moved to third on a ground-out by Daniels before scoring on a throwing error. Iowa held their 1-0 lead until the fourth inning, when their bats finally got cooking and they blew the game open with five runs on four hits. Mason McCoy belted a three-run home run, while Devin Pickett scored off a Booker double and Booker scored off a Daniels single. Tyler Peyton added a home run for Iowa in the fifth inning. Iowa added their final two runs of the game in the eighth -- despite not getting any hits in the inning:
Four walks, two wild pitches, a balk, and a passed ball --- oh, college baseball pitching, you can be so delightfully weird.
Booker went 3/5 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI, while Peyton went 2/3 with a home run, two runs scored, and an RBI. Daniels went 2/4 with a run scored and an RBI and McCoy went 1/5 with a home run, one run scored, and 3 RBI.
NEXT: Iowa returns to action with a three-game homestand against Illinois this weekend, beginning at 4 PM CT on Friday.