Iowa picked up their third straight win and got their four-game season-ending road trip off to a good start with an easy 10-2 win over Western Illinois in Macomb on Tuesday. The win bookended Iowa's 10-4 win over the Leathernecks in Iowa City earlier in the month and improved Iowa's overall record to 25-24. That's the first time that Iowa's overall record has been above .500 since they got to 16-15 after demolishing Air Force, 22-2, over a month ago on April 13.
Mason McCoy, fresh off his fielding heroics a few days ago, showed off his prowess at the plate in this game, going 4/5 with a double, two stolen bases, and two runs scored. He scored Iowa's first run of the game and also scored again in the six-run burst that blew the game open in the eighth inning -- he managed to notch not one, but two hits in the eighth inning, in fact. The eighth inning was when Iowa put the game on ice and they did it thanks to some a cornucopia of bad fielding from Western Illinois. Iowa rang up five hits and scored six runs, but only one of them was earned -- the other five came in part thanks to four (!) Western Illinois errors in the inning.
Four other Iowa hitters had two hits, including Tyler Peyton (2/5, two doubles, three runs scored), Nick Roscetti (2/6, two RBI, one run scored, one stolen base), Joel Booker (2/4, two RBI, one run scored, one double), and Robert Neustrom (2/5, one double, one run scored, one RBI). In all, Iowa batters strung together 15 hits in the game.
On the mound, Cole McDonald got the start for Iowa and went three innings, giving up two hits and two runs while walking two and striking out six. Shane Ritter, Nick Allgeyer, Tyler Radtke, and Jared Mandel combined to cover the remaining six innings, scattering two hits while striking out five and giving up no additional runs. They kept the WIU batters on ice after they had tied the game up at 2-2; eventually Iowa's own hitters (and the sloppy WIU defense) gave Iowa plenty of runs to get the win.
NEXT: Iowa's road trip continues with a trip to Happy Valley to face Penn State (27-25 overall, 11-10 Big Ten) for a three-game series beginning on Thursday. As we said yesterday, if Iowa can go 2-1 in that series, they should be in pretty decent shape to make the Big Ten Tournament. If they do worse than that, well, that's a wrap on their 2016 season.