If only Iowa could play all of their games in mid-week... Iowa trounced Western Illinois, 10-4, on Tuesday night to bring their overall record back to .500 (21-21). The win also improved Iowa's record in mid-week games to 8-0. Iowa has outscored opponents by a ridiculous margin in those eight wins -- 100-23. Granted, there are some very clear caveats in play here: all eight games have been at home and they've largely been against weaker opposition (including two NAIA opponents). Still, Tuesday and Wednesday starts have gone very, very well for the Hawkeyes this year.
Western Illinois jumped out to a pair of early leads -- 1-0 in the top of the first and 3-1 in the top of the third inning -- but Iowa's bats got going in the bottom of the third inning and didn't let up for a while. They plated a pair of runs in the third and fourth innings, three in the fifth, and another two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Iowa's hitters combined for 11 hits, but they found several other ways to get on base and move around those same bases, including 10 (1) walks, two wild pitches, and two hit by pitches. Well, there was also one other way that Iowa players moved around the bases: by stealing them with full brashness. Iowa players stole a whopping NINE bases in the game, led by Joel Booker's three steals, which raised his total to 18 for the season. Six other players each stole a base, too.
In addition to his three steals, Booker went 1/4 with two runs scored, while Robert Neustrom led Iowa with three hits in a 3/5 outing with two RBI. Nick Roscetti went 2/4 with three RBI and a run scored. Tyler Peyton went 1/3 with a triple and two runs scored, while Mason McCoy went 1/3 with a double and three runs scored.
Cole McDonald got the start for Iowa and struggled a bit: he lasted two innings and gave up six hits and three runs while striking out two. Luke Vandermaten replaced him and earned the win while posting three shutout innings in which he gave up just two hits while striking out three. Nick Allgeyer, Tyler Radtke, Zach Daniels, and Josh Martsching pitched an inning apiece to finish out the game for Iowa.
Watch some of the highlights from Iowa's 10-4 win last night against WIU. The Hawkeyes' next home game is 5/13. https://t.co/cIeNUMN415— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 4, 2016
NEXT: Iowa goes on the road to play Ohio State (28-15-1 overall, 8-7 Big Ten) in an absolutely crucial three-game series for Iowa's Big Ten Tournament aspirations.