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Hellerball: Iowa Baseball Swept by UNLV, Lose Mid-Week Game at Missouri State

Uh oh.

Margaret Kispert/The Daily Iowan

After starting the season off 8-1, the Hawks seem to have hit a bit of a rough patch. Since we last spoke on the boys, they’ve dropped four consecutive games to increase their losing streak to five games, and well, none of them were particularly close. There’s still a lot to like about this team, and they did play some very strong competition, but neither the offense nor the pitching has been there for over a week now.

While this year’s squad has lost five straight, this isn’t any adversary that most of the squad has had to deal with - this is a young team, most of whom are in their first or second year in Iowa City, and last year’s team topped out at two straight losses. It’ll be interesting to see how this team reacts, and they’re playing a ton of games in a row at home these upcoming couple weeks, so hopefully they can string some wins together. I wouldn’t say it’s time to panic yet - life on the road can be tough! However, this team has beaten some really weak competition thus far and lost to stouter competition, which could make the Big Ten slate pretty difficult.

Time will tell.

Game 1: UNLV 4, Iowa 0 (Box Score)

This was honestly the only moderately decent showing the Hawks have had in the past week, if we’re being honest with ourselves. The offense didn’t exist, but the pitching was pretty solid.

Nick Allgeyer (1-1) pitched six innings and only allowed three runs (all earned) on six hits to go along with five strikeouts. A quality start, you can’t ask for much more! Shane Ritter gave up a run in an inning of relief and Cam Baumann threw a shutout inning, and the staff held things together pretty well if we’re being reasonable. Four runs and eight hits allowed over eight innings? That’s not too bad, and they gave the team a chance to win.

The offense just straight up didn’t cash in at all. As a team, Iowa was able to muster up just five hits (none for extra bases) and left eight runners on base. Strikeouts weren’t a huge issue, either - they struck out seven times and generally were able to put the ball in play. It just didn’t amount to hits. Austin Guzzo was the lone Hawkeye to have a multi-hit game, while Tyler Cropley drew two walks and recorded a base hit. Yeah, those are the highlights, folks.

Game 2: UNLV 11, Iowa 2 (Box Score)

Brady Schanuel (2-2) took the loss in Saturday’s game, but he actually pitched decently enough to keep the team in it too! Schanuel threw five innings, allowing two runs (both earned), but it was certainly a precarious five innings. The righty allowed five hits and walked four, showing some control issues that have plagued him occasionally this season. Somehow, he was able to pitch around those baserunners to come out of the outing relatively unscathed.

While he did well enough, the bullpen stunk out loud in this one. The Rebels ran up the score in the sixth inning, tacking on eight runs. Grant Leonard, Jack Dreyer, Nick Nelsen, and Derek Lieurance combined to pitch one inning of relief and allowed nine runs, all of which were earned, on six hits and two walks. Sheeeeeeesh.

The offense did more by doing less in this game, scoring two runs on three hits and no walks. Guzzo drove in Cropley with an RBI single in the fourth, while Lorenzo Elion drove in a run with a double in the fifth. The third Iowa hit came courtesy of Robert Neustrom.

Game 3: UNLV 13, Iowa 3 (Box Score)

The offense was able to get runners on base in this one, racking up nine hits and two walks, but weren’t able to do a whole lot with them. Matt Hoeg, Mitchell Boe, and Neustrom all had two-hit games, while Kace Massner, Neustrom, and Cropley drove in Iowa’s three runs.

The pitching was once again bad in the final game of the weekend, as UNLV was able to record 16 hits (to go along with three Elion errors). Zach Daniels, Cole McDonald, and Kyle Shimp were all lit up to some extent, while the rest of the staff gave up no earned runs in their work.

A weekend to forget, surely.

Midweek: Missouri St. 8, Iowa 3 (Box Score)

And that brings us to Wednesday, another game that Iowa’s pitching staff just didn’t show up for. Jack Dreyer (0-1) drew the start this week, and he did not perform well in his 2.1 innings. The freshman gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk before paving way for Trenton Wallace, who also didn’t have a very good outing. Wallace pitched two innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on three hits. After that, Iowa was pretty liberal in their usage of the ‘pen, and they had mostly solid results from the crew, but it was too little, too late.

Iowa had a decent day at the plate, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the shortcomings of their pitching staff. Eight different Hawks contributed exactly one base hit, including a Matt Hoeg home run to lead things off for Iowa. Elion and Guzzo also drove in a run apiece on Wednesday.

On Deck

Iowa returns home this weekend to kick off a nine-game homestand. First up, they have a three-game series against the Evansville Purple Aces out of the Missouri Valley Conference. Evansville is 5-8 on the season and is currently also in the midst of a skid - they were just swept in their three-game series against Florida Gulf Coast this past weekend.8