On a weekend where the weather simply wouldn’t cooperate, Iowa did a fine job against the #15 Indiana Hoosiers, splitting a Friday doubleheader before the snow wreaked havoc on Iowa City and led to the cancellation of Sunday’s game.
While the Hawkeyes have had a tough time beating teams above .500 this season, they were able to stay competitive in both of Friday’s games. One thing I’d previously mentioned in my series preview was that it’d be nice to see Iowa win a couple games against a good Indiana team, or even keep things close in a couple losses. The team did just that - the pitching staff put up a solid performance in both games, while the offense was able to do enough in the second game to earn a victory.
Iowa’s now 13-8 on the season and the bats are showing signs of waking up at just the right time, as the Hawks continue a tough stretch against Bradley and Illinois this upcoming week.
Game 1: Indiana 4, Iowa 2 (Box Score)
The Hawks opened the series with a solid showing, but the offense just wasn’t able to muster up enough run support to get the win.
Nick Allgeyer (L, 2-2) didn’t have his best outing of the season, but it was far from bad - he went seven innings and despite giving up 10 hits, he left the game only having surrendered three runs, all earned. He was bitten by the long ball a couple times - power-hitting 1B Matt Lloyd took him deep for a solo shot in the second, while Logan Kaletha hit one out of the park in the sixth - but was otherwise able to stay pretty effective all day against the Hoosiers’ assembly line of bats.
At the plate, Iowa was stymied by Indiana’s pitching all day long. Jonathan Stiever (W, 3-1) pitched seven innings of his own, allowing one run on three hits and a walk. That run came in the third inning for the Hawks, as Ben Norman hit a one-out triple and was brought home by a Mitchell Boe sacrifice fly. Justin Jenkins tried to start a comeback for Iowa in the eighth, as he hit his first career collegiate home run, but it was too little, too late, as Cal Krueger was able to shut the door on the Hawkeyes and earn the save.
Game 2: Iowa 5, Indiana 1 (Box Score)
The second game of the twin bill was an entirely different story, as Brady Schanuel dominated the Hoosier bats en route to an Iowa victory.
Schanuel (W, 4-2) had his best start of the season against a tough opponent, one-hitting Indiana through seven shutout innings. The righty struck out 11 Hoosiers and was described by Rick Heller as “effectively wild,” keeping Indiana on their toes all game. He did have a problem with limiting base-on-balls again, walking four batters for his fifth consecutive start, but when you’re able to miss bats like he did against Indiana in this one, you’ll take an outing like this 10/10 times. Zach Daniels finished it off for the Hawkeyes, allowing one run in two innings of work to continue his solid start to the season.
Meanwhile, Iowa was able to get to the Hoosiers’ dominant Pauly Milto (L, 3-2) early and often, as he just didn’t have the stuff to get through this Hawkeye lineup on Friday. After Milto recorded two quick outs in the first, Iowa was able to string together five straight good at-bats, including three singles and two walks. Matt Hoeg knocked in Iowa’s first run with a bases loaded single before Justin Jenkins followed with an RBI walk to get Iowa in front 2-0. In the second, Robert Neustrom and Tyler Cropley hit back-to-back two-out doubles to chase Milto from the game.
After that, the Indiana bullpen did a fine job limiting Iowa for the remainder of the game, but they did make a couple big mistakes along the way. In the sixth inning, Chris Whelan recorded his only hit of the day, a massive solo home run to left field for his first bomb of the year since coming back from injury. In the eighth, Tyler Cropley continued his torrid senior season with a solo homer for his second home run of the season.
Iowa ends their homestand on Wednesday when Bradley comes to town. The Braves are 12-5 on the year and things have come to a bit of a halt for them as of late after starting the season 8-1. After a weekend’s worth of cancelled games, Bradley hosts Illinois on Tuesday before making their way to Iowa City.
Wednesday’s game will take place at 4:05 p.m. CT and will be aired on BTN+.