The Iowa baseball team mustered just one hit in 10 innings in the first round of the Big Ten baseball tournament, falling to three-seed Michigan 2-1 Wednesday morning.
Iowa got on the board first. In the top of the second Matt Hoeg walked and Michigan pulled starter Tommy Henry, who took a liner from Robert Neustrom right to his pitching elbow in the previous at bat. Alec Rennard took the mound in place for Henry, striking out his first batter faced. Then Iowa’s Lorenzo Elion took a single from Rennard; Ben Norman then reached first off an error, sending Hoeg across home.
That would be the lone run for Iowa, though. Since Iowa’s bats weren’t doing the heavy lifting (Michigan retired 23 consecutive batters to end the game), it was up to the Hawkeye hurlers to put in some work. Starter Nick Allgeyer pitched an absolute gem. In seven innings of work he struck out 9 on 97 pitches. He gave up 4 hits; one a tracking solo shot from Michigan’s Jesse Franklin in the bottom of the fourth.
Elion’s was the only hit Iowa was able to muster through the entire game. Michigan had more than a couple chances to come away with a run to end it in regulation, but Allgeyer and reliever Zach Daniels kept the Michigan bats muted.
The game would remain knotted at 1-1 until the bottom of the 10th inning. Daniels walked Christian Bullock and Dominic Clementi back-to-back with one out. Rick Heller brought in Nick Nelsen to face Franklin, and the guy who put Michigan on the board delivered, putting a sac fly to right field to send the winning run across the plate.
Iowa now moves to the losers bracket of the tournament, where the Hawkeyes will play the loser of the Ohio State/Purdue matchup tomorrow morning at 9am.
With the loss likely goes Iowa’s chances of receiving an at-large bid of making it to regionals. Making some noise here couldn’t hurt, though.