Here's a brief recap of Iowa's game against Indiana Friday afternoon: The game was scoreless with two out and nobody on in Indiana's half (bottom) of the second. Two singles later, Hoosier Austin Cangelosi hit a drive to right that Joel Booker couldn't chase down for a two-run triple, and then scored on a throwing error on the same play. With Iowa's tepid offense, it was kind of a 'welp' moment, like when the Hawkeyes fell behind Michigan yesterday, with seemingly little hope to come back. Only today there was no rally to close it down and make it dramatic. Only a grand slam the next inning to make the deficit 7-0, and all but end Iowa's 2015 Big Ten Tournament after three frames.
It was Calvin Mathews' worst outing of the year, a day after one of Blake Hickman's worst outings of the year. Also, the last two days were littered with uncharacteristic fielding, throwing, and a couple of mental errors, two catchers' interference calls against the good guys, and a number of shaky angles and choppy-looking plays even among those that were made. It was two pretty rough-looking games of baseball from a team that had maybe had two like that in its previous 53 played this calendar year.
The only hope is that these games were such horrid beatings, and the exit this week so early, that the team can just flush them. We've seen it before. The 2004 football games at Arizona State and Michigan. Even just a few months ago, in a more analogous situation, the men's basketball team took an ugly, early bow out of the conference tournament against a Penn State team of much lower equivalent caliber than Michigan's and Indiana's baseball teams. They opened their NCAA tournament by delivering the most thorough beating ever seen in a 7-10 game.
And there's the silver lining: Iowa is still generally considered a lead-pipe lock to make the NCAA Tournament field. These beatings happened, yet they're still alive. It almost preemptively pains me to think what a shame it would be for this great, almost unprecedented season to end with a four-game thud. So here's to hoping that the Hawks let these two go, and look sharp in whatever regional they get sent to.