College Baseball: Iowa falls to Western Illinois 7-5 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

College Baseball: Iowa falls to Western Illinois 7-5

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Western Illinois scored six runs over the first three innings and held off a late Hawkeye rally to defeat the University of Iowa baseball team, 7-5, on Tuesday afternoon at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium.

 

The loss snaps Iowa's four-game winning streak and drops the team's record to 27-16 this season.

 

"The free bases killed us," said UI head coach Rick Heller. "We were fortunate to be in the game with as poorly as we pitched the first three innings. We didn't swing it all that well either.

 

"This one is on all of us. It's our job to get ready to play, and we failed at that. We weren't ready to play or ready to pitch. It was as bad of an outing as we've had in a game this season."

 

Trailing 7-3 through six, the Hawkeyes tried clawing their way back. Iowa scored a single run in the seventh on a Jake Adams RBI single and one in the eighth via a Grant Judkins solo home run to cut the deficit to 7-5.

 

Iowa brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning after Mason McCoy reached on a two-out single and Adams drew a walk, but WIU reliever Nate Westfahl closed out the game by getting sophomore Robert Neustrom to fly out to right field to tally his fourth save.

 

The Leathernecks (17-23) jumped on Iowa early, scoring two in the first, one in the second, and three in the third.  Iowa's pitching staff issued seven walks over the first three innings. 

 

The Hawkeyes trailed 3-0 through two innings before putting together a four-hit third.  Mitchell Boe and Ben Norman had back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before McCoy singled home Iowa's first run.  Junior Tyler Cropley also had an RBI in the inning.

 

Iowa trailed 6-3 in the sixth when Cropley doubled to lead off the inning. Pinch-runner Corbin Woods moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.  Western Illinois got the run back in the bottom half on an RBI single from Johnathan Fleek.

 

Sophomore Cole McDonald (2-4) suffered the loss, allowing two runs and issuing two walks, while lasting just 2/3 of an inning.  A bright spot on the pitching staff came via the return of sophomore Kyle Shimp, who had three strikeouts in two shutout innings.

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