By Adam Hensley
Iowa baseball concluded its trip to New Orleans with its second win of the weekend on Sunday at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic.
The Hawkeyes (5-1) toppled New Orleans (4-4), 8-2, in their final game of the trip, thanks mainly to the strong arm of Sunday starter Cole McDonald. He pitched seven innings, allowing only 3 hits and walking a single batter.
“This was a great bounce back for us after [Feb. 24],” head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “McDonald was outstanding, and we played great defense behind him.”
It was an all-around solid outing for Iowa, coming off the heels of a 14-6 loss to Ball State the previous day. Iowa’s offense recorded 12 hits, while the 3 hits McDonald gave up were the only ones the Privateers connected. Iowa jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning, then added 2 more runs in the second to build a 4-0 advantage. New Orleans found the scoreboard in the third, adding 2 runs of its own.
McDonald and Kyle Shimp kept the Privateers hitless from then on out, and Iowa cruised to victory.
Five Hawkeyes recorded at least 2 hits, getting “balance up and down the lineup,” Heller said in a release. Justin Jenkins, Robert Neustrom, Tyler Cropley, Tanner Wetrich, and Mitchell Boe combined for 10 of Iowa’s 12 hits on the afternoon.
Iowa’s loss to Ball State, however, wasn’t pretty.
The Cardinals broke the floodgates open in the fourth inning with the score tied at 2. Ball State scored 7 runs, and Iowa just could not match the run.
Pitcher Brady Schanuel struggled against the Cardinals. The Saturday starter made it through 3.1 innings before heading for the showers. He gave up 5 hits and all 7 runs during Ball State’s fourth-inning offensive explosion.
“Brady deserved a better fate; he pitched better than the score indicates,” Heller said in a release.
The coach also said in a release that he believed Iowa had chances to “blow the game open early,” but the Hawkeyes could not capitalize.
Iowa’s 10 hits came from eight Hawkeyes, but the Black and Gold couldn’t keep up with Ball State’s 14 hits.
“We rallied a few times, but we had some poor at-bats in some clutch situations,” Heller said in a release. “We had a lot of free bases, and it finally caught up to us.”
Iowa started out the weekend with a win in thrilling fashion.
For the second-straight Friday, the Hawkeyes won off a walk-off. Feb. 23’s late win against Virginia Tech came in extra innings, however.
A fielding error allowed pinch runner Kace Massner to reach home, and Iowa won, 2-1, in the bottom of the 10th inning. That win gave Iowa its fourth in as many games this season, the best start to a season since 2006.
“[Nick] Allgeyer was sharp for us,” Heller said in a release. “I am happy with his performance, and this is a big positive from last week. I thought he threw well last week, but this week was even better.”
Allgeyer, Iowa’s top pitcher, pitched seven innings, giving up 5 hits and only 1 run. He struck out 8 and didn’t walk a single Hokie.
Next up, the Hawkeyes will make their home début. Iowa will host Cornell College on Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. at Banks Field.