By Adam Hensley
Iowa’s three-game series against UAB in Birmingham, Alabama, ended with a loss, but overall, it was a productive weekend for Hawkeye baseball, which now sits at 8-2 this season.
The Blazers shut out the Hawkeyes, 4-0, on Sunday in the series’ finale. Through the first four innings, both teams were deadlocked at 0, then UAB broke through in the fifth and sixth, scoring the game’s only runs.
UAB pitcher Ryan Wesson finished with a strong outing; the Sunday starter only allowed 3 hits, struck out 7, and did not allow any runs during his 5.2 innings.
For Iowa, Cole McDonald allowed 5 hits in his 5 innings, but Iowa’s relievers struggled following the Hawkeyes’ starter.
Kyle Shimp and Grant Leonard combined to pitch 1 inning. Shimp struggled, giving up 3 hits and 3 runs in his 0.1 inning. Leonard came into help the Hawkeyes out, and he allowed 1 hit in his 0.2 inning.
Shane Ritter and Jack Dreyer closed out the game, allowing just a single hit over the game’s final two innings, but the Iowa bats just could not make up any ground in order to help out a roller-coaster pitching performance.
Iowa notched only 5 hits, 4 from Kyle Crowl and Tyler Cropley. Lorenzo Elion recorded the other hit for the Hawkeyes, who, as a unit, struck out 10 times.
March 3’s matchup was a 180 from Sunday’s loss, with Iowa snagging the victory, 11-3, thanks to solid hitting and dominant pitching.
The Hawkeyes’ 11 hits — five more than the Blazers — came at opportune times. Iowa scored 3 runs in the third, 2 more in the sixth, and then added 6 runs in the eighth and ninth innings combined.
“Brady Schanuel gave us a good start. He settled down after the first inning and pitched for five solid innings,” head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “We had a chance to get Trenton Wallace in the game, and he pitched well.”
In Schanuel’s 5 scoreless innings he gave up only 1 hit and struck out 7. Wallace allowed 1 run on 2 hits in his 2.2 innings, but he struck out four batters.
On March 2, Iowa started the series out with a win, 4-1.
Iowa’s Friday starter, Nick Allgeyer, came out a bit shaky, his coach said, but settled down after a while.
“Allgeyer gave us a quality start, but I felt like he labored a little bit in the beginning,” Heller said in a release. “But he loosened up and really started hitting the zone.”
Allgeyer gave up just 1 run during his time at the mound (6.2 innings), striking out 4s and only allowing 4 hits.
Hitting wasn’t easy to come by for either team; the two squads combined for 12 hits.
“We played well defensively with an errorless game,” Heller said. “On offense, we had to scrap for runs, but we were able to take advantage of a miscue or two. Our guys battled, and we were able to find a way to get the Friday night win.”
Iowa now turns its attention to Maryville, which will travel to Banks Field on Tuesday for a matchup at 4:05 p.m.