By Pete Ruden
The Midwest isn’t exactly welcoming baseball weather yet. With six MLB games across the country getting postponed on Sunday, Iowa was lucky enough to squeeze in a doubleheader against Nebraska in Lincoln on April 13.
The Hawkeyes did what they have been doing all season; they split the two games with the Huskers, winning the first, 7-1, and dropping the second, 10-4.
The first game was all about the bottom of the order and the men on the bump.
The last four batters in the Hawkeye lineup — Kyle Crowl, Justin Jenkins, Ben Norman, and Mitchell Boe — combined for 4 RBIs on 6 hits to go along with 4 runs scored. Jenkins, Norman, and Boe all had multi-hit games, and Boe tied a career-high with 3 RBIs.
On the mound, Nick Allgeyer gave Iowa a dominant start. The left-hander tossed 7 strong innings, giving up his only run in the first, allowing 5 hits and striking out 4.
Zach Daniels came in and finished the game on a high note, pitching 2 scoreless innings.
“Allgeyer did an awesome job and gave us a quality start. He held the bats in check all day long,” Iowa head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “Daniels was good out of the bullpen. The bottom part of our order did a nice job. It was a little bit of a sloppy game on both sides. We were able to work out of a jam and turn double plays, and it was a good way to start the series off.”
The roles were reversed in Game 2, however.
Iowa got out to a quick 1-0 lead when Robert Neustrom smacked a solo homer over the fence in right center, but that didn’t last long. The Huskers battled back with two 2-run shots of their own to take a 4-1 lead.
Tyler Cropley then crushed a 2-run dinger in the fourth to get within 1, but that is as close as the Hawkeyes got.
Nebraska scored 6-consecutive runs, and Crowl added 1 more for Iowa with his fifth homer of the season.
A big chunk of Nebraska’s success was thanks to Matt Waldron, who earned the victory for the Huskers. Waldron gave up 3 runs on 3 hits in 7 innings on the mound, while striking out 4.
“The biggest story for Nebraska was Waldron,” Heller said in a release. “He pitched a great game, and it seemed like we weren’t as dialed in offensively. Robert gave us the lead in the first, but unfortunately, in the third, they touched us up for two, two-out, 2-run home runs. The long ball killed us today. The wind shifted directions, and they were able to take advantage of it.”
After Sunday’s game was canceled, the Hawkeyes left Lincoln with a 6-4 Big Ten record, good for sixth in the conference
Iowa will continues its road to Omaha in a midweek game on Tuesday, when it takes on Northern Illinois at Banks Field.