March 22, 2014
"We had a bad third inning where we gave up some free bases, and it cost us," said UI head coach Rick Heller. "On a day when it's tough to score runs with the wind blowing in, generally the team with more free bases wins the game, and that was the story today."
Nebraska struck first in the top of the third inning, pushing across three runs on two hits and one Hawkeye error. Austin Darby started the rally, drawing a one-out walk before Steven Reveles doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third.
With two outs, Darby scored the first run on Iowa starter Sasha Kuebel's wild pitch before Pat Kelly drove in the second run on an infield single. Iowa second baseman Jake Mangler made a diving stop to his right on the play, but his throw pulled Tyler Peyton off first, allowing Reveles to score the second run.
After Tanner Lubach reached via an error on Hawkeye third baseman Nick Day with two outs, Kelly advanced to third on a passed ball by catcher Blake Hickman and scored on Kuebel's second wild pitch of the inning.
The Hawkeyes got a run back in the bottom half of the third, cutting the lead to 3-1. Day led off the frame with a single to right field before junior Eric Toole reached on a fielder's choice. Toole moved to second on an errant throw by Sinclair on a pickoff attempt and scored on junior Jake Yacinich's RBI single to left field.
The Huskers stretched their lead to 5-1 in the top of the fourth inning, using three hits to plate two runs. Following back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, Ty Kildow's sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third before Darby singled to right field to make the score 4-1. The Huskers continued with small ball, as Reveles safety squeeze resulted in an RBI, pushing the Nebraska advantage to four runs.
Iowa had base runners in every inning except the first inning, but could only muster the single run against Nebraska starter Chance Sinclair and the Husker reliever Zach Hirsch. The Hawkeyes stranded 10 runners on base in the game, including three in scoring position.
"We had some opportunities, but most of them came with two outs," said Heller. "We had a hard time getting leadoff runners on today. We strung some hits together with two outs, but we couldn't get that hit to drive them in."
Sinclair earned his fourth victory of the season, allowing nine hits and one unearned run over seven innings. The right-hander had one strikeout to two walks in the game. Kuebel (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings. Sophomore Tyler Radtke was solid in relief, allowing a single hit and striking out a pair in the final 3 1/3.
Iowa out-hit Nebraska, 11-10, and two Hawkeyes posted multi-hit games. Junior Dan Potempa tied a career-high going 3-for-4, while Day went 2-for-4 in the contest. Sophomore Tyler Peyton went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and reached base streak to 13 contests.
The rubber game of the three game series will begin Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT).
|Nebraska 5, Iowa 1||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Nebraska (13-8, 1-1)||0||0||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||5||10||2|
|Iowa (13-6, 1-1)||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||10||1|
|W: Sinclair (NEB) 4-0|
|L: Kuebel (IOWA) 2-1|