Iowa Can’t Deliver Timely Hit, Drops Series Opener to Kansas State 3–2
The Hawkeyes scattered eight hits on the night, but couldn’t get the breakthrough hit they needed, losing the first of a three game set against the visiting Kansas State Wildcats.
“It’s definitely disappointing,” Head coach Rick Heller said after the game. “When we’re chasing balls out of the zone and not getting quality at-bats with runners in scoring position, it’s always a concern.”
The Hawkeyes stranded eight men on base, going just 1–8 with two outs, hitting a dismal 1–16 with runners on base, and a flat .000 (0–12) with runners in scoring position. Kansas State wasn’t much better, stranding 11 runners and hitting a frosty 1–10 with runners in scoring position. With both teams struggling to convert on their chances, the game came down to whoever would help the other team first.
Iowa’s starting pitcher CJ Eldred committed a costly error in the first inning, dropping the return throw from shortstop Nick Roscetti on a potential double play. The ball scooted past Eldred, allowing a Wildcat runner to score from second base and giving Kansas State a 1–0 lead, one that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Tyler Peyton led the offensive charge for the Hawkeyes, going 4–5 on the night with a single, two doubles, and a triple.
“I carry a mid-to-away approach and I didn’t change that,” Peyton said. He demonstrated this approach on all of his extra base hits, sending each of them into right-center field. Peyton came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and a man on second base. Peyton tried to go the other way again, but flied out to the right fielder. “I stayed true to my approach but just missed it,” he said.
Iowa’s run production came from Peyton and Daniel Aaron Moriel. Moriel finished just 1–4, but his one hit was a loud one. The senior left the yard with a solo shot in the 6th, his fourth homerun of the season. Moriel also drove in Peyton on a high chopper to third in the eighth inning. Iowa’s 7–8–9 slots in the order were just 2–12 on the night, putting the onus on the top of the order to produce.
“We didn’t get anything from the bottom of our lineup,” Heller reflected. “Unfortunately for us, there was nobody on when Tyler came up.” Heller would go on to say that the lineup would be shaken up a little to try to get things going offensively.
Junior LHP Ryan Erickson will get the ball for the Hawkeyes on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 PM.
Iowa City, IA — 04/30/16, 10:00 AM — Jack Brandsgard