PEORIA, Ill. — The University of Iowa baseball team used eight different pitchers on a staff day, but it wasn’t enough as the Hawkeyes fell, 3-1, to Bradley on Wednesday night at Dozer Park.
Bradley (19-10) evened the season series with Iowa (18-13) after the Hawkeyes beat the Braves, 4-2, at Duane Banks Field on March 26.
On a cold, windy night, runs were at a premium as Iowa mustered only four hits — two off the bat of senior Chris Whelan — while Bradley had seven base knocks. Iowa pitchers struck out nine batters, but issued six walks.
Whelan led off the game with a single up the middle, but Iowa could not get anything else going and recorded only one hit until the seventh inning. Bradley’s starter, Ben Cilano allowed only two hits in five innings of work.
Bradley used small ball to score the game’s first run in the fifth inning after a leadoff double by catcher Keaton Rice. After Iowa misplayed Kyle Antos’ bunt attempt, Rice came around to score on another bunt by nine-hole man Christian Dominguez.
In the sixth inning, Bradley scored on a fielder’s choice after the leadoff man reached. Iowa scored its only run of the game in the seventh inning.
After senior Mitchell Boe led off the seventh with a walk, sophomore Brett McCleary singled to right to put two runners on with no outs. Sophomore Izaya Fullard then bunted down the third base line and Bradley pitcher Allan Beer threw high to first base, allowing Boe to score from second.
Iowa stranded two runners in the seventh after the final three batters were retired. The Hawkeyes left just six runners on base, but four in the final two innings.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“You have to keep your free bases to a minimum and we had too many. Two of their three runs were walks. We made some mistake defensively and had our opportunities to score, especially late. First and third, less than two outs – we didn’t execute. It cost us.”
“For the most part, the pitchers that we ran out there did a really nice job. They fought and battled. Some guys that needed to get out there and get some confidence did a good job. The plan worked well. If we would have just executed both on offense and defense, but we did not. Bradley is a good team, took advantage of it, and got we got beat.”
- It was Iowa’s first midweek game away from home this season.
- Tonight was Chris Whelan’s fifth multi-hit game of the season, including three in the last five games.
Iowa has a day off before beginning a three-game series with Purdue on Friday at 5 p.m. (CT) in West Lafayette, Indiana.