Altoona, IA – Iowa nearly overcame a 10-0 3rd inning deficit against #25 Illinois, falling 13-12 to fall to 1-1 in the series. Iowa scored 3 in the fourth and 2 more in the fifth to quickly cut the Illini lead in half. Illinois added insurance to make it 13-5 going into the ninth inning, where Iowa went to work. Tanner Wetrich started the damage with a three-run home run, his first homer with the Hawkeyes. Zion Pettigrew had a pinch hit RBI single, followed by Robert Neustrom’s two run single with the bases loaded to cut the lead to 13-11. Tyler Cropley’s sacrifice fly cut the lead to 1, before Kyle Crowl went down on strikes with Neustrom on first base to end the game.
Iowa’s offense had a slow start, but fired back late. Chris Whelan went 2-4 with two walks and two runs scored. Tanner Wetrich went 1-3 with 4 RBIs, and his first homer of the season. Luke Farley went 2-3 with a triple and a run scored off the bench.
It was a very rocky day for the Hawkeye hurlers. Brady Schanuel fell to 4-3 on the season, pitching just two innings, giving up six earned runs on seven hits and two walks, while only striking out one. The bullpen did not get better, with Kyle Shimp giving up three runs without recording an out. Grant Judkins did a solid job eating up innings, pitching 4 1/3 innings while giving up 2 runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Nick Nelsen and Ben Probst each recorded two outs without allowing any runs or hits. Kole Kampen got one out and gave up two runs.
Iowa falls to 15-9, and 2-2 in the Big Ten. Iowa will go for the series victory over Illinois Sunday afternoon at 2 pm. The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.