IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team fell to Illinois State, 11-6, on Wednesday afternoon at Duane Banks Field, snapping its five-game winning streak.
The Hawkeyes (16-11, 3-3) were outhit 16-10 and committed four errors in the loss.
Iowa’s offense struck first, scoring off junior Austin Martin’s RBI double in the first inning that scored senior Chris Whelan. Martin finished the day going 4-for-5 with two RBIs for his team-leading 12th multi-hit game of the season.
Whelan, who went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, three runs scored, and three RBIs was also a highlight offensively for the Hawkeyes. It was Whelan’s first home run of the season.
“It was good to see because we really need Chris to step up and hit the way he’s capable of,” head coach Rick Heller said. “We all knew he would. It’s baseball; sometimes you’re not hot. Chris will start picking it up with the bat here in the second half of the season.”
Despite Iowa scoring first, its lead quickly disappeared after Illinois State scored five runs from the second to fourth innings before adding a run in the sixth to lead 6-2 through six.
Sophomore Trenton Wallace (1-1) started for Iowa and was tagged with the loss after going 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. Six Hawkeyes — Drew Irvine, Adam Ketelsen, Shane Ritter, Jason Foster, Derek Lieurance, and Jake McLaughlin — had their names called from the bullpen.
Foster pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless innings with one strikeout and only two hits allowed.
Iowa scored a run in the seventh to cut the deficit to three, but the Hawkeyes surrendered five runs in the top of the ninth. Whelan’s three-run home run in the bottom half was not enough to spur a comeback.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“With it being our first double midweek, I knew it was going to be a challenge for us as short-handed as we are pitching-wise. It didn’t go as planned. We didn’t get a good start out of Trenton (Wallace). We were hoping to get a few more innings out of him and then had to bring back guys that threw yesterday. We gave up a bunch of free bases and they didn’t – they executed very well.
“It wasn’t a good night, but the lesson we can take from this is that we have to be mentally tougher. We have to be able to show up and play hard every single day because we’re going to have to do this with Western Illinois and Northwestern down the road. It doesn’t mean everything is falling apart or caving in. Tomorrow we’ll wipe it away and get back and have a good practice and get ready for Rutgers this weekend.”
- The loss snaps a nine-game home winning streak. Iowa is 9-2 at home this season.
- Today was Iowa’s only sixth lost in midweek games since the start of 2016.
- With a two-out RBI single in the third inning, junior Ben Norman extended his on-base streak to 15 games, which is a new career high.
Iowa rounds out its nine-game home stand with a three-game series against Rutgers starting Friday at 6:05 p.m. (CT).