IOWA CITY, Iowa — Saint Louis held off a ninth-inning Hawkeye rally to hand the University of Iowa baseball team a 7-6 loss on Tuesday afternoon at Duane Banks Field.
The Hawkeyes trailed 7-4 heading into their final at-bat before putting the tying run at second base with one out. Pinch hitter Grant Judkins drew a leadoff walk and senior Matt Hoeg had a one-out single to put two runners on.
Sophomore Ben Norman closed the gap to 7-6 with a two-run double into the right center field gap, but Saint Louis closer Ryan Lefner buckled down, striking out Justin Jenkins and Zion Pettigrew to send the Billikens to their 11th straight victory.
Saint Louis scored an unearned run in the first before pushing its lead to 2-0 on an Alex King home run in the third. Iowa tied the game in the bottom half courtesy of a Hoeg RBI single and Iowa’s second run crossed the plate on a Billiken throwing error.
The Billikens tacked on the go-ahead run in the fifth on an Aaron Case RBI double, but the Hawkeyes countered to take a 4-3 lead on a Kyle Crowl RBI single and a Brett McCleary sacrifice fly.
Saint Louis grabbed the lead, scoring two in the sixth, one in the seventh, and one in the eighth to build a 7-4 lead.
Freshman Jack Dreyer (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on two hits in one inning. Saint Louis reliever Connor Lehmann earned the victory after allowing one run on two hits over three innings.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“We had four free bases in the first inning and then followed up with 11 more throughout the course of the game and you can’t win many games doing that. We gave ourselves a chance at the end fighting back and had 13 hits, but just left too many guys stranded today.”
– The Hawkeyes out hit the Billikens, 13-9, with junior Chris Whelan (3-for-5) leading the team with three hits. Senior Tyler Cropley (2-for-5, R), Hoeg (2-for-5, RBI, R), and Jenkins (2-for-5) all had two-hit games.
– Iowa used six pitchers in the game and issued nine walks. Senior Nick Nelsen was the only Hawkeye reliever not to allow a run in the game.
– The loss was Iowa’s first in five games at Duane Banks Field this season.
The Hawkeyes (11-7) return to action Wednesday, hosting Loras College at 4:05 p.m. (CT) at Duane Banks Field.