Midweek games are meant to get some of the pitchers that don’t get time on the weekend some work. However, for a team like Iowa, a win or loss in a midweek matchup can mean a lot when it comes to making the NCAA Tournament or sitting at home. The Hawkeyes lost last week at Illinois State, so defeating Bradley tonight in Peoria was important. Iowa got the job done and defeated the Braves 9-6.
The Hawkeyes wasted no time getting on the board against Bradley starter Theo Zeidler. Ben Wilmes led off the game with an infield single, which was followed by a Keaton Anthony double to set the table. Raider Tello worked a bases loaded walk to put Iowa on top 1-0. Sam Hojnar followed with an RBI single and the Hawkeyes led 2-0 after the opening frame.
Keaton Anthony started on the mound for Rick Heller’s squad and he retired six of the eight batters he faced, with three strikeouts. However, the two batters he allowed to reach base, scored. Ryan Vogel reached via a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. A wild throw into right-center field from C Gehrig Christensen allowed Vogel to score. LF Carson Husmann clubbed a solo home run in the second inning to tie the game at two runs apiece.
Easton Harris came on as the third pitcher of the Braves and he brought in a 15.43 ERA, but he retired the first six batters he faced. The Hawkeyes got to him in the fifth inning. A hit by pitch and a walk set the table for Sam Hojnar. Hojnar took advantage of the free bases and hit his fifth home run of the season to give Iowa a 5-2 lead.
Bradley cut into the Iowa lead with an RBI single from Logan Delgado in the bottom of the inning. The Hawkeyes extended their lead in the sixth inning on free bases from Braves pitcher Travis Lutz. With the bases loaded, Kyle Huckstorf was hit by a pitch and Raider Tello drew a walk to get the Iowa lead to 7-3.
The Hawkeyes made it 8-3 with a sacrifice bunt from Ben Wilmes, but the Braves had an answer. Ryan Vogel singled to get on base, stole second base, advanced to third via an errant throw from Ben Tallman and scored on a wild pitch from Will Christophersen to cut the lead to 8-4.
The Hawkeyes made it 9-4 in the ninth. Brayden Frazier started with a single and advanced to third on an error from Bradley C Logan Delgado. Ben Tallman laid down an RBI sacrifice bunt to bring in Frazier.
Luke Llewellyn came on to close out the game, but departed the game after recorded two outs and putting one runner on via walk. Caleb Strack came in from the bullpen, but Logan Delgado belted a two-run home run to cut the Iowa lead to 9-6. Jack Young entered and was able to get Michael Mylott to get groundout to end the game.
The Hawkeyes recorded just seven hits on the day, including three from Sam Hojnar. Raider Tello walked three times, while Brennen Dorighi and Gehrig Christensen walked twice. Out of the bullpen, the best pitcher for the Hawkeyes was Jack Whitlock. He tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and recorded three strikeouts to zero walks.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: 2B Sam Hojnar – 3 H, 4 RBI, 2 R
Sam Hojnar’s RBI single in the first inning helped the Hawkeyes get out to an early lead. His three-run home run in the fifth inning gave Iowa a 5-2 lead and he scored a run to extend the lead in the ninth inning. Hojnar now has seven multi-hit games this season.
Up next for the Hawkeyes
With the win, Iowa moves to 21-7 on the season and are sitting at #63 in the RPI. Up next, the Hawkeyes travel to Bloomington for a three game series against the 20-9 Indiana Hoosiers. The series opener is set for Friday at 5:00pm CT. The game will be streamed on BTN+.