After blowing out the Bradley Braves on Wednesday evening by a final of 12-1 in Iowa City, the Iowa baseball team kicked off Big Ten play on Friday afternoon against Purdue.
Head coach Rick Heller got his ace, Nick Gallagher, back after he missed his last start due to some discomfort in his pitching arm. Nick was fantastic, tossing 5 innings of 5-hit ball and not allowing a single run.
Heller mentioned in the pregame that Gallagher wouldn't even sniff 100 pitches on the evening and Iowa would be treating their ace with kid gloves until he's back 100% from that injury that caused him to miss his start against Kansas State. He threw just 75 pitches for Iowa on the day.
The Hawkeye offense wasn't nearly as potent as it was on Wednesday when they exploded for 12 runs on 10 hits. Iowa had a plethora of chances early and often, but nothing would ever come of it. Iowa left 7 guys on base over the first four innings on their way to leaving 9 on base for the game.
The teams found themselves locked in an hour long rain delay - and all tied at zero - after the bottom of the seventh and the fans that waited it out got to see the only offensive output on the afternoon. Only problem was, they came from the opposing dugout.
The only two runs that came during the day came in the eighth inning when Purdue's Nick Dalesandro tripled into the right center gap to plate Mike Maedj.
Jackson McGowan followed that with a 1-out double that plated Dalesandro to push the Boilermaker lead to 2.
Purdue's Cameron Williams came on for the two inning save to secure the win for the Boilers in game one of the series.
Iowa's Tyler Cropley led the charge offensively going 3-for-4 with a triple in the game. Mason McCoy and Grant Judkins were the other two Hawkeyes that had multiple hits on the day.
Drake Robison took the loss for the Hawkeyes. He tossed just one inning, but gave up the two earned runs and struck out a couple of batters.
If the Hawkeyes are hoping to win the next couple games in this series they are going to need to hit better with runners on and in scoring position. Iowa was a combined 1-for-24 with runners on and with runners in scoring position.
The Hawkeyes and Boilers will be back in action tomorrow afternoon for a 2:05 p.m. first pitch. Rick Heller will be throwing Ryan Erickson out on the bump for the Hawkeyes. He's 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA and 11 K's on the season.