Iowa's Rally Falls Short Against No. 12 Oklahoma State

posted by James Allan | Alex Snyder - 

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa baseball team couldn't complete its comeback, falling 7-6 to No. 12 Oklahoma State on Friday night in the opening game of a weekend series at Duane Banks Field.

The Cowboys scored the game's first six runs to build a 6-0 lead and they led 7-1 through 3 1/2.  Iowa put up a five-run fourth inning to close the gap, but the Hawkeyes stranded five base runners -- four in scoring position -- over the final four frames.

Oklahoma State jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on a Trevor Boone solo home run to dead center before putting up a five spot in the third.  An Iowa fielding error by sophomore Kyle Crowl was crucial in the frame as a potential inning-ending double play ball instead turned into a 6-0 deficit.

Iowa got on the board in the third courtesy of an RBI double from Robert Neustrom. Oklahoma State got the run back in the fourth when Colin Simpson belted his 15th home run to right field, giving the Cowboys a 7-1 lead.

The Hawkeyes started their rally in the fourth with singles from Ben Norman and Mitchell Boe before redshirt junior Chris Whelan ripped a two-run double to left field to cut the lead to 7-3. After Grant Judkins reached on a single, senior Tyler Cropley hit a three-run home run to right field, closing the gap to 7-6.  

It was Cropley's team-leading ninth home run and his fourth in three games.

Allgeyer (5-4) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits over six innings.  Nick Nelsen and Zach Daniels scattered one hit over the final three innings to give Iowa a chance.

Oklahoma State's Peyton Battenfield (2-1) earned the win, allowing one hit over three shutout innings.  C.J. Varela got the final six outs for his third save of the season.

QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER

“I was proud of our effort, we never gave up. We had an opportunity to lay it down against a really good team and we didn’t. We gave our self a good chance, but the story tonight was poor situational hitting. We didn’t execute on offense with opportunities to move runners and score runners. We had a crucial mistake in the third inning with the double play ball that would have got us out of it. It’s disappointing that we let it get away.”

OF NOTE…

  • Chris Whelan and Robert Neustrom both posted multi-hit games.  Whelan finished 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, while Neustrom was 2-for-5 with two doubles.   
  • Allgeyer's streak of 10 straight quality starts dating back to Week 2 ended.  The southpaw finished with a career-high nine strikeouts -- his fifth game with eight or more Ks. UP NEXT Game two of series is set for Saturday with a 2:05 p.m. (CT) first pitch.  FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES Stay up-to-date on all the happenings with the Iowa baseball program on social media via Twitter (@UIBaseball), Instagram/UIBaseball, and Facebook/IowaBaseball.

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