One rally made the difference.
Iowa used four hits, a walk and an error to push across three fifth-inning runs, the only runs of the game in a 3-0 shutout of UNO on Tuesday before an announced 493 at Werner Park.
The Hawkeyes survived an eighth inning in which UNO loaded the bases with three singles, and snapped UNO's eight-game winning streak.
“We hit some balls hard, but they didn't find any holes,” UNO's Cory Buckley said. “The wind kind of held them up a little bit, and we hit a lot of balls right at people. Rough day, but we'll come back.”
Iowa's rally started when Anthony Torres lined a single off Buckley, who started on the mound for the Mavericks. Buckley then slipped while fielding Nick Roscetti's bunt, leading to an error.
“My foot slipped out from underneath me and I mishandled it,” Buckley said. “We got him on the pickoff, but then they squared a couple balls up off me.”
Though Buckley picked Torres off second base, Eric Toole walked and two runs scored as Kris Goodman hooked a double into the left-field corner. Taylor Kaufman added an RBI single.
“We didn't execute as much as we wanted to in the early innings, but after that Kris Goodman had a big hit which fueled us,” said Toole, a Council Bluffs Lewis Central product.
Kaufman, a left-hander from nearby Glenwood, Iowa, started the game in left field and then pitched the final four innings for his second save. He yielded four hits in all, including three in the eighth as the Mavericks loaded the bases with two outs. He struck out cleanup hitter Connor Messinger to end the threat.
“That's what he's been doing all year for us,” said Iowa coach Jack Dahm, the former Creighton coach. “He just does a great job coming in and throwing strikes.
“We can use him for four or five innings, we can use him to close a game out, and he might be one of our best starters if we wanted to use him in that role — but he's so important as a hitter. He's one of those rare kids you can play at a position and he can stay focused and you can bring him in to pitch.”
Like Kaufman, Buckley is a player UNO uses regularly on the mound and in the lineup. Mav coach Bob Herold moved the senior from Bellevue East out of the weekend Summit League pitching rotation so that he could focus on hitting during conference games and make the start against Iowa.
The lefty allowed three runs while walking two and striking out four. He dropped to 1-4.
Freshman Calvin Mathews (2-4) pitched five scoreless innings for the victory, departing after Connor McCrite lead off the sixth with a single — the third hit allowed by Mathews.
“Our freshman threw the ball over the plate and had a three-pitch mix,” Dahm said. “He hasn't been as consistent as we'd hoped, but that was a big step in the right direction.”
UNO, scheduled to play Summit doubleheaders Friday at South Dakota State and Sunday at North Dakota State, dropped to 0-5 in the three-year history of Werner Park.
UNO had won 2 of 3 against Iowa in a neutral-site series last month.
“It's not exactly the way we've been playing,” Herold said. “I'm sure it's pretty disappointing for our guys. It's a great facility. I'd sure like to honor it a little better.”
Contact the writer:
402-444-1027, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/RWhiteOWH