Piscataway, N.J. – The 13th-ranked Iowa baseball team dropped a 5-3 decision in Game 1 of a Big Ten series against Rutgers on Thursday.
The score was knotted at zeros at the end of two complete, but Rutgers (18-34-1, 6-16 Big Ten) got on the board first when Tom Marcinczyk singled to left center, scoring two. Kyle Walker later belted an RBI double, giving the Scarlet Knights a 3-0 lead after the third inning.
Iowa (37-13, 18-4) answered with a run of its own in the top of the fourth, but Rutgers won the inning by retaliating with two more to its credit.
The Hawkeyes scored two runs in the fifth as Nick Roscetti singled through the left side, scoring two. But the comeback and any more scoring opportunities were halted the rest of the way by Rutgers' starter Howie Brey, who tossed a complete game for his third win of the season. The Scarlet Knights ended a 12-game Big Ten losing streak.
Tyler Peyton (6-4) suffered the loss. The right-hander gave up five runs (all earned) off five hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. Ryan Erickson came in relief and finished the rest of the game, scattering four hits in 4 1/3 innings. Roscetti led Iowa at the plate batting 3-for-4.
No. 2 Illinois won its Thursday night game against Nebraska, 6-3, clinching the Big Ten Conference championship.
First pitch for Game 2 between Iowa and Rutgers is scheduled for 12 p.m. on Friday.