Iowa baseball tops Western Illinois, gets ready for Big Ten finale

Register staff report

MACOMB, Ill. — The Iowa baseball team held on to a 10-2 victory Tuesday at Western Illinois.

Iowa (25-24, 10-11 Big Ten Conference) scored one run in the second inning and another in the third. Austin Guzzo had an RBI groundout that plated Mason McCoy in the second, and Joel Booker recorded an RBI single in the third.

Wester Illinois (14-33, 11-16 Summit League) retaliated in the bottom of the third to tie the game 2-2. Chris Tschida posted an RBI single of his own and later scored when Adam McGinnis hit an RBI double.

The Hawkeyes regained the lead in the top of the fifth when Nick Roscetti connected on a 1-0 pitch for an RBI single, bringing in Tyler Peyton. Peyton later in the seventh laced a ground-rule RBI double.

Iowa extended its 4-2 lead to 10-2 after the top of the eighth. Robert Neustrom belted an RBI double. Then, Peyton reached base on a throwing error, which brought in Neustrom. Roscetti notched another RBI single, and Peyton scored on a throwing error when Roscetti stole for second base. Booker then hit an RBI double down the left field line, and Moriel reached base after a throwing error by the short stop as Booker made it safely to home plate.

In the win, the Hawkeye battery connected for 15 hits totaling 10 runs. Five Iowa batters had a multi-hit game Tuesday, led by McCoy's 4-for-5 performance. Booker and Roscetti led the Hawkeyes with two RBIs apiece.

The Hawkeyes sent five pitchers to the mound. Reliever Shane Ritter earned the victory, tossing three innings and giving up just two hits. The freshman right-hander struck out two of the 11 batters he faced. The Iowa staff allowed just six hits.

Iowa will finish Big Ten play this weekend with a three-game series at Penn State, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The Hawkeyes needs to win two of the three game against the Nittany Lions in order to feel good about their Big Ten tournament chances, which starts next Wednesday in Omaha, Neb.