An ineffective offense Saturday afternoon led to Iowa’s first Big Ten Conference series loss of the year.
Minnesota right-hander Patrick Frederickson shut down the Hawkeyes over 7 2/3 innings, and the No. 25 Golden Gophers found just enough for a 3-0 win at Target Field.
Iowa (22-13, 6-6 Big Ten) opened the conference schedule with two series wins and two splits, but the Hawkeyes couldn’t answer after dropping Friday’s opener. The loss marked Iowa's first conference series loss since dropping two of three versus Rutgers on April 21-23, 2017.
Iowa had six hits off Frederickson, yet never delivered the big knock. The Minnesota freshman struck out two and held the Hawkeyes scoreless in what was his longest outing of the season.
Iowa, meanwhile, didn’t receive a comparable start. Right-hander Brady Schanuel again saw his pitch count quickly rise, needing 75 pitches to go only 2 1/3 innings. He yielded four hits and two runs in what was his second-shortest outing of the season.
After earning Big Ten co-pitcher of the week following his March 23 start versus Indiana, Schanuel had struggled during the last month. The right-hander has a 10.13 ERA over his previous four starts.
Minnesota did its initial damage in the third on Eli Wilson’s two-run double. The Gophers’ catcher added a sacrifice fly in the fifth for a 3-0 lead.
Iowa and right-hander Cole McDonald will try to avoid the sweep in Sunday’s series finale at 1 p.m. That game will be at Siebert Field and will be televised by BTN.
Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.