With eight errors committed in the field, the Govs were unsuccessful in capturing a win on Opening Day on Saturday, Feb. 15 as Iowa took advantage of the mistakes to win 11-5 at Raymond C. Hand Park.
The Hawkeyes put up seven runs in the top of the fourth inning, thanks in large part to a grand slam by Blake Hickman off APSU starter Zach Hall. Hall suffered a series of unfortunate events in that span as the next batter struck him in the ankle on a line drive up the middle, and was followed with a RBI double and single that ended his day.
The eight errors ties a program record, with all coming from the infield.
Chase Hamilton, who led the Govs with a two-for-four game and two RBI, put the Govs on the board first in the second inning with a bloop fly ball to left-center to score Ridge Smith.
Andrew Hedrick earned the win for Iowa by pitching five innings in relief, while Hall took the loss by having five earned runs on six hits.
The first two batters Hall faced couldn’t have gone any better as he struck out both, but faced an early jam by hitting Jake Yacinich to put a runner on. After Yacinich stole second base, third baseman Alex Robles committed an error to put runners at the corners. However, the senior, Hall, worked out of the inning to tally his third strikeout.
Iowa starter Calvin Mathews answered back to sit down the Govs in order, allowing just two hits in four innings despite three earned runs in his 2014 debut.
After a wild pitch in the fourth, All-Big Ten selection Eric Toole laced a double to center to add a fifth run, and was followed by a RBI single by Yacinich. This was enough for head coach Gary McClure to make a pitching change, bringing in right-hander A.J. Gaura. A third APSU error would allow Yacinich to reach third on a steal attempt, with a wild pitch letting him easily come home.
The Govs got a couple runs with a two RBI double by Ridge Smith in the bottom half of the fourth, but would be all they’d get until the ninth inning. Hamilton and pinch hitter Griffin Ganick would bring home two men in the final frame.