Losing continues for ISU baseball over break

Luke Willamon

The ISU baseball team went 1-4 in play over spring break which included a weekend series against Big 12 rival Texas A&M.

The Cyclones lost the opening game Friday, 2-1. They then came back to beat the Aggies Saturday in their only spring break win, 3-2 in 11 innings. Iowa State then lost the closing game Sunday, 6-1, at Olsen Field in College Station, Texas.

“We played pretty good,” said ISU third baseman Rob Conway. “Our pitching was outstanding but we didn’t give them any run support.”

A wild pitch by Joe Bell (0-1) to ISU catcher Ryan Wickham cost the Cyclones Friday. The pitch was high and inside, going past Wickham and allowing the Aggies’ Chris Russ, who had advanced to third on a double by David Evans, to score in front of a crowd of 3,749.

Iowa State scored its only run in the fifth inning when Rob Conway, who with Spencer Allen had his second straight multi-hit game, hit a single that scored Matt Nordby. Conway extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

“I’m just trying to have consistent at bats,” Conway said. “I guess during the 11 games, the hits just happened. You just got to make good contact and it will take care of itself.”

A&M’s Ryan Wardinsky hit a two-out single in the sixth inning that tied the game.

ISU starting pitcher Lincoln Mincks was on the mound for 7 2/3 innings and allowed only one run on five hits.

Each team had seven hits in the 2 1/2-hour game.

The winning run in the thrilling game Saturday that went Iowa State’s way came on a significant error in the top of the 11th inning when A&M reserve first baseman Steven Ponder had a fielding mishap which scored T.J. Bohn.

Iowa State trailed, 2-0, as late as the eighth inning before Allen belted his first home run of the season to left field to cut the lead in half. Koen then singled in the ninth inning to tie the game.

Mark Hanrahan picked up his first win of the season to improve to 1-2.

A three-run first inning and some insurance runs cost the Cyclones the game Sunday. The Aggies’ Neal Stephenson singled for a run and Rusty Meyer hit a two-RBI single to give the Aggies the quick 3-0 lead.

Iowa State blew a golden opportunity in the fifth inning when it loaded the bases with no one out. Allen grounded into a double play that scored John Zeller for its only run of the game. Conway then struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Aggies scored twice more in the seventh inning when Matt Alexander and Erik Schindewolf ripped in runs.

The game went into a one hour and 39 minute rain delay after six innings. Aaron Paterson replaced pitcher Charly Bigwood (0-3) after that delay.

“We need to do a much better job hitting, and holding leads,” ISU head coach Lyle Smith said. “Right now, we’re beating ourselves.”

In other spring break action, Iowa State fell to Texas-Arlington, 7-6 in 10 innings Tuesday and lost again in Fort Worth to Texas Christian Thursday, 29-4.

The Cyclones fell to 6-12-1 overall and 2-3 in Big 12 play.

Iowa State is scheduled to play its first games at Cap Timm Field this weekend. It is slated to play South Dakota Friday at 2 p.m. It is scheduled Saturday and Sunday to play at 1 p.m.

“If the weather cooperates and we get a chance to play, it will be nice,” Conway said. “We get a call here or there we haven’t been getting and be able to sleep in our own beds. Traveling can be hard but it’s not an excuse for not playing good.”