The ISU club baseball team suffered two conference losses last Saturday to its in-state rival Northern Iowa. The team picked up one conference win and lost its nonconference game against the Panthers (7-5, 4-5 Mid-America Conference North) on Sunday. The scores of the conference games were 9-2 and 12-2 in favor of Northern Iowa and 11-4 in favor of Iowa State. The nonconference game was won by Northern Iowa by a score of 21-17.
The Cyclones (5-7, 4-6 Mid-America Conference North) lost the first game of the four-game series by a score of 9-2 despite ISU catcher Phil Johnson stealing home in the fourth inning.
Johnson started the at-bat by getting a single on a play where Mitch Gerber was called out at second base and Johnson was safe at first. After stealing second base and Adam Schmidt was walked, Johnson advanced to third base on a single by Dalton Hauer.
“The pitcher had a really slow windup delivery and I was kind of timing it a little. I was getting about halfway down the line before he started throwing,” Johnson said. “I got a good lead, got out and I timed it just perfectly with the start of his motion and I was able to slide in under the tag. [It was a] huge adrenaline rush for me; that’s the first time I’ve ever done that.”
ISU student-coach Aaron Hinnah said he left the decision to steal home up to Johnson.
“I think I almost thought he was joking,” Hinnah said. “The next time he says it again and I was like, ‘If you’re confident.’”
Johnson was 1-for-3 in the first game against the Panthers. Senior Ben Butler was the starting pitcher and got the loss. He gave up three earned runs.
In game two, Dillan Dwyer, who was coming fresh off of a no-hitter against Iowa the weekend before, only lasted one inning before being pulled out of the game. He walked five batters, three of whom he hit. He gave up seven total runs, five earned.
Hinnah pitched game three and got the win, while only allowing two runs.