MTSU Swept by Iowa in Doubleheader

MTSU Blue Raiders win 2-1 against the Western Illinois Leathernecks on Monday, Feb. 22, 2015. (MTSU Sidelines/Matt Masters)

MURFREESBORO – Middle Tennessee (7-4) lost both games in a doubleheader with Iowa (9-1) Saturday at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

The Hawkeyes took the first game in a 2-1 decision, and they finished the sweep off in the nightcap 6-1.

The two losses Saturday mean that the Blue Raiders will drop their first series of the 2015 season.

Despite a strong performance from starter Johnathan Frebis (2-1), MTSU was unable to put together enough offense to give him a better result.

The Blue Raiders put the first run on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning after Conference-USA leading hitter Brad Jarreau scored first baseman Kevin Dupree off a single to center.

Iowa answered back with a run of their own in the top of the fifth. Kris Goodman drove in Jake Mangler on a single to center to tie the game up at one apiece.

The Hawkeyes pushed ahead in the top of the sixth with a Taylor Kaufman RBI groundout that plated Goodman. The run moved Iowa ahead for the rest of the game, winning it 2-1.

Frebis impressed despite the loss. Frebis worked six innings of six-hit three-strikeout baseball. Freshman Blake Stansberry came in to relieve Frebis in the seventh. The freshman continued his good work in the early season, allowing only one hit in his three innings of work. His earned run average is now at 2.61 after not allowing a run in his last three outings.

Tyler Peyton (2-0) notched the win for Iowa, giving up a run on six hits in five innings.

The Blue Raiders outhit the Hawkeyes in the game, belting out nine hits compared to Iowa’s seven. Jarreau was the only Blue Raider to record a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with the lone RBI for MTSU.

Although they outhit Iowa, MTSU could not come up with the important ones with runners in scoring position. They left 11 runners on base in the matchup.

It was the first time all season that MTSU had been held to only one run.

Middle Tennessee tried to salvage a split in the doubleheader in the nightcap, but they came up short, losing 6-1 in the second game.

Another good start by a Blue Raider pitcher was wasted in this game. Starter Nate Hoffman (0-1) recorded the loss, despite pitching a season-high six innings, striking out three, and giving up one earned run.

Iowa struck first in this one, scoring a run in the top of the first off a Peyton double that scored Mangler.

Eric Toole added a second run for the Hawkeyes in the top of the fourth, driving in Eric Schenck-Joblinske on a single to left.

The Blue Raiders finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Infielder Austin Bryant hit a sacrifice fly to right field that sent Michael Adkins across home plate. The game was 2-1 in favor of Iowa after four innings.

The one run was all MTSU managed to get in the game. The Hawkeyes added two runs in the eighth and ninth to win the game 6-1, sweeping the doubleheader.

Relievers Benji Cash and Caleb Smith each gave up two runs.

Outfielder Ronnie Jebavy was the only Blue Raider with more than one hit. He went 2-for-4 in the nightcap. Jebavy extended his hitting streak to nine with his effort.

Jarreau, Bryant, Dupree and Jake Ingold were the only other Blue Raiders to record a hit.

Blake Hickman (2-0) earned the win for Iowa, allowing one run on four hit in six innings of work.

The Blue Raider will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. CST.

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To contact sports editor Connor Grott, email or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.

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