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No. 8 Rutgers baseball suffers 1st Big Ten series loss to Iowa

Graduate student infielder Danny DiGeorgio's big four-hit performance today helped the Rutgers baseball team defeat Iowa in the series finale.  – Photo by Dustin Satloff /

The Rutgers baseball team finished its weekend series against Iowa today. The Scarlet Knights (32-9, 12-3) dropped the first two games of the series before salvaging the weekend with a win in the series finale.

To start off the series on Friday, Rutgers lost a closely contested game 4-1

Brendan Sher got the Hawkeyes (23-13, 8-4) on the board first with a solo home run to left field in the top of the second inning. In the bottom half of the inning, graduate student outfielder Garrett Callaghan responded to tie the score with a one-run triple. 

Iowa retook the one-run lead in the top of the fourth with a sacrifice fly. In the top of the eighth, the Hawkeyes were able to double the score on a two-run home run from Izaya Fullard to secure the win.

Graduate student pitcher Jared Kollar pitched 4.1 innings, struck out four and allowed two runs in the loss. For Iowa, Adam Mazur pitched eight innings, allowing only one run on six hits.

In the second game of the weekend, the Knights lost 12-2 in what was Rutgers' first double-digit loss of the season.

The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first and added another two runs in the top of the third. Iowa pulled away in the sixth inning with five runs to take a commanding 9-0 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, trailing 12-0, the Knights used a two-hit inning to score two runs and avoid the shutout. The loss meant the Knights would suffer their first conference series loss of the season.

"It was kind of a carbon copy of yesterday," said head coach Steve Owens after the loss. "The guys at the top of our lineup had some solid at-bats. From that point on, it's been no good. Obviously, we're a little shorthanded but we've got to do better than that."

Rutgers finished the series on a high note with a 10-4 win today.

After the Hawkeyes jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the Knights scored three runs in the bottom of the first and two runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-1 lead.

A three-run bottom of the fourth inning made the score 9-3 in favor of Rutgers and ultimately put the game out of reach.

Graduate student infielder Danny DiGeorgio led the Knights with four hits and three runs batted in (RBIs). Freshman infielder Joshua Kuroda-Grauer had two hits and two RBIs of his own. The win made sure Rutgers was not swept and kept the Knights in first place in the Big Ten.

Rutgers will look to get back on track when the team hosts Hofstra on Tuesday before a trip to Ohio State for a weekend series.

“We played errorless defense, and we were able to score in multiple innings with a really good offensive approach," Owens said. "We ran into a tough week with a lot of issues, and we're through it. We're in first place, and we're looking forward to next week.”

For more updates on the Rutgers baseball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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