New Orleans -- In the final game of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic, Iowa defeated UNO 8-2 on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Privateers starter, Brayson Smith struggled from the get-go and didn't make it out of the first inning after hitting a batter, walking two and giving-up a 2 RBI double. He faced had only 6 batters when Eric Orze, Saturday's closer, came-in to finish-out the first and get out of the jam with runners on the corners. Orze didn't have much better luck, giving-up 3 runs on 4 hits and walking 4. Overall a rough day for the Privateers' pitching-staff who gave-up 12 hits and walked 11-- including 2 hit by pitch.
At the plate it was a struggle too, as the Privateers only managed 3 hits. Owen Magee accounted for 2 of those-- including a single in the first and another base hit in the 6th. He was 2-2 with a walk and a hit by pitch. The other Privateers hit was an RBI single from Cody Ducote, who drove-in UNO's only 2 runs of the game in the bottom of the third. Iowa's starter, Cole McDonald went 7 innings, giving-up the 3 hits and 2 runs and striking-out 4. Of the 24 at bats in that stretch, he had 14 ground-outs.
Iowa took a 4-0 lead into the third, when the Privateers cut the deficit in half. From there though, the Hawkeyes added one more run in the 4th and 5th innings, and closed-out the scoring with 2 final runs in the 9th.
UNO (4-4) finished the weekend with two wins and a loss, as did the Hawkeyes (5-1). The Privateers now prepare to host Southern Miss on Tuesday before their 3-game weekend series against Arkansas State. Their next 5 games and 7 of their next 9 are at home at Maestri Field.