Illinois loaded the bases in the eighth and ninth innings Sunday but left with only one run in the final two frames of a 4-3 loss at Iowa. The Hawkeyes took two of three in the series after a doubleheader split on Saturday.
Illinois (13-16, 4-5 Big Ten) left 12 runners on base to drop its second straight Big Ten road series. The Illini had won nine straight conference series before falling in two of three at Nebraska last weekend.
Illinois, which had eight walks and one hit batter, were led by two hits and one RBI from Michael Hurwitz. Hurwitz went 8 for 14 (.571) with a double and two RBIs in the three-game series.
Joel Booker drove in all four runs for Iowa. He blasted a three-run home run with two outs in the fifth after his sac fly in the third tied the score at 1-1. Booker also scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Iowa's 4-3 win in the series opener Saturday.
Iowa (14-15, 5-4 Big Ten) starter Nick Gallagher earned the win by going 5.0 innings and allowing one run on four hits. Nick Daniels picked up the save by stranding the tying run on third base in both the eighth and ninth. Daniels came in from second base and blanked Illinois in the final 1.1 innings.
Cole Bellair (0-2) took the loss, as the Illini dropped to 0-9 in one-run games. Bellair allowed four runs on five hits and struck out two in 5.1 innings.
Illinois will play 10 of its next 11 games at Illinois Field, including a Tuesday non-conference matchup against Illinois State April 12. The Illini host Saint Louis for a three-game series next weekend.