The Hawkeyes didn’t get a good start from the ace of their staff and the Big Ten Player of the Year went 0-for-5, but it didn’t matter as the Hawkeyes were able to grind out a 9-8 victory against the Maryland Terrapins in their first game of the Big Ten Tournament.
Nick Gallagher got the start for the Hawkeyes, but was rather ineffective all day - he went 6+ innings but gave up 14 hits and eight runs, all of them earned. He struck out five and didn’t walk anyone, which was probably the most impressive part of his outing.
Meanwhile, the Iowa bats had no trouble going up against the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in Brian Shaffer. Shaffer came into the game with a 1.67 ERA, but the Hawkeyes seemed unfazed as they roughed him up for eight runs and 10 hits over 6.1 innings. They scored eight runs against him as well, although only seven were earned. Chris Whelan, Tyler Cropley, and Robert Neustrom all took the Maryland ace deep, although they were all solo home runs.
Iowa spotted Gallagher an early 6-1 lead, but he also struggled with keeping the ball in the yard in this one, as he gave up three long balls of his own, including a three-run bomb to Nick Dunn that went well over 400 feet.
Luckily for the Hawkeyes, their bullpen was able to shut the door on the Terps on this wild day - Kyle Shimp struck out the side in the seventh after replacing Gallagher, and Josh Martsching relieved Shimp in the eighth and got out of a bases loaded, one-out jam unscathed to keep the 8-8 tie in tact.
That’s all they needed, as Iowa took advantage of a one-out walk of Tyler Cropley in the ninth. Grant Judkins followed that up with a single and Matt Hoeg played the role of the late-inning hero for the Hawks in this one as he hit the game-winning sacrifice fly to right field to score Cropley and win the game.
All-in-all, it wasn’t the game you wanted to see from the Hawkeyes, but a win is a win and they get to stay on the winning side of the bracket for another day. They’ll take on Nebraska tomorrow at 9 a.m. regardless of whether or not Minnesota and Northwestern get their game in tonight, so make sure you get to the grocery store tonight and buy whatever you need for brunch baseball because it’s going to be an early one.
- Jake Adams went 0-for-5 in this game. He was the lone player with an at bat not to reach base.
- Along with Adams, Mason McCoy also did not record a hit - they were the only two players not to do so.
- The 14 hits and 8 runs allowed by Nick Gallagher is the most he’s allowed in a single game all season.
- We’re only in the second day of the Big Ten Tournament, but this year’s tournament has already set the record for most home runs hit in a single Big Ten Tourney.
- Speaking of home runs, Iowa has 61 so far this season. They had 26 last year, which is only two more than Jake Adams’ 2017 total.
- This was pretty great.
- Nebraska will send Derek Burkamper to the mound tomorrow to face off against Iowa’s Ryan Erickson. They faced each other earlier this year, but neither received a decision.