The wins keep on coming for Rick Heller and his Iowa Baseball squad. This time, two wins came against the Ohio State Buckeyes on a weekend road trip for the Hawkeyes. Iowa won its fifth consecutive Big Ten series thanks to a 4-2 win on Friday and another offensive explosion on Saturday, 11-4. The Hawks couldn’t get the bats going on Sunday, falling 5-1 to miss out again on a sweep. The series win, however, puts Iowa at 26-16 on the year and 11-7 in conference, locking them into fourth place.
Game 1: Iowa 4, OSU 2 (Box score)
Cole McDonald was the story here for the Hawkeyes. The junior pitcher struck out eight batters over the course of eight innings, including four in the first two innings alone. He allowed a single and a walk in the fourth inning, but then managed to strike out seven consecutive batters. Things got a little messy when he allowed a run in the eighth inning to make the score 2-1 Iowa, and allowed a leadoff double in the ninth, but regardless, the Hawkeyes were able to secure the victory thanks to reliever Grant Leonard, who got the Hawkeyes out of the eighth without allowing a run. He was assisted at the top of the ninth by a two run assurance homer from Zeb Adreon, and the Hawkeyes notched another tally in the Win column.
Game 2: Iowa 11, OSU 4 (Box score)
With the game tied at 3 runs apiece after six innings, the bats came alive in the seventh and ninth innings for the Hawkeyes en route to another Saturday offensive explosion, outscoring the Buckeyes 8 runs to 1 over the course of the final three innings.
Adreon’s bat was once again critical, along with Justin Jenkins, Chris Whelan and Austin Martin. Adreon finished the day with 2 hits and 3 RBIs, and Jenkins and Martin had one apiece, and Whelan and Izaya Fullard both had two. Iowa scored eight of its 11 runs on Buckeye bullpen pitchers.
The offensive explosion in the late innings will be the main takeaway from this game, but Fullard was the spark in the early innings. Going 3-5 on the day, Fullard’s first of two RBIs gave the Hawkeyes the lead in the top of the sixth inning, and the rest was history.
If the Hawkeyes could have this level of offensive prowess on a consistent basis, they might be a bit higher in the standings, but alas.
Game 3: OSU 5, Iowa 1 (Box score)
The Hawkeyes drew seven walks throughout this game, but only managed to score one run in the seventh inning, already trailing 4-0. A big part of that came due to Iowa leaving 11 runners on base throughout the game, but the seventh inning rally, that featured the a Mitchell Boe RBI to get Iowa’s only run, came up short when Austin Martin stuck out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Regardless, this was a quality weekend for the Hawks, and Adreon and Brendan Sher were named Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Week, respectively, for their outings last week.
Iowa will play its last two midweek games tonight and tomorrow. Tonight’s home game is against Western Illinois and will have its first pitch at 6:05 p.m. CST, as long as there’s no rain delay. Tomorrow, the Hawkeyes will travel to Rosemont, IL for a neutral site non-conference matchup against...Northwestern? OK!
The Leathernecks are 16-25 overall on the season, and have lost six of their last eight games. Hopefully they don’t present a challenge. The Wildcats are 18-22 overall and 6-9 in conference play (not nice). Tonight’s game will be available on BTN2Go, while there are no streaming options for tomorrow’s game. Both can be heard on the Hawkeye Radio Network where available.