Another Big Ten series, another Big Ten series win for the surging Iowa baseball program. Iowa opened this weekend's home finale against the Gophers with a solid 7-3 win, then followed that up with a 10-2 thrashing of the Gophers yesterday afternoon. Those two wins lock up the series win and mean that today's series finale is for a chance at the sweep. (Sadly, Iowa isn't gaining any ground on Illinois because the Illini refuse to lose -- they swept a doubleheader against Rutgers yesterday.)
On Friday, after tying the game at 3-3 after five and a half innings, Iowa put the game out of reach by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, winning 7-3 Friday night. In the sixth, two errors allowed Nick Roscetti to advance to third base before a Jimmy Frankos flyout brought the inning's first run. Joel Booker, Taylor Kaufman, and Nick Day reached on consecutive at bats before Eric Toole's single drove in Booker and Kaufman. On the hill, Tyler Peyton rebounded from last week's loss at Michigan by throwing seven innings while allowing one run. Ryan Erickson worked two clean innings to hold the Hawkeye victory.
Saturday's game was drama-free from the get-go -- Iowa scored 4 runs in each of the first and second innings, staking them to an 8-0 lead they would never come close to relinquishing. (Minnesota's starting pitcher, Fred Manke, lasted all of one inning after getting tagged for 6 runs off 4 hits and 2 walks.) Iowa opened the scoring with a bases-loaded walk, then followed that up with a bases-emptying double from Dan Potempa. Iowa loaded the bases again in the second before Tyler Peyton emptied them with a triple. Kris Goodman scored Peyton with a groundout. In all, Iowa scored 10 runs on 10 hits Saturday -- huzzah for efficiency! Starting pitcher Blake Hickman was shaky in his start against Michigan last weekend, but he rebounded with a much stronger effort yesterday: 6 IP, 1 run, 5 hits, and 5 strikeouts.
Highlight from the 10-2 win Saturday...Hawks and Gophers at 1 p.m. (CT) in IC today, and live on BTN for Senior Day! http://t.co/ekzYe8EOZv— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 10, 2015
Iowa goes for the sweep today and -- BONUS! -- the game is on BTN, too. Meanwhile, a win today can also lock up no worse than 2nd place for Iowa.
A win by @UIBaseball or a loss by Ohio State baseball would clinch no worse than second in the @B1Gbaseball standings! #Hellerball— Epic ... Ness (@TadDorsey1) May 10, 2015
Info: 1pm first pitch at Banks Field
Pitching Matchup: Iowa's Calvin Mathews (4-1, 1.77 ERA) vs Dalton Sawyer (3-2, 4.50 ERA)
The usual rules apply.