This team... wow.
Iowa scored three runs on Wednesday and did so in just about the most dramatically different ways possible. Iowa's first run, in the bottom of the second inning, was a textbook example of the smallball approach Iowa has used to score so many runs all year. Kris Goodman walked to lead off the inning. He advanced to second on a short single. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. And then he scored off a fielder's choice. 1-0 Iowa and the ball barely left the infield.
Iowa's other two runs... well, they were scored just a bit differently. Pinch-hitter Eric Schenck-Joblinske drew a two-out walk in the ninth. And then senior Nick Day... well he did this.
Facing a 1-2 count, with Iowa down to its final out in the bottom of the ninth... Day blasted a laser into the left field stands. Game, blouses. Cue the wild celebrations. Holy crap. Wins don't get any more exciting -- or fun -- than that.
Tyler Peyton got the start for Iowa and he was pretty sharp. He scattered 8 hits over 6.1 innings of work, giving up just one run and striking out 7 Buckeyes while walking none. 78 of Peyton's 108 pitches were strikes, too, so he looked pretty dialed in. Had Iowa's bats been a little livelier, that pitching performance probably would have been good enough for a win and they wouldn't have needed any walk-off heroics (but where would be the fun in that?!). Nick Hibbing replaced Peyton and pitching the final 2.2 innings, ultimately claiming the win. Hibbing has locked down a lot of games for Iowa and he was pretty good here, giving up just one hit in those 2.2 innings of work... except that one hit was really costly: a right field home run shot to OSU stud Pat Porter. (Remember when I tabbed him a Player to Watch in our preview this morning? Well, he went 3/4 with that aforementioned homer. I'm not gonna gloat about my prognostication powers, though, because frankly it's not exactly going out on a limb to say that a really good player could have a really good performance.)
I'm not gonna lie: I didn't have high hopes for an Iowa victory after Hibbing gave up that solo shot. One run isn't exactly an insurmountable lead, but Iowa's offense can struggle at times and Wednesday was looking like one of those frustrating offensive performances. They'd managed to get a few base runners -- they racked up 6 hits and drew one walk prior to the ninth inning -- but they struggled to get the timely hitting needed to get those base runners home, leaving 7 men on base before the ninth. And then they got the most timely hit possible with Day's 2-run blast.
NEXT: Iowa plays #3 seed Michigan at 5 PM CT on Thursday, May 21. BTN will televise the game.
If Iowa beats Michigan, they'll play someone from the bottom half of the bracket on Saturday at 1 PM CT.
If Iowa loses to Michigan, they'll play the winner of the Indiana-Ohio State game on Friday at 3:30 PM CT.
You can see the full bracket here.
Here's full video footage of Day's game-winning blast:
And this happened in the 9th inning with two outs and the Hawks down 2-1... http://t.co/8cJU1UviSS— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 20, 2015
And here's full highlights from Iowa's 3-2 win.
Drama in the Twin Cities Wednesday afternoon, complete highlights of Iowa's 3-2 win! http://t.co/fvNdUXA0xU— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 20, 2015