It wasn't always pretty, but Iowa did manage to get a 42-year old monkey off their back yesterday: they won an NCAA Tournament game. Man, that still feels pretty damn great. Next up? A Missouri State team that pounded Canisius, 14-1, earlier today. Gulp! Tate Matheny earned man of the match honors for the Bears, going 3/5 with a pair of doubles and a home run on his way to 5 RBI. Justin Paulsen also had a good game, though, going 3/5 with a home run and 2 RBI. But, honestly, a lot of Missouri State hitters had good games: six Bears had at least 2 hits apiece and they had 17 hits total. Their bats were working just fine today. Let's hope they cool off a bit by tonight.
You can also catch up on what Hayden's_Aviators said about the Bears in our Regional preview right here.
Info: 8 PM (CT), Springfield, MO at Hammons Field
Media: 800 AM KXIC & 1360 KMJM (radio); ESPN3 (online); no TV
Pitching: Iowa's RHP Blake Hickman (9-2, 2.90 ERA) v. Missouri State's LHP Max Hall (10-2, 2.17 ERA)
Weather: 65 and cloudy, but rain doesn't seem likely.
NOTE: Even though Missouri State is the higher-seeded team, Iowa will be the home team in the game, meaning that they'll be batting last.
As RJM noted yesterday, Iowa hasn't been great against lefthanded pitching this year and now they're facing a really good southpaw in Hall. That's probably not a great combination for the Hawkeye bats, so Iowa will probably need to have a very good performance out of Hickman tonight to have a chance to pull the upset on the Bears. But hey: Iowa got their first win in NCAA Tourney action in 42 years yesterday -- this has already been a fantastic tournament for Iowa. Let's just let the chips fall where they may and see what happens.
If Iowa wins they'll play the winner of Missouri State and Oregon tomorrow evening at a time TBA.. If the Hawks lose they'll get a rematch with Oregon in an elimination game tomorrow at a time TBA.
We'll update the game in the comments here.