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IOWA KNOCKS OFF OREGON, 2-1, ADVANCES TO REGIONAL FINAL VS MISSOURI STATE

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Iowa engineers an incredible escape to move on to the Regional final vs Missouri State.

We'll have a more thorough recap later, but for now the important information is this: Iowa beat Oregon, 2-1, in 11 innings to advance to the Regional final tonight against Missouri State.  That game gets underway at 7:05 PM CT, with coverage again on ESPN3.

In a game that was a pitcher's duel from beginning to end, Iowa took the lead in the 11th when Daniel Moriel looped a single to center field to score Nick Roscetti from second base.  Roscetti had advanced to 2B moments earlier after Oregon's pitcher was dinged for a balk.  Roscetti's run gave Iowa a 2-1 lead and Nick Hibbing finished off his third inning of flawless relief work to earn the victory for Iowa.

Even bigger than Moriel's game-winning hit might have been Hibbing's Houdini act in the bottom of the 9th.  Oregon led off the inning with a walk, and moved runners to 2nd and 3rd after a single and a throwing error by Iowa.  The next batter was intentionally walked to load the bases.  Nick Hibbing then entered in relief of Luke Vandermaten to face an ominous situation: bases loaded, no outs.  He picked up a strikeout against the first batter he faced, then induced a double-play from the next batter.  Inning over, Hawkeyes survive.  Wow.

It's not clear who Iowa will have on the mound this evening and Iowa's bats need to be a lot livelier than they have been so far this weekend (prior to Moriel's game-winning hit, Iowa was hitting 4/29 with runners in scoring position this weekend), but hey: Iowa's in the Regional final of the NCAA Tournament.  This is pretty great.