After two wild, unpredictable games between the Hawkeyes and Wolverines, Hayden's_Aviators felt Calvin Mathews would be the key to game three yesterday afternoon and boy, was Hayden right. Mathews threw six strong innings, allowing no runs on three Wolverine hits to lead the Hawks to a 2-0 victory. The six innings and 103 pitches mark Mathews' best performance of 2015, bringing added optimism to the final two conference weekends. Senior Nick Hibbing took the ball from Mathews in the seventh and pitched the final three innings for his team-leading fifth save of the season.
Tyler Peyton brought the first Hawkeye run across the plate through a two-out single, scoring Nick Day. In the fifth inning, Kris Goodman grounded out to short, allowing Eric Toole to score the second and final Iowa run. Shortstop Nick Roscetti continued his hitting tear with a 3-4 performance, raising his conference batting average to .426. Peyton finished 3-5 with an RBI while Joel Booker contributed two hits to (hopefully) end his recent slump.
Yesterday's biggest play may have come in the 4th inning when Goodman fielded a sure-double off the left field wall and threw out Wolverine outfielder Cody Bruder at second to nullify the Michigan threat . The past few weeks have seen Goodman at third base with Nick Day's injured back, however Day's reemergence in the lineup allowed Heller to assemble Iowa's best defensive lineup with Goodman in left.
Thanks to Indiana, Maryland is now tied with Michigan State for fourth place while Ohio State is three games back of Iowa after being swept by Illinois. Illinois, winners of twenty straight, control their own destiny the final two weeks of the season. Barring an Illinois collapse, our Hawkeyes seem "safely" in second place.
Iowa in the Top 25
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Western Illinois travels to Banks Field tomorrow for Iowa's final midweek game. The Leathernecks took it to the Hawks in April, winning 16-5 in Macomb. While the Hawkeyes are nearly a NCAA Tournament lock, another loss to Western would hurt Iowa's RPI.