April 26, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Jimmy Frankos delivered a full-count, base-loaded RBI single to left field to send the No. 17 University of Iowa baseball team to a 3-2 walk-off victory over No. 25 Nebraska in the opening game of a Sunday doubleheader at Duane Banks Field.
The win clinches the Hawkeyes’ sixth straight series victory dating back to the 2014 season — the longest stretch in school history. Iowa, who is 29-11 overall and 12-2 in Big Ten play, has taken the series from Nebraska in back-to-back seasons.
With the score knotted at two heading into the bottom of the 10th, senior Kris Goodman started Iowa’s rally with a one-out double to right field. After Nebraska reliever Garett King intentionally walked sophomore Corbin Woods to set up a double play, junior Nick Roscetti legged out an infield single to third base, instead loading the bases.
With two down, Frankos stepped to the plate and hit an opposite field single to left field. Husker outfielder Christian Cox dove and came up with the ball, but it squirted from his glove when hitting the AstroTurf, sending the Hawkeyes to their third walk-off victory in six games.
Iowa’s pitching staff was superb, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits over 10 innings. Senior Nick Hibbing (2-1) earned the win, throwing a perfect 10th, while fanning two. Junior Calvin Mathews allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits over 5 1/3 innings, freshman Nick Allgeyer got one out in the sixth, and senior Brandon Shulista allowed two hits and struck out three over 3 1/3 shutout innings.
The Hawkeyes pounded out 13 hits in the game — eight coming over the final three innings. Seniors Eric Toole (3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI) and Jake Mangler (3-for-5, 1 RBI) led the way with three hits apiece, while Goodman, Roscetti, and junior Joel Booker had two hits apiece.
Nebraska jumped out to a 2-0 lead, pushing single runs across the plate in the second and third innings against Mathews. The Huskers took advantage of an Iowa error to start the second and scored the first run on an Austin Darby sacrifice fly, giving Nebraska a 1-0 lead.
The Huskers added to their lead in the third, manufacturing a run to push their advantage to 2-0. After a walk and single started the frame, Nebraska used a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with one out before Iowa native Ben Miller drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Iowa cut the lead in half in the sixth on a pair of hits. Toole led off the inning with a single up the middle before scoring on a Mangler triple into the left centerfield gap. The Hawkeyes couldn’t plate the equalizer, as Husker starter Kyle Kubat got a groundout and an inning-ending double-play to maintain a 2-1 lead.
Booker jump-started Iowa’s rally in the eighth, leading off the inning with a triple into the left centerfield gap before scoring on a Toole sacrifice fly to left field. Iowa loaded the bases against Husker reliever Jeff Chesnut with two outs, but came up empty following a groundout to end the frame.
The Hawkeyes threatened to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning via a two-out rally. Booker, Toole, and Mangler had three-straight singles with, but Husker right fielder Austin Darby sent the game to extra innings when he gunned down Booker at the plate to end the frame.
King (4-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing one run on three hits in 2/3 an inning. Kubat allowed two runs on six hits over 7 1/3 innings, while Chesnut threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and walking a pair.