March 22, 2016
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By JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Nick Roscetti’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth sent the University of Iowa baseball team to a 7-6, walk-off victory over Bradley on Tuesday night at Duane Banks Field.
The Hawkeyes trailed 6-5 into their final at-bat heading into the bottom of the ninth. Senior Eric Schenck-Joblinske led off the inning with a triple off the wall, and freshman Zach Daniels plated the tying run, reaching on an RBI fielder’s choice. He moved to second on a Brave throwing error.
With one out, Roscetti stepped to the plate and laced an RBI single up the middle to seal the comeback and send the Hawkeyes to their first walk-off victory of the season. Iowa was 0-8 when trailing after six innings heading into Tuesday’s game.
“This was a game we needed heading into Big Ten play this weekend,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “These are the Hawks I have been looking for… guys who don’t quit, don’t scoreboard watch, and don’t let negative things affect their next pitch.
“Up-and-down the lineup, I felt that the quality of our at-bats have been getting better the past couple weeks. We did this tonight against weekend arms; we had to face their best guys in short spurts toward the end, so that was a quality rally against some good arms.”
The Braves’ offense started off fast, scoring in the first three innings to jump out to an early 5-1 lead. Senior Joel Booker and Roscetti led the Hawkeyes on offense as the only two players to record multiple hits. Roscetti led the team with four RBIs, but none were as important as the final one.
“We had guys offensively that really stepped up,” Heller said. “Booker and Roscetti have played awesome in the first part of the season. They continued that tonight.”
Freshman Zach Daniels (1-1) earned the win in relief, but Iowa utilized seven pitchers throughout the game, combining for 12 strikeouts. Junior Jared Mandel struck out the side in the eighth with runners on second and third with nobody out.
“Jared Mandel coming in was huge,” Heller said. “That saved the day for us.”
Freshman Mitchell Boe’s outstanding play in the top of the ninth kept Iowa in the game. With runners in scoring position, Boe caught a line drive and doubled up the runner at second to end the inning and keeping Iowa within striking distance heading into its final at-bat.
“We had some tough times,” Heller said. “It would have been easy to say we weren’t going to win tonight and to see them fight each inning is what we needed to see and I feel real great about that going into the weekend.”
The Hawkeyes open a Big Ten Conference series, hosting Maryland for the first of three games Friday. Game time is set for a 3:05 p.m. (CT) first pitch.