May 28, 2016
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By JAMES ALLAN
OMAHA, Neb. — There are 27 players on the University of Iowa baseball team’s official Big Ten Tournament roster. The Hawkeyes needed an assist from an unlikely source in a 5-4, 10-inning victory over Ohio State on Friday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park.
Sure Iowa’s every day players produced with senior Tyler Peyton pitching seven innings of three-run, five-hit ball.
Peyton also had two hits and scored the game-winning run on a Mason McCoy bases-loaded RBI single, completing Iowa’s comeback from a 4-0, ninth-inning deficit, but it might not have been possible without a key, clutch base hit from a seldom-used senior outfielder from Chicago.
Devin Pickett entered Friday’s winner’s bracket game with 30 career at-bats in four seasons as a Hawkeye. He had five career hits, but it was Pickett standing in the batter’s box with the game in the balance with a runner at second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
“Coach told me to be ready all game,” said Pickett.
Turns out he was.
After getting the take sign on the first pitch against OSU closer Yianni Pavlopoulos, Pickett got jammed, but muscled a pitch into left center field to knock in Austin Guzzo for the game-tying run. His first career RBI helped propel Iowa to its seventh win in the last eight games one inning later.
“The coaches have a lot of faith in me being a senior,” said Pickett. “The first RBI of my career is a big one… I’ll take it. The big man upstairs was with me. It was great to get the W.”
“I am proud of Devin,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “He hasn’t had a chance to play much this year, but instead of complaining and whining he became the best teammate he could be and helped this team every opportunity he had, any way he could.
“It was a great team win.”