Iowa Holds Off Hawai'i in 7-6 Victory

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MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Iowa baseball team held off a ninth-inning rally to defeat Hawaii, 7-6, on Friday afternoon in the opening game of the DQ Classic inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Hawkeyes led 7-3 heading into the ninth inning before the Warriors scored three runs on four hits against Iowa reliever Zach Daniels. The sophomore stranded the game-tying run at third base to send Iowa to its fifth victory of the season.
Offensively, Iowa had a season-high 17 hits as eight of the nine starters had at least one hit.  Three Hawkeye newcomers — Chris Whelan, Jake Adams, and Ben Norman — all had three-hit games; Mason McCoy, Robert Neustrom, and Zach Fricke all had two-hit contests.
Adams got the Hawkeyes going in the first inning by hammering a two-run home run to left field — his third of the year.  He finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs; he also had an RBI single in the third and a double in the seventh.  
Whelan tallied his second straight three-hit game out of the leadoff position, finishing 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.  He singled in the fifth and connected on a solo home run down the left field line for his first home run of the season.
Norman had his first three-hit game out of the eight spot, finishing 3-for-4 with two steals. Neustrom (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI), McCoy (2-for-5, 1 run), and Fricke (2-for-4, 1 run) also had multi-hit games. Neustrom has hit safely in every game this season.
“We had a great approach at the plate today,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “Up-and-down the lineup, we stayed in the middle of the field. We had clutch hits today with two outs all day long.”
The Hawkeyes got a strong start from junior Nick Gallagher (2-0).  The Iowa City, Iowa, native pitched a career-high eight innings, allowing three runs on seven hits to win his second straight start.
“Nick gave us another quality start,” Heller said. “He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter. Overall, it was another great start by Nick.”
After Hawaii took an early lead in the top of the first, the Hawkeyes came back with two runs in first, and single runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.
Warrior starter Brendan Hornung (0-2) suffered the loss, he allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits over six innings.  Iowa scored two runs against two Hawaii relievers.
Iowa (5-3) returns to action Saturday, facing Oral Roberts at noon (CT).