By AUSTIN BRAMLEY
MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Iowa baseball team dropped its DQ Classic finale, falling 6-3 to Minnesota on Sunday afternoon inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
Hawaii, Minnesota, and Iowa all finished the weekend with 2-1 records. Hawaii claimed the DQ Classic title based on run differential.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead, courtesy of a three-run home run from sophomore Robert Neustrom. The blast knocked in sophomore Chris Whelan and senior Mason McCoy, who led off the frame with a single and walk. The home run was Neustrom’s second of the season and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
“We had a great start,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “Robert hit a breaking ball out of the park to give us a three-run lead. Things were looking great.”
Three Minnesota pitchers limited Iowa to two hits over the final eight frames. Starter Toby Anderson earned the win, allowing three runs on three hits over six innings. Brian Glowicki got the final four outs for his fourth save of the season.
The Gophers tied the score in the third inning. Luke Pettersen had an RBI single and Micah Coffey had a two-run double against UI starter Drake Robison.
Minnesota took the lead in the fourth when Jordan Smith connected on a solo home run to left field, making the score 4-3.
The Hawkeyes had life in the top of the eighth inning when Whelan drew a leadoff walk and McCoy followed with a single to put two runners on with nobody out. Minnesota induced a Neustrom double play ball before junior Jake Adams grounded out to end the inning.
The Gophers added two insurance runs in the eighth.
“We weren’t very good on the mound today and that was the disappointing part,” Heller said. “We gave up seven walks; anytime you give up that many, it’s tough to win against anybody, especially a team like Minnesota.”
Robison (0-1) suffered the loss, pitching 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits. He walked struck out three batters, but issued four walks.
Four Hawkeyes were selected to the DQ Classic All-Tournament team in freshman Ben Norman, Matt Hoeg, Neustrom, and Adams. Norman and Whelan were the tournament’s co-batting champions for the weekend, posting a .500 average in three games.
Iowa (6-4) returns to action Tuesday, hosting Northern Illinois at 3 p.m. (CT) at Duane Banks Field.