IOWA CITY, Iowa — A walk-off grand slam from senior Tyler Cropley sent the University of Iowa baseball team to a 13-9 victory over Bradley on Wednesday night at Duane Banks Field. The walk-off win is the team’s fourth of the season.
“I was just looking for a sac fly with the last at-bat, but I hit it a little further than I planned, which is good,” said Cropley, who finished 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs. “This is my first walk-off homer and it lived up to what you’d expect. I’ve hit a walk-off single before, but this doesn’t compare to that.”
The Hawkeyes owned a 6-1 lead entering the sixth inning after senior Austin Guzzo hit a two-run home run in the first inning and sophomore Kyle Crowl hit a solo shot in the four-run fourth. Iowa also got RBI doubles from Mitchell Boe and Cropley and a Robert Neustrom RBI single to open a five-run advantage.
Bradley fought back in the top of the sixth, scoring five runs to tie the game at six, but Iowa responded with a two-run sixth to take an 8-6 lead.
The Braves took their first lead with a three-run seventh before the Hawkeyes put together a late-inning rally, tying the game in the eighth on a pinch-hit RBI single from sophomore Lorenzo Elion before Cropley connected on the walk-off homer — Iowa’s second in a week.
Iowa loaded the bases in the ninth courtesy of base hits from Boe, Chris Whelan, and Robert Neustrom.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“This was a game where I we came out with good energy and we had quality at-bats. Offensively, I was happy with our performance. For the most part, we were solid up-and-down the lineup. We were planning to throw nine guys, but unfortunately, once we got to the sixth inning; Bradley is a good hitting team. I liked our fight tonight and those arms that we faces the last four innings were high-quality arms. To go out and rally like we did says a lot about the team.”
- Iowa out hit Bradley 15-12, with four Hawkeyes registering a multi-hit game. Whelan finished 4-for-5 with four runs, while Neustrom (3-for-5, 2 RBIs) and Cropley had three hit games. Boe finished 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.
- Cropley, Guzzo, and Crowl all homered, giving Iowa its first three home run contest of the season.
- Iowa used 10 different pitchers in the game. Junior Zach Daniels notched the victory, tossing two shutout innings, fanning three.
- Wednesday’s win was Iowa’s fourth come-from-behind victory this season.
- The Hawkeyes improve to 7-2 at Duane Banks Field this season.
The Hawkeyes (14-8, 1-1) travel to Champaign, Illinois for a three-game series against No. 22/25 Illinois from March 30-April 1.
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