IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team jumped out to a five-run lead in the second and cruised to an 8-4 victory to complete the three-game sweep of Penn State on Senior Night Saturday at Duane Banks Field.
The Hawkeyes (33-18, 13-9) secured the No.6 seed at next week’s Big Ten Tournament in Omaha, Nebraska, where they will face third-seeded Michigan at 9 a.m. (CT) Wednesday at TD Ameritrade Park.
Iowa grabbed the early momentum in the second. Senior Matt Hoeg and sophomore Kyle Crowl had back-to-back singles before Lorenzo Elion’s RBI double gave the Hawkeyes a 2-0 lead. After loading the bases, junior Robert Neustrom hit a two-run single to right field and junior Chris Whelan scored a third run on the play on a Penn State throwing error.
After pitching four shutout innings, the Nittany Lions plated two runs in the fifth against Iowa starter Jack Dreyer. Dreyer pitched six innings of two-hit ball and punched out six to earn his third straight win and fifth of the season.
Iowa pushed three more runs across in the sixth. Sophomore Grant Judkins was hit-by-pitch and Jenkins hit a double off the wall in left center to put two runners in scoring position. Elion’s check swing plated Judkins, who knocked the ball loose from Penn State catcher Derek Orndorff at the plate, making the score 6-2.
Boe’s RBI single made the score 7-2 and Iowa’s final run scored off a wild pitch. Penn State scored one run in the seventh and one in the ninth for the 8-4 final.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“We kind of sat on the lead after scoring the five runs with some bad at-bats in the middle, but we bounced back and got three more runs. I was pleased that we didn’t give much away this weekend, which is a good sign going into the conference tournament. We got a quality start out of Jack Dreyer today, and I am pleased with how he pitched. Brady Schanuel was another positive coming out of the bullpen. I was really pleased and it’s not easy to sweep anyone.”
- Seven different Hawkeyes finished with hits in the game. Neustrom and Elion both had a pair of RBIs.
- Dreyer’s start was the first quality start of his Iowa career. He tied a career-high with six strikeouts.
- The sweep was Iowa’s second of the season. The Hawkeyes took all three games from Evansville on March 17-18 in Iowa City.
- Iowa finished the 2018 season with a 20-6 record at Duane Banks Field. The 20 wins are the second-most in a single season in school history. The Hawkeyes won 22 games in 1977.
The Hawkeyes (33-18, 13-9) head to Omaha, Nebraska, next week as the sixth seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa will play third-seeded Michigan at 9 a.m. (CT) on Wednesday.
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