IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team scored four runs in the eighth inning to rally for a 4-2 victory over Bradley on Tuesday night at Duane Banks Field.
The Hawkeyes’ eighth-inning rally started with a one-out single from junior Austin Martin and a two-out base knock from junior Ben Norman to put runners on the corners. After pinch-hitter Grant Judkins drew a walk to load the baes, Iowa cut the lead to 2-1, scoring on a Theron Denlinger wild pitch.
Iowa loaded the bases a second time when senior Chris Whelan was hit by a pitch, bringing junior Lorenzo Elion to the plate against reliever Allan Beer. Elion worked a full count before driving the ball into the right center field gap. Right fielder Jean-Francois Garon attempted to make a running catch, but the ball caromed off his glove for an error, and the bases cleared, giving the Hawkeyes a 4-2 lead.
“Sometimes you need something like that to happen to get things going again for us,” said Iowa head coach Rick Heller. “We have been in a funk and even leading into the eighth we were struggling to get anyone on base and when we did, it was with two outs.
“To have a two-out rally and have guys find ways to get on base and get it done, we got a break when the right fielder misplayed the ball in the sun, but at this point we’ll take it. Hopefully that will jumpstart us.”
The Hawkeyes went to closer Grant Leonard in the ninth, but Bradley didn’t go quietly. The Braves loaded the bases on back-to-back singles and a walk before Leonard froze pinch-hitter Connor Manthey looking to end the game, giving Iowa its 12th victory.
Bradley scored single runs in the third and fourth innings before sophomore Trenton Wallace entered in relief in the fourth. After issuing a walk to the first batter, the southpaw retired 12 straight into the eighth. Wallace allowed one hit over 4 1/3 innings and he fanned six to notch his first victory of the season.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“Success brings confidence and there are some guys that are going a little slow now. We need to get them going and hopefully something like that will do it.”
- Iowa finished with seven hits in the game with three hits coming from Norman in the five hole. It was Norman’s sixth multi-hit game of the season.
- Martin was 2-for-4 to tally his team-leading 10th multi-hit game.
- The Hawkeyes improve to 3-0 in midweek games and 5-1 at Duane Banks Field this season.
The Hawkeyes return to action Friday, hosting No. 25 Illinois in the opening game of a three-game series beginning at 6:05 p.m. (CT).