COLUMBUS, Ohio — The University of Iowa baseball team scored four runs in the seventh and ninth inning to secure its fifth straight Big Ten series win in an 11-4 victory over Ohio State on Saturday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium.
The Hawkeyes scored one run in the first, and the game was tied 3-3 through six innings, but Iowa outscored Ohio State, 8-1, in the final three innings to improve to 26-15 overall and 11-6 in the Big Ten.
Iowa used five hits and one Buckeye error to score four runs in the seventh. Defensive substitute Justin Jenkins and pinch hitter Zeb Adreon were in the middle of Iowa’s attack with each recording a hit and an RBI in the inning.
The Hawkeyes put the game away in the ninth with four more runs. Adreon added two more RBIs on a double to right field to finish 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Senior Chris Whelan and junior Austin Martin drove in Iowa’s final two runs of the game.
Eight of Iowa’s 11 runs were scored against Ohio State’s bullpen after Iowa bounced starter Seth Lonsway, who pitched 5 1/3 innings.
For the first six innings, it was an even game with Iowa scoring the game’s first run via an Izaya Fullard RBI single. Fullard, a sophomore from North Liberty, Iowa, went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored, and was the catalyst for the Hawkeye offense. In the seventh inning, it was Fullard’s RBI double that started Iowa’s onslaught of offense.
Ohio State’s lone offensive outburst came in the third inning after sophomore starter Cam Baumann and the Hawkeyes escaped a bases-loaded jam an inning earlier. Baumann surrendered a Brady Cherry two-run home run to dead center to put the Buckeyes up 2-1 after three, but Ohio State couldn’t build on that.
Baumann, the southpaw from Fairfield, Iowa, limited the damage and scattered six innings over a grind-it-out five innings, while striking out two of the last three batters he faced.
Baumann handed the ball over to senior Jason Foster, who recorded two outs in the sixth, before head coach Rick Heller made the change to Kyle Shimp, who earned the win despite only recording one out.
Junior Trace Hoffman shut down the Buckeye offense in the seventh and eighth innings, allowing only one hit and one run, while junior Adam Ketelsen pitched a scoreless ninth.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“Our guys came out and it was a tough battle for six innings — a 3-3 game. Our offense woke up in the seventh. We had some guys with some big clutch hits and two-out hits. We hit a lot of doubles in the second half of the game, which was good to see.
“I am happy with how the offense played today. We faced a good lefty starting out and I was hoping we could get his pitch count up fairly soon and get him out of the game. He was tough on us, but we were able to do that and have some success against their bullpen. We’re ready to go for tomorrow.
“We’re playing pretty good baseball right now and we’re catching some breaks. We’re getting some two-out hits. It feels good. We labored a good chunk of the season where runs were tough to come by and we weren’t getting the two-out hit with guys making plays against us. It’s turned our way.”
- It’s Iowa’s first series win in Columbus since 2011.
- Iowa has won five straight series for the first time since 2015 when the Hawkeyes won eight straight series, finished 41-18, and qualified for an NCAA Regional.
- It’s Iowa’s first back-to-back games without errors since March 22-23 against Indiana.
- Whelan’s on-base streak is up to 21 games, while Fullard’s on-base streak has risen to 10 games.
- It’s Adreon’s third game with three or more RBIs.
- Freshman Brendan Sher is on a four-game hitting streak.
Sunday’s series finale will start at 11:05 a.m. (CT) due to Iowa’s travel curfew. Junior Grant Judkins (4-4, 1.88 ERA) will start for the Hawkeyes.
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