MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Iowa baseball team pulled off a dramatic, come-from-behind victory, scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, before walking off No. 20 North Carolina on the final swing of the game from senior Austin Martin.
Martin’s walk-off solo home run gave the Hawkeyes a 5-4, extra-inning win in their second game of the CambriaCollegeClassic on Saturday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“It was an exciting game,” head coach Rick Heller said. “I’m proud of our guys; they kept battling. We faced a good arm in Joey Lancelotti. They didn’t let the fact we weren’t getting any hits affect them. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys.
“We fought back yesterday and couldn’t find a way to finish it off. Today we did.” The Hawkeyes fought back in a big way.
Iowa trailed 2-0 after one, 3-0 after three, and 4-0 through 8 1/2 innings, but multiple guys stepped up in big moments.
It started with senior starting pitcher Grant Judkins, who logged his second straight quality start after allowing two runs on three hits in the first inning. He settled down before handing the ball over the junior reliever Trenton Wallace, who allowed one run on one hit in three innings of relief.
Those two pitchers kept it close for the Iowa offense to rally in the ninth inning.
Iowa’s first four batters walked to start the run, scoring the first run of the inning. With one out and two strikes, redshirt freshman outfielder Brayden Frazier lined a single to centerfield cutting Iowa’s deficit to 4-3.
Senior Matthew Sosa was hit by a pitch, forcing a North Carolina pitching change. Iowa elected to pinch hit senior Lorenzo Elion, who came through in clutch fashion. On the first pitch, he flied out to center field, bringing home senior Zeb Adreon to tie the game at four for his first RBI of the season
The game went to extra-innings and the fireworks continued. Senior Grant Leonard (1-1) came on for the 10th and worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to send the Hawkeyes to the bottom half of the inning.
With two strikes and two outs, Martin shortened his swing and sent a shot over the left center field wall to cap off Iowa’s 5-4 improbable win.
“We were on the barrel all game,” Martin said. “We stuck to our process all game and knew it would come around eventually. The baseball we played in the past is not what our team is built on. That’s not what we’re going to do this year. (Coach Heller) challenged us to bring out a different team today. We executed that challenge well, playing with energy.”
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) March 1, 2020
- Today marked Iowa’s first come-from-behind win of the season and 50th since 2017.
- Iowa had more hits (2) in the final two innings of the game than they did in the first eight innings (1).
- The Hawkeyes were no-hit through 6 2/3 innings by UNC starter Joey Lancellotti. Freshman Peyton Williams broke up the no-hitter with a single in the 7th.
- Freshman Paul Vossen made his first career start out of the DH spot.
- It was Martin’s first home run of the season.
The Hawkeyes wrap up the CambriaCollegeClassic on Sunday against No. 14 Duke at 2 p.m. (CT). It will be Iowa’s first-ever meeting against Duke.
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