EAST LANSING, Mich. – Redshirt junior Trenton Wallace struck out nine over seven innings and the University of Iowa baseball team’s offense scored 10 runs for the first time in more than a month in a 12-1 series-opening victory over Michigan State on Friday night at McClane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field.
The Hawkeyes, who have won nine straight series openers dating back to April 2, improve to 24-18 overall.
“It was huge to start the series with a win, it’s our only chance,” said head coach Rick Heller. “It was as big as it gets. Guys were focused with good energy and confidence. It was good to see us have guys step up and clutch up and get three two-out knocks when the game mattered.”
Wallace retired the Spartans in order in four of his seven innings and he scattered five hits and allowed one run en route to his seventh victory of the season. The outing was Wallace’s eighth quality start and his ninth game with eight or more strikeouts this season.
The Rock Island, Illinois, native hit the 100-strikeout mark in the second inning and he finished with nine punch outs, giving him 106 for the season. The southpaw finishes the regular season with a 7-1 record and a 2.34 ERA.
“It was another tremendous start by Trenton,” said Heller. “Whether he wins the Pitcher of the Year award or not, in my mind, he’s the Pitcher of the Year. He’s had an outstanding year. He pitched great again tonight and went deep into the game.”
Offensively, Iowa took a 1-0 lead in the third on Ben Norman’s RBI double to right center – a hit that scored freshman Michael Seegers from first base. It was Norman’s 51st RBI of the season.
After loading the bases on singles from Peyton Williams, Zeb Adreon and Matthew Sosa, redshirt junior Dylan Nedved pushed the lead to 3-0 with a two-out, two-run double to center field.
T4 | @D_Ned25 delivers.
He pushes the lead to 3-0 with a two-run single to CF. #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/Gx4XABoTAz
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 28, 2021
Michigan State got one run back in the bottom half on a two-out, RBI single from Andrew Morrow before Iowa poured it on late.
The Hawkeyes added to their lead with a Brayden Frazier RBI single in the sixth before breaking the game open with an eight-run eighth inning. Iowa batted around, sending 14 batters to the plate and facing four Michigan State pitchers in the frame. Frazier had a two-RBI single in the frame.
Iowa finished with 10 hits with two players tallying multi-hit games. Frazier finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while Norman was 2-for-5 with a double and RBI. The Hawkeyes walked a season-high 15 times in the contest.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“I thought our hitters were locked in tonight against Mason Erla. We had a lot of great at-bats. Norman had a two-out hit to score Seegers from first, Nedved had the big two-out hit and Frazier had another big two-out hit when it was a tight game. It got out of hand with free bases when it went to their bullpen, but it was a good game for seven innings.”
– Wallace is the second Hawkeye pitcher to strike out more than 100 batters in a single season, joining Jim Magrane, who struck out 110 during the 1999 season.
– Fullard extended his reached base streak to 25 games, tying Norman for the longest streak by a Hawkeye this season.
– The Hawkeyes finished with a season-high 15 walks with six different players having two or more walks.
– Iowa’s eight-run inning is tied for the highest scoring inning this season. The Hawkeyes scored eight runs in an 11-2 victory over Maryland on March 28.
– It was Iowa’s first double-digit run game since April 26 when it scored 12 in a 12-9 walk-off win over Northwestern.
Game two of the series will begin at 3:02 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on BTN.