EAST LANSING, Mich. – The University of Iowa baseball team spotted Michigan State a 4-0 lead before scoring the game’s final seven runs to rally for a 7-4 victory on Saturday afternoon at McClane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field.
The win gives the Hawkeyes the series victory in East Lansing and it improves the team’s record to 25-18 overall. Iowa will go for the series sweep Sunday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. (CT).
The Spartans jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning, plating four earned runs against Iowa starter Drew Irvine. Michigan State started the inning with a single up the middle before the Spartans nickel-and-dimed Irvine to the tune of two bunt singles and an infield single to take a 1-0 lead.
Michigan State’s Mitch Jebb followed with a two-run double to right field to make it 3-0 and Bailey Peterson followed with an RBI groundout to plate the Spartans’ fourth run.
Iowa began its comeback in the fifth when Ben Norman started things off with a leadoff double to right center and Peyton Williams doubled to left field to put runners on the corners. Senior Austin Martin’s RBI single got Iowa on the board and Williams made it 4-2, scoring on a wild pitch.
T6 | WE’RE BACK and take the 5-4 lead!@peyton_w2 hits a two-run double to LC! His third hit of the day! #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/CbXR3MqUtM
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 29, 2021
After Michigan State went to the bullpen, Jesse Heikkinen walked the only two batters he faced, including Brayden Frazier with the bases loaded, to make it 4-3, but Jones got the Spartans out of the inning, getting Dylan Nedved to ground into a 5-2-3 inning-ending double play.
Iowa went back to work in the sixth with freshman Michael Seegers and Norman starting the inning with a walk and single. Williams gave the Hawkeyes the 5-4 lead with a two-run double to left center field.
The Spartans put together a rally in the eighth, but Iowa’s defense had the answer. With a runner at first, Frazier tracked down a liner down the left field line for the second out. With two runners on, the Hawkeyes went to Nedved. Michigan State’s Casey Mayes laced a two-out single to right field, but Iowa’s Zeb Adreon came up firing and he gunned out Bryce Kelley at the plate, allowing Iowa to keep its 5-4 lead.
E8 | DON’T TEST @ZebAdreon!!!
The RF throws a dart to the plate to gun out the game-tying run! #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/4lgEUW294l
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 29, 2021
The Hawkeyes added two insurance runs in the ninth. The first run scored on an error off the bat of Frazier and Nedved made it 7-4 on a safety squeeze to score Matthew Sosa from third base.
Redshirt sophomore Duncan Davitt earned the win in relief, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings. The right-hander allowed one hit and fanned four, but issued four walks. Nedved got the final four outs for his Big Ten-leading ninth save of the season.
Williams led Iowa’s offensive attack, collecting three of the team’s seven hits – all doubles. He finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Norman also tallied a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“Duncan came in and did a good job in his three innings. On offense, it was a weird game. (Jackson) Bennett was effectively wild. He gave us a lot of opportunities, but he didn’t give up a lot of contact once when got into scoring position.
“We hit into a couple of double plays that hurt us and they kicked a couple that would have been double plays. On a day when they gave us a bunch of free bases, we failed to take advantage of it, but the good thing is we kept playing and plugging and found ways to score runs. Peyton got the big double to score two and we were able to get a few more.”
– Iowa didn’t commit an error for the sixth consecutive game.
– The Hawkeyes walked 12 times, giving them 27 walks in the first two games of the series. The walk totals are the two highest for the team this season.
– Four of Iowa’s seven hits went for extra bases. It was Williams’ third three-hit game and his eighth multi-hit game of the season. Norman has a team-leading 15 multi-hit contests.
– Fullard extended his reached base streak to 26 games.
– Nedved’s nine saves are tied for the fourth most in a single season in school history. He has converted nine of his 10 save chances this season.
The Hawkeyes will go for the series sweep Sunday. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. (CT) and the game will be streamed on BTN+.