EAST LANSING, Mich. – A nine-run third inning propelled the University of Iowa baseball team to an 11-3 victory and series sweep of Michigan State on Sunday afternoon at McClane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field.
The Hawkeyes finish the regular season with a 26-18 record, finishing tied for fourth in the Big Ten regular season standings. Iowa finished with five victories against the league’s top two teams (Nebraska, Maryland).
“We’re playing great baseball and I believe we’re an NCAA Regional team,” said head coach Rick Heller. “I believe we’re deserving to be in Regionals. Twenty-six wins in the Big Ten is a big deal, six wins against the top three teams and nine straight Friday victories; not many people have done that.
“We’ve had success in Regionals every time we’ve been in. Our league has averaged 4.5 teams in the tournament the last five years and I don’t believe it should be any different this year.”
Iowa jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first without registering a hit, as the Hawkeyes loaded the bases on three consecutive hit-by-pitches and Matthew Sosa’s sacrifice fly pushed in the game’s first run.
The Hawkeyes followed with their biggest inning of the season, sending 13 batters to the plate en route to a nine-run third. Iowa had four extra base hits in the inning – a pair of two-run doubles from Zeb Adreon and Brayden Frazier, a two-run triple from Ben Norman, and an RBI double from Izaya Fullard.
T3 | The hit train continues! @bnorman with the TRIPLE to RC… It’s 8-0 #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/Pg9tzpLXiF
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 30, 2021
Iowa had five hits in the inning as it pushed its lead to 10-0. That’s all the Hawkeyes would need.
Redshirt junior Cam Baumann allowed three runs on 11 hits over six innings en route to his fifth victory of the season. Freshman Ty Langenberg, senior Grant Leonard and freshman Tyson James allowed one hit over the final three innings to close out the victory.
The Hawkeyes finished with seven of their 11 hits going for extra bases and Iowa tied a school record with seven hit-by-pitches.
Three players tallied multi-hit games with Frazier going 3-for-4 with a career-high three doubles and two RBIs. Seniors Austin Martin (2-for-2, 2B) and Adreon (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBIs) also had two hit games, while Sosa and Norman drove in three and two runs, respectively. Norman finished with a Big Ten-best 53 RBIs.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“This is exactly what I was looking for. Yesterday was a similar situation where we had a bunch of freebies handed to us and didn’t get the hit and allowed them to stay in the game. Today was a different story.
“We got some big hits and had guys clutch up in that inning once we had the free bases. We got a great start out of Cam on Senior Day. Cam did a great job of pounding the strike zone and inducing early contact.”
– It is the Hawkeyes’ second sweep of the season. Iowa swept Minnesota from April 9-11 in Iowa City.
– Iowa finished the game without an error for the seventh consecutive contest.
– Fullard extended his reached base streak to 27 games, going 1-for-3 with three runs, a double, and two HBP.
– Iowa finished the regular season with 26 victories – a school record – including seven against the top four teams in the standings (Nebraska 2, Maryland 3, Michigan 1, Indiana 1).
The Hawkeyes will now await their NCAA Tournament fate. The 2021 NCAA Selection Show will take place Monday at 11 a.m. (CT) on ESPN2.