FRISCO, Texas – Redshirt sophomore Peyton Williams’ 422-foot solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning propelled the University of Iowa baseball team to a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Washington State in the Frisco Baseball Classic finale on Sunday at Riders Field.
Iowa finishes the Frisco Classic with a 1-2 overall record; the Hawkeyes are 6-5 overall.
“I am proud of our team,” said head coach Rick Heller. “With the way things have been going, it would have been easy, with the way that game started, to lay down and go home. We kept playing and when you do that, good things usually happen and the game comes back to you.”
Iowa’s offense was stifled early by WSU starter Cole McMillan, tallying just two hits through five innings before coming alive late. Iowa scored all six runs from the sixth on.
The Hawkeyes trailed 3-0 through 5 1/2 innings before the offense awoke in the sixth to the tune of batting around, scoring four runs on two hits.
After Sam Petersen and Williams walked to start the inning, Keaton Anthony doubled home a run to get the Hawkeyes on the board. Williams then scored on a wild pitch to close the gap to 3-2 and after Kyle Huckstorf was hit by a pitch to load the bases a second time, redshirt junior Brendan Sher delivered a two-run double down the left field to put Iowa up 4-3.
The Cougars tied the game at four in the seventh on a towering solo home run from Hylan Hall, but the lead was short-lived courtesy of Williams.
The Hawkeye first baseman hit a 110 mile per hour line drive to the deepest part of the ballpark for his third home run of the season (second of the weekend). Iowa then pushed its lead to 6-4 in the inning on a pinch-hit RBI single from sophomore Anthony Mangano before holding off a late Cougar rally.
“He’s a great player,” said Heller of Williams. “He’s a good leader, humble person, doesn’t say much and just goes out and does his job. He’s a good defender and clutch hitter. He’s not just a good hitter, but he’s a clutch hitter. He had a good weekend.”
Sophomore Ty Langenberg (2-0) earned the win following a stellar outing in relief. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits over a career-best 5 2/3 innings with a career-high eight strikeouts.
Washington State jumped out to the early two-run lead in the first when a leadoff walk came back to cost the Hawkeyes. Bryce Matthews and Justin Van De Brake both had RBI singles in the inning and the Cougars pushed their third run across in the second following two singles and a wild pitch.
– The win over Washington State is the first in school history. The series is now tied, 1-1.
– Keaton Anthony had two more hits for his team-leading fifth multi-hit contest this season.
– Langenberg notched his second win, tying Mazur for the team lead. The right-hander was held out last weekend due to precautionary reasons.
– Casey Day got the final three outs for his first career save.
The Hawkeyes return to action Wednesday, hosting St. Thomas at 4:05 p.m. (CT) at Duane Banks Field. Tickets are available at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.