Iowa Downs Bradley, 9-8, in 11 Innings

PEORIA, Ill. – Senior Brett McCleary’s sacrifice fly in the 11th inning plated the go-ahead run and redshirt junior Duncan Davitt pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half to send the University of Iowa baseball team to a 9-8 extra-inning victory over Bradley on Wednesday night at Dozer Park.

It was the Hawkeyes’ seventh win this season when overcoming a deficit, as the team improved to 15-10 overall. Iowa, who is 8-3 over its last 10 games, is a season-high five games over .500.

After trading single runs in the ninth and 10th innings, the Hawkeyes loaded the bases in the 11th on an Izaya Fullard walk, Andy Nelson single and Kyle Huckstorf hit by pitch. McCleary put Iowa up 9-8 with a sacrifice fly, but Bradley got out of the inning without any more damage after getting 1-5 double play following a Brendan Sher line out.

Redshirt junior Duncan Davitt shut the door on the Braves in the bottom half with a 1-2-3 inning. Davitt earned his third win after pitching the final 1 1/3 innings without allowing a hit, while fanning three.

Iowa took a 7-6 lead in the ninth when redshirt sophomore Peyton Williams walked, stole second and scored on a Bradley throwing error with two outs following Nelson’s infield single.

After Bradley manufactured the game-tying run in its final at-bat, Iowa regained the lead in the 10th. Sophomore Anthony Mangano drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on Sher’s bunt single and scored on Michael Seegers’ sacrifice fly.

Iowa trailed 6-3 through two innings before getting one run back on a double steal by Seegers and Huckstorf (stealing home) in the fourth. Bradley led 6-4 through seven.

The Hawkeyes got things going in the eighth when Fullard drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a passed ball and to third on a Nelson single. Iowa plated its first run on Huckstorf’s RBI double down the left field line, but Nelson was thrown out at third on the play for the first out.

After Huckstorf advanced to third on a wild pitch and pinch-hitter Will Mulflur drew a walk, Sher’s safety squeeze plated Huckstorf to tie the game at six.

Bradley took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Iowa starter Cam Baumann before Iowa put up a three-spot in the second courtesy of a Sher sacrifice fly and a two-run double from Seegers.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Baumann gave up a single and two walks to load the bases to start the second before turning it over to Jacob Henderson in relief. An infield single plated the first run before Ryan Vogel hit a grand slam to give the Braves the 6-3 lead.

Ten Hawkeyes saw the mound in the game and the staff fanned 18. Freshman Brody Brecht tossed two innings, striking out all six batters he faced. Freshman Marcus Morgan (4 Ks) and redshirt junior Jared Simpson (3 Ks) combined for seven strikeouts in two innings apiece.

– Iowa overcame a three-run deficit to win its 15th game of the season. The Hawkeyes are 7-3 in games when they have overcome a deficit this season.
– The Hawkeyes are now 4-1 in midweek games this season.
– Nelson finished 3-for-5 in the game. The three hits are a career high.
– Seegers and freshman Sam Petersen had two hits apiece and Seegers had a team-high three RBIs. Petersen is hitting .500 (8-for-16) over his last four games.
– Iowa had a season-high 12 walks offensively tonight. (The previous high was eight.)
– Tonight’s game was Iowa’s fourth game with 18 or more strikeouts this season.

The Hawkeyes return to action Saturday, hosting Illinois in a doubleheader at Duane Banks Field. The start time is TBA and will be announced later this week.