IOWA CITY, Iowa – Back-to-back RBI singles from Izaya Fullard and Ben Tallman in the fifth inning propelled the University of Iowa baseball team to a 2-1 come-from-behind series-clinching victory over Minnesota on Saturday afternoon at Duane Banks Field.
The win moves the Hawkeyes’ record to 19-12 overall and 5-3 in Big Ten play heading into Sunday’s series finale.
Sophomore Michael Seegers started the fifth with a one-out single to right field. After Seegers stole second, Fullard bounced a two-out single up the middle and the ball caromed off Brady Counsell’s glove into shallow left field. Seegers scored on the play and Fullard moved to second on the throw.
The heady base running paid off as Tallman followed with a hit to nearly the same spot, singling home Fullard to give the Hawkeyes a 2-1 lead.
“There was a big two-out hit by Izaya to get us back to even and I knew I needed to follow up with that,” said Tallman. “I struck out on two off-speed pitches earlier in the game, so I got up in the count and was looking for a fastball I could handle. That was my approach and I got it done.”
Minnesota grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Chase Stanke’s solo home run to right field off Iowa starter Connor Schultz. That was the only run the Gophers would muster.
The Hawkeye right-hander allowed one run on four hits and fanned five over 4 2/3 innings.
Redshirt senior Ben Beutel (2-0) earned his second win, allowing one hit and striking out four over 2 1/3 shutout innings and redshirt junior Duncan Davitt got the final six outs to notch his first career save.
“The story of the day was how well we pitched,” said head coach Rick Heller. “On a day like today, it’s cold and the wind is blowing in, limit mistakes and free bases and pitch.
“Schultz gave us a great start, Beutel was good, and it was great to see Duncan come in and close it out and not have to use anybody else.”
– Tallman has three straight multi-hit games and has hit safely in four straight. He is 8-for-14 (.571) during the stretch.
– Fullard had his sixth multi-hit game of the season. The North Liberty native has six multi-hit games in nine games since returning to the lineup on April 2.
– The Hawkeye pitching staff had 12 strikeouts to three walks in the game.
– It was Iowa’s fifth game this season allowing one or fewer runs.
– Iowa didn’t commit an error for the 11th game this season. The team is 10-1 when playing clean baseball this season.
The Hawkeyes will go for the weekend sweep Sunday, hosting the Gophers in the series finale at 1:05 p.m. (CT).