Hawkeyes Even Series With Illini

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois – The University of Iowa baseball team defeated Illinois, 10-4, on Saturday afternoon at Illinois Field.

The Hawkeyes got a fourth consecutive quality start from Brody Brecht, who became Iowa’s single season strikeout leader in the second inning. He passes Jim Magrane who had 110 in 1999.

“We got a great start out Brody today, and the offense chipped away at them in the first four innings,” said head coach Rick Heller. “It gave us a lead and it gave Brody a lead to work with. The home run was the only time Brody was really ever in trouble at all, and then he went out and threw a scoreless seventh for us.”

Brecht threw seven innings and allowed three runs on three hits while striking out nine and walking three.

He was relieved by Jack Young who earned his fourth save of the season, he threw two innings and allowed one run on two hits and struck out two.

The Hawkeyes raced out to a 6-0 lead off the back of three home runs in the first four innings, before the Illini hit a three-run blast to cut the lead to three in the sixth.

An Illinois solo home run made it a 6-4 ballgame in the eighth. Ben Wimes put the game on ice with a grand slam in the top of the ninth. Wilmes was 2-for-3 with the four RBIs.

“It was a big ninth inning for us,” said Heller. “We hadn’t scored since the fourth and Ben stepped up and delivered the big blow to give us the insurance we needed today. Facing a team like Illinois with a two-run lead almost feels like you are behind against those guys, so for Ben to give us a four-run cushion was awesome.”

Andy Nelson had three hits and Davis Cop, Reese Moore and Raider Tello each had two. Cop and Moore each had two RBIs.

Iowa looks to take the series with Illinois tomorrow at 3 p.m. (CT) at Illinois Field. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.