STILLWATER, Okla. — The University of Iowa baseball team split Friday’s doubleheader against No. 19 Oklahoma State at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. The Hawkeyes dropped the series opener, 5-4, in the bottom of the ninth, but bounced back in game two, winning 5-4.
“The way the first game ended, I’m proud of our guys in how they bounced back,” head coach Rick Heller said. “It was a real gutty effort in game two against a really good team. It would have been easy to lay down and die.”
GAME 1 | No. 19 Oklahoma State 5, Iowa 4
In game one, Iowa grabbed its first lead in the eighth inning on a pinch-hit, two-RBI single by Trenton Wallace down the right field line. The Hawkeyes shut the door on the Cowboys in the eighth, but lost, 5-4, in the bottom of the ninth on an infield single after back-to-back doubles.
Trace Hoffman was charged with the loss. Iowa’s starting pitcher, Cole McDonald, pitched a season-high six innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks. McDonald allowed two runs in the second inning, but then settled in, retiring eight straight batters after a hit batsman in the third. McDonald finished the game with four strikeouts.
In the third inning, Iowa’s offense looked to get over the hump after back-to-back, two-out singles by Tanner Wetrich and Tanner Padgett, but Ben Norman lined out to right, stranding Iowa’s fourth and fifth runners through three innings.
A hit parade broke out for the Hawkeyes in the top of the fifth. Mitchell Boe started things off with a double, followed by three straight singles. Chris Whelan drove in Boe on a single up the middle, and Padgett hit in Whelan. It was tied at two after five.
Oklahoma State got one back in the sixth and Iowa trailed 3-2 heading to the eighth. Izaya Fullard and Zeb Adreon hit back-to-back singles to start the inning and advanced to second and third on an Austin Martingrounder to third. Pinch-hitting for Justin Jenkins, Wallace singled just inside the right field line to put the Hawkeyes ahead, 4-3.
Hoffman allowed a double to right field to the first batter he faced, but on a perfect relay — from Norman to Boe to Martin — Iowa gunned down the Cowboy runner trying to score. The following batter doubled to left field, this time scoring Cade Cabbiness from second.
Oklahoma State’s leadoff hitter, Hueston Morrill, who was 3-for-5, walked it off on an infield single to third that he beat out, which allowed the runner on second to score.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“We were dialed in against a good arm in Jensen (Elliott). A big two-out hit by Trenton Wallace put us up. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hold onto it in the ninth and we blew the save opportunity. We had to watch them celebrate and had to bounce back on a cold day.”
GAME 2 | Iowa 5, No. 19 Oklahoma State 4
In game two, the Hawkeyes battled back from 1-0 and 4-2 deficits to split the doubleheader by a score of 5-4. Junior Austin Martin blasted his second home run of the season in the fourth inning to tie the game at four, while Wallace walked with the bases loaded to drive in the game-winning run in the top of the eighth.
Sophomore starter Cam Baumann pitched five strong innings, striking out three batters in his final two innings of work. Freshman Duncan Davitt (1-0) tossed three innings in relief, punching out five batters in three innings to earn his first career win. Senior Grant Leonard pitched the final frame, striking out the final batter to earn his second save of the season.
Redshirt senior Chris Whelan drove in Iowa’s first two runs in the third inning on a double down the left field line, scoring Martin and Wallace. Oklahoma State answered in the bottom half, scoring three runs with two coming on Carson McCusker’s 2-RBI double. Iowa trailed 4-2 after three innings.
In the top of the fourth, Martin evened the score on the first pitch he saw with a two-run home run to left field. Baumann threw up a much-needed zero in the bottom half for the Hawkeyes, striking out two Cowboys.
The middle innings were quiet for both teams as there were only a combined three hits in the fifth, sixth, and seventh.
The top of the eighth again provided heroics for the Hawkeyes. With the bases-loaded, Wallace drew a walk on five pitches to record his second go-ahead RBI of the doubleheader.
Davitt struck out two of his eight Cowboys in the eight, while Leonard salted the game away in the ninth with one strikeout.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“Cam Baumann came out and gave us a quality start in game two. He was much better this week. Then Duncan Davitt settled in and you were able to see what Duncan is going to be like as the year goes on. Grant Leonard closed out a tight one in the ninth.
“We played great baseball all day. Catcher’s interference was our only error in 18 innings today on a cold day. We’ll keep building. This team has a chance to be really good if we can keep improving each time out.”
- Iowa’s win marks the fifth straight year the Hawkeyes have defeated a top-25 opponent.
- The Hawkeyes out hit the Cowboys, 21-12, in the doubleheader.
- Iowa struck out 18 batters — nine in each game — in the doubleheader.
- Eleven of Iowa’s 12 hits in game one of the doubleheader were singles. Boe’s double was the only Hawkeye extra-base hit.
- Five Hawkeyes – Mitchell Boe, Chris Whelan, Tanner Wetrich, Tanner Padgett, and Zeb Adreon – registered multi-hit games in game one of the doubleheader. Wetrich had back-to-back multi-hit games to raise his season total to four. Padgett is on a five-game hitting streak.
- Izaya Fullard has reached base safely in the first nine games of his career.
- Cole McDonald (0-0, 6.59 ERA) registered his first quality start of the season in game one.
- Trenton Wallace had three combined RBIs in the eighth inning alone of the doubleheader.
The Hawkeyes conclude their series against No. 19 Oklahoma State on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. (CT) at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.