STILLWATER, Okla. — The University of Iowa baseball team won a three-game series over Oklahoma State for a second straight year, following Saturday’s, 3-2, Hawkeye victory over the 19th-ranked Cowboys at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
“I’m proud of the guys,” head coach Rick Hellersaid. “It was a tough day to hit in with the wind blowing in and cold conditions. We improved a lot from the Hawaii series. We handled the travel extremely well. We come down here and were a few pitches from sweeping one of the top teams in the country on the road. I couldn’t be happier and it’s going to be a fun trip home.”
Grant Judkins (2-0) pitched five innings, giving up no runs on three hits and five walks while striking out five.
“Judkins gave us a good start,” Heller said. “He didn’t have the best command, had to work out of some jams, and he was in pressure innings most of the day, but he found a way to get out of it.”
The Hawkeyes scored first in the top of the second inning. Zeb Adreon, who was 1-for-3, scored on a wild pitch from OSU pitcher Mitchell Stone after Justin Jenkins showed bunt. The Hawkeye offense was stifled until the eighth inning.
Despite Iowa squaring up multiple balls on offense, Stone retired 15 straight Hawkeye batters from the third to seventh inning. OSU centerfielder Cade Cabbinness made diving plays in the sixth and seventh to rob Boe and Elion of hits.
Left-hander Kyle Shimp relieved Judkins in the sixth, throwing a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. Trenton Wallace began the seventh on the mound, but ran into trouble, forcing Heller to go to the bullpen with Jason Foster.
Foster allowed a sacrifice fly that scored one Cowboy. Christian Funk then scored the go-ahead run for OSU on a throwing error by Tanner Wetrich.
Iowa fought right back in the top of the eighth. Izaya Fullard drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third after a sacrifice bunt by Ben Norman and a fly ball to right field by pinch-hitter Brett McCleary. Boe smacked a game-tying, two-out double down the left field line.
In the bottom of the eighth, Hoffman was called upon to escape a jam with OSU runners on first and second with no outs. Hoffman proceeded to get a fly ball and two strikeouts to end the threat.
The game was tied, 1-1, heading to the ninth inning. Elion, who replaced designated hitter Tanner Padgettin the seventh inning, tripled to left field with one out. OSU leftfield Colin Simpson dove to try and make the play, but the ball rolled to the fence.
On the next pitch, Martin drove in Elion on a sacrifice fly. Elion stumbled into home on a bang-bang play that was eventually upheld on replay.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“It wasn’t pretty, but we found a way to get it done. We had some guys step up big. We didn’t give up a lot of hits and we didn’t get a lot of hits. On offense, we did square up a lot of balls, especially in the middle part of the game, but didn’t have anything to show for it.”
• Catcher Austin Martin caught two Cowboy would-be base stealers during the three-game series.
• Fullard extended his on-base streak to 10 games to start his Hawkeye career.
• Judkins (2-0) owns a 0.56 ERA in three starts this season. He has held hitters to a .115 batting average, while striking out 20 batters in 16 innings.
The Hawkeyes face off against Evansville in a three-game series next weekend (March 8-10).