OMAHA, Neb. — The University of Iowa baseball team fell, 3-0, to fourth-seeded Minnesota in a Big Ten Tournament elimination game Friday night at TD Ameritrade Park. The Hawkeyes finish the season at 31-24.
“It was a tough loss, but a great game,” said Iowa head coach Rick Heller. “I’m proud of our guys – they didn’t quit and fought until the end, like they did all season.”
On the mound, sophomore lefty Cam Baumann (4-5) took the loss after throwing four innings, while allowing one earned run on three hits and five walks. Baumann struggled with command, but was able to limit the damage.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third before adding two runs in the ninth inning.
Offensively, senior Chris Whelan singled in the bottom of the first and was left stranded along with junior Zeb Adreon in the first inning. Iowa left 10 runners on base for the game; Minnesota stranded 11.
Iowa had two runners on base in the fourth inning via hit-by-pitches, but again, the Hawkeyes couldn’t capitalize. The following inning in the fifth, sophomore Izaya Fullard hit into an inning-ending 4-3 double play. Minnesota starter Joshua Culliver, who allowed four hits, no runs, and struck out four, before the Gophers went to their bullpen.
The Hawkeyes went to freshman Duncan Davitt in the fifth, and he followed with three innings of scoreless relief, while punching out four.
Junior Grant Leonard, who pitched the final two innings, surrendered two ninth-inning runs to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Iowa put the first two runners on via a single and a hit-by-pitch, but the next three Hawkeyes were retired to end the game. Freshman Brendan Sher nearly beat out a ground ball off the pitcher’s glove on a play that was confirmed out by replay.
Iowa’s season finale lasted three hours and 46 minutes, ending 12:49 a.m. (CT).
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“We didn’t get it done, but I’m happy with how these guys competed all year. They’ll go down in my memories as a team that overcame as much as any I’ve coached — through coaching changes, injuries and tons of guys in the draft last year. We had all of our goals right in our hand, but didn’t play our best baseball at the end. We’ll remember this group fondly for a long, long time.”
- Junior Ben Norman was the only Hawkeye with a multi-hit game with a 3-for-4 day.
- The Hawkeyes registered zero extra-base hits.
- Iowa will say goodbye to nine student-athletes: Chris Whelan, Mitchell Boe, Tanner Wetrich, Luke Farley, Derek Lieurance, Cole McDonald, Shane Ritter, Jason Foster, and Kyle Shimp.