IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa baseball team mustered only three hits in a 7-1 series-opening win over Minnesota on Friday night at Duane Banks Field.
No hit was bigger than redshirt freshman Peyton Williams’ fifth-inning towering grand slam to right field that completed Iowa’s six-run fifth inning.
“I got a hanging slider I was looking for and took a good swing at it,” Williams said.
Williams’ first career grand slam and six scoreless innings from starting pitcher Trenton Wallace (3-1) helped Iowa to move over .500 for the first time this season.
“It’s a step in a right the right direction,” Williams said. “We know how good we can be and we can be even better than that. We want to keep climbing.”
On the mound, Wallace allowed nine hits – none for extra-base hits – and struck out seven with only two walks. The southpaw from Rock Island, Illinois, stranded 10 runners on base with the help of some clutch defensive plays.
“Minnesota did a great job tonight,” Wallace said. “You have to give them credit of putting balls in play – it might not have been the hardest hit balls. The main thing for me on the mound tonight was not letting those hits get to me and continuing to compete and trusting my defense. The defense behind me tonight was phenomenal.”
In the third inning, Wallace induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play to escape a jam with two runners on. In Wallace’s final inning of work, he struck out Minnesota’s leadoff man Brett Bateman to leave the bases loaded.
Redshirt senior Zeb Adreon broke up Minnesota’s no hitter in the fifth inning with a single up the middle and finished with two of Iowa’s three hits. Adreon scored on a fielder’s choice by redshirt senior Matthew Sosa, before Iowa loaded the and emptied the bases on Williams’ difference-making grand slam.
The Gophers scored their only run in the ninth inning. Minnesota was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“It starts with great pitching by Trenton Wallace. He did a great job for us tonight. He had to work out of some jams. We played great defense when we needed to tonight. We made tough plays at crucial times in the game.”
“It’s how baseball is. You have to take it one game at a time. You have to control what you can control and try to get better. We’re finding a way to win, beat good teams, and play solid baseball. That’s all we can keep doing.”
- Wallace recorded his third start with zero runs allowed, lowering his ERA to a Big Ten best 1.87. Wallace tied a season-high with 106 pitches and he notched seven strikeouts for the fifth time in six starts.
- Williams tallied his team-leading sixth multi-RBI game and extended his on-base streak to 10 games.
- Iowa’s three hits ties a season low.
- Iowa has hit a home run in nine of its last 12 games.
Pending weather, game two against Minnesota is set for tomorrow with a 2:05 p.m. (CT) first pitch at Duane Banks Field.