MINNEAPOLIS — For the second straight day, the University of Iowa baseball team overcame a multi-run deficit to win its second game of the CambriaCollegeClassic — a 7-5 victory over No. 14 Duke on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Iowa improves to 5-4 on the season with two straight wins over ranked ACC opponents. The win snapped Duke’s nine-game winning streak. The Hawkeyes now have three wins over ranked foes this season.
“To come into a weekend and you have to play three teams like we played — all of them are going to be in a NCAA Regional,” said head coach Rick Heller. “We played with all of them. This should give our guys a lot of confidence.”
After trailing 2-0 after the first inning, the Hawkeyes’ comeback bid started in the bottom of the fourth off the bat of freshman Peyton Williams. Williams, the left-handed slugger from Johnston, Iowa, smacked a two-run home run — his second of the season — to tie the game at two.
Duke answered right back in the of the fifth, scoring two runs off Iowa sophomore starting pitcher Duncan Davitt. An Indianola, Iowa, native, Davitt pitched a season-high five innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits, while adding three strikeouts.
In the sixth inning, the Blue Devils looked to put the game out of reach, but it was junior reliever Ben Beutel, who worked out of the bases-loaded, no-outs jam to keep the score at 4-2.
“To me the key to this game was Ben Beutel coming into the game with the bases loaded and nobody out,” Heller said. “He puts a zero up there. It showed a lot of guts and toughness. That was the ballgame to me right there.”
Following the clutch pitching, Iowa’s offense went on a tear, scoring five runs over the next three innings. In the sixth, Iowa cut into the lead on a two-out RBI single by senior Zeb Adreon. With two doubles in the seventh, Duke extended its lead to 5-3, but that was Duke’s final run of the game.
The seventh inning belonged to junior Izaya Fullard and the Hawkeye offense. Three extra-base hits later, capped by Fullard’s two-run, go-ahead home run, the Hawkeyes took a 6-5 lead. Iowa’s three-run seventh inning gave the Hawkeyes their first lead of the game.
Iowa tacked on an insurance run in the eighth before redshirt senior Grant Leonard locked down the ninth. Leonard induced a ground ball double play to end the game and earn his third save of the season.
- Fourteen of Iowa’s 18 runs this weekend were scored in the seventh inning later.
- Today marked Iowa’s fourth game with 10+ hits.
- Every Iowa starter reached base safely in the win.
- It was Iowa’s first game with multiple home runs. Williams and Fullard are tied for the team lead with two round trippers each.
- Fullard recorded his second three-hit game of the season.
- Leonard’s 19 career saves move him into sole possession of third place on Iowa’s career saves list.
Iowa plays its first home game of the season at Duane Banks field on Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. (CT) against Grand View.