Iowa evens series with No. 21 Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Blake Hickman started the game and Nick Hibbing finished it off, leading Iowa to a 3-1 victory against 21st-ranked Maryland on Saturday afternoon at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium. The win evens the series heading into Sunday's finale.
The Hawkeyes rode their pitching and played error-free defense to improve to 22-9 overall and 7-1 in Big Ten play. The pitching duo limited the Terrapins' potent offense to one run on four hits and eight strikeouts.
Hickman was perfect through four before issuing a leadoff walk in the fifth, but he faced the minimum until the seventh when he gave up a two-out single and his lone run. Hickman allowed three hits in 6.2 innings and struck out eight to improve to 5-1 this season.
After entering with two on and two out in the seventh, Hibbing struck out the first batter he faced before cruising to his third save. The righthander struck out the side in the eighth and got a pair of infield pop outs and a strikeout looking to end the game. Hibbing allowed one hit in 2.1 innings and struck out five of the eight batters he faced.
Iowa manufactured the game's first run in the fifth, taking advantage of a Jake Mangler leadoff double. Mangler used heady base running to move up 90 feet on a Tyler Peyton groundout to the pitcher before Daniel Aaron Moriel lifted the first pitch he saw to right field for a sacrifice fly, giving the Hawkeyes a 1-0 lead.
After leaving two runners stranded in both the fifth and sixth innings, Iowa pushed its lead to 2-0 in the seventh. The Hawkeyes loaded the bases against three Maryland pitchers, courtesy of a pair of walks and a Nick Day single. Mangler delivered with one out, driving in Kris Goodman with an infield single.
Maryland cut the lead in half with a two-out rally in the bottom half, stringing together three hits against Hickman. Kevin Martir broke up the no-hit bid with a single to left field, Jose Cuas laced a single to center field, and Anthony Papio drove in the run with an RBI single through the right side to end Hickman's day.
The Hawkeye bats added an insurance run in the top of the ninth to give Hibbing some breathing room. Nick Roscetti led off the inning with a single to left center before being sacrificed to second by Day.
An intentional walk to Eric Toole -- one that extended his reached base streak to 30 games -- and a Mangler hit by pitch loaded the bases before Peyton lifted a fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly to plate Roscetti and stretch Iowa's lead to 3-1.
Mangler and Roscetti accounted for five of Iowa's six hits in the game. Mangler was 3-for-4 with a run and RBI, while Roscetti finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.