Baseball uses comebacks to win 2 – The Daily Iowan
By Adam Hensley
Iowa baseball (4-3) closed out the Hoover Classic in Hoover, Alabama, with its second comeback win of the weekend, this time against Morehead State.
“It wasn’t a pretty game, but offensively, we battled,” head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “We talked before the game about how we needed to be disciplined at the dish; the guy we were facing could be wild, but he is a guy that spots up on you. We were going to have to be aggressive and disciplined with our approach.”
Down 3-0 in the first inning, the Hawkeyes climbed their way back to a 14-7 victory thanks in part to a big second inning and clutch play late in the game.
Morehead State’s initial 3-0 lead didn’t last long; Iowa scored 6 runs in the bottom of the second.
Mason McCoy’s 3-run double to left field gave the Hawkeyes their first lead.
“I was trying to get a pitch I could hit,” McCoy said in a release. “Luckily, he threw me one inside that I could get the barrel on, and it was a big two-out hit.”
Robert Neustrom brought McCoy back home in the next at-bat with a single to left, capping Iowa’s explosive second inning.
The Beakers slowly answered, cutting Iowa’s lead to 1 run twice (scoring 2 runs in the fifth and 1 more in the seventh).
Up 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh, Iowa hammered in 3 runs.
A wild pitch scored Ben Norman, and then 2 RBIs from Chris Whelan’s bunt and McCoy’s single topped off the inning.
The eighth inning was all Norman. After a 2-RBI double to right field, the freshman scored on a wild pitch yet again.
Iowa’s second game of the tournament came on Feb. 25, when it squared off against Alabama State.
The Hawkeyes, who fell behind early once again, found themselves in a 4-0 hole entering the bottom of the third inning.
Iowa scored 3 runs over the course of the next five innings but couldn’t score in the last two innings to tie or take the lead.
“It looked like we had a chance to come back,” Heller said in a release. “We put up some decent swings on [Terrell] McCall, Alabama State’s starter, but it was one of those nights where it was cold and the wind was blowing in.”
Despite the weather, Iowa saw flashes of greatness from its bullpen.
Josh Martsching and Nick Nelson only allowed 1 hit in the game’s final six innings, with Nelson pitching four shutout innings and striking out a pair of batters.
“Nick did a great job [Saturday],” Heller said in a release. “They couldn’t figure him out. Nick did a super job of keeping us in the ball game and giving us a chance to come back.”
On Feb. 24, the Hawkeyes faced the Hornets in their first matchup of the tournament, winning 9-2.
Nick Gallagher recorded his first win of the season — the junior pitched 7 innings and allowed 7 hits.
In the top of the third inning, Alabama State scored 2 runs, but Iowa answered with 3 of its own that same inning.
“We had many more quality at-bats than we had the four previous games, and hopefully, that’s a good sign,” Heller said in a release.
Iowa compiled a season-high 15 hits in the game.
The Hawkeyes didn’t look back, scoring 3 runs in the fifth, 1 in the seventh, and 2 more to close out the Hornets in the eighth.
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