Numbers don’t lie for Hawk baseball

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Numbers don’t lie for Hawk baseball

Iowa's Tyler Cropley runs during game one of the Iowa-Penn State baseball series at Duane Banks Field on Friday, April 28, 2017. The Hawkeyes swept the rain delayed, late night double header, 4-2 and 8-2, respectively. (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

Iowa's Tyler Cropley runs during game one of the Iowa-Penn State baseball series at Duane Banks Field on Friday, April 28, 2017. The Hawkeyes swept the rain delayed, late night double header, 4-2 and 8-2, respectively. (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily

Iowa's Tyler Cropley runs during game one of the Iowa-Penn State baseball series at Duane Banks Field on Friday, April 28, 2017. The Hawkeyes swept the rain delayed, late night double header, 4-2 and 8-2, respectively. (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily

Iowa's Tyler Cropley runs during game one of the Iowa-Penn State baseball series at Duane Banks Field on Friday, April 28, 2017. The Hawkeyes swept the rain delayed, late night double header, 4-2 and 8-2, respectively. (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

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Iowa won its third Big Ten series in its last four tries Sunday against Michigan State, giving the Hawkeyes a much-needed boost in conference play as postseason baseball approaches.

Here is why the Hawkeyes took two of three from the Spartans.

9 runs in Game 3The Hawkeyes cranked out 9 runs in their final victory over the Spartans, equaling their total runs in the past three games combined.

Prior to the victory, Iowa scored 5 runs when it traveled to Western Illinois, and then recorded 4 more in the first and second games against Michigan State.

In the past month, Iowa has scored 9 runs or more two other times: 9 runs versus Penn State on April 29 and 14 at Northwestern on April 7. Those 9 runs were the most Iowa scored in a Sunday game since piling up 12 runs on Kansas State on March 19.

Game 3: more hits than past two games

Just as Iowa piled up the runs in the third game against Michigan State, the hits followed suit.

The Hawkeyes’ 13 hits proved to be more than they had recorded in the previous two games combined (5 hits on May 5 and 5 on May 6).

Jake Adams finished 3-for-5 with an RBI in the win. Mason McCoy and Tyler Cropley each connected on 2 hits of their own, and Cropley added 4 RBIs.

In Iowa’s 2-1 loss on May 6, both teams combined for 11 hits, 2 fewer than what the Hawkeyes tallied in the final game (in that loss Adams and Chris Whelan each finished 0-for-4, Robert Neustrom struck out in all three of his at-bats, and Ben Norman’s 2 hits were a team high).

Battle of the 7-inning pitchers

In Iowa’s 2-1 loss, Ryan Erickson got the starting nod from head coach Rick Heller.

Erickson pitched the game’s first seven innings and did not disappoint teammates or fans, keeping Iowa competitive in a low-scoring pitching duel. The senior scattered 5 hits, allowing only 1 run and striking out 3 batters.

Meanwhile, Michigan State’s Jake Lowery pitched 7.2 innings. Just like Erickson, he, too, gave up 1 run on 5 hits, but he gave Iowa plenty of trouble at the plate.

Lowery recorded 9 strikeouts, limiting Iowa’s chances to add runners on base or bring in more runs.

1 run in Game 2

Iowa’s lone run in the second game against Michigan State marked the third time Iowa scored only 1 run in a game this season. The previous two times both came in the Snowbird Baseball Classic, a 10-1 loss to Villanova on March 10 and a 7-1 loss to Bucknell on March 11.

The Hawkeyes’ 1 run was their fewest total since March 24, when the Hawkeyes failed to drive in a single run in a 2-0 loss to Purdue at Banks Field.

Road Hawkeyes

Iowa managed to win two out of its three road games this past weekend, but even with those victories, the Hawkeyes tie with Ohio State for the second-fewest road wins out of the 13 Big Ten teams.

Iowa’s 7 wins on the road (not counting neutral sites, such as their early season tournaments) rank ahead of only Penn State, which has 4. However, the Hawkeyes (7-11 in away contests) are one of four teams in the Big Ten that have played fewer than 20 road games this season.

Updated Big Ten standings

After the series win in East Lansing, Iowa moves to 11-7 in Big Ten play, tying Michigan for fourth place.

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