Hawkeyes topple top-seeded Hoosiers in first round of Big Ten Tournament

Iowa pitcher Cole McDonald posted a strong start to open the Hawkeyes' Big Ten Tournament.


Ryan Adams/The Daily Iowan

University of Iowa Pitcher Cole McDonald pitches during the baseball game at Duane Banks Stadium on Friday, May 3, 2019. The Hawkeyes beat the Eaters 6-3.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

Iowa baseball’s rough stretch is officially over.

In what turned out to be a full-on pitcher’s dual, Iowa stepped up behind Cole McDonald’s arm to take down top-seeded Indiana, 4-2, in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday.

McDonald rode the wave he built in his opening-game start, striking out nine in eight innings of work, only allowing five hits and one run against the Big Ten’s regular-season champions.

McDonald and Indiana starter Pauly Milto each tossed five scoreless innings to kick off the game before the Hoosiers got on the board first with a Matt Gorski RBI single up the middle.

The Hawkeyes bounced back in the next inning, however, plating a run on a Tanner Wetrich single to left field. After advancing to second on the throw and moving to third on a Justin Jenkins base hit, Wetrich scored on a sacrifice fly from Chris Whelan.

Izaya Fullard capped the 3-run inning by clubbing a single to center.

Iowa added an insurance run in the eighth and the Hoosiers scored 1 off Grant Leonard in the ninth, but Leonard got the final say by notching his 14th save of the season to set a new program record.

No. 8 seeds are now 5-9 in the Big Ten Tournament, and the Hawkeyes have scored all five upsets.

After dropping a series at home to Michigan State and getting swept at Maryland to close the season, Iowa played as if it has found its groove again.

The Hawkeyes will play the winner of No. 4 Minnesota and No. 5 Nebraska in the second round of the tournament Thursday at 9 p.m.

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