The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Three takeaways from Iowa baseball’s comeback win over Illinois State

The Hawkeyes trailed 5-2 at one point, but a little league grand slam and clutch pitching led them to an 8-7 victory.
Sahithi Shankaiahgari
Iowa players high five after a baseball game between Iowa and Milwaukee at Duane Banks Field on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. The Hawkeyes defeated the Panthers, 12-6.

The Iowa baseball team earned a comeback win at home against the Illinois State Redbirds. The Hawkeyes trailed 5-2 at one point, but timely hitting and solid pitching led them to an 8-7 victory.

Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s triumph:

Iowa finds a way 

The Hawkeyes looked dead in the water for much of the contest but slowly clawed their way back into the game because of several clutch performances at the plate.

Iowa got its potent offense going in the second inning with a solo shot from catcher Reese Moore and tacked on an extra run due to heads up baserunning from designated hitter Will Mulflur.

With two outs and runners at the corners, Mulflur purposely stepped off first base to cause a rundown, allowing Gable Mitchell to score before Mulflur was tagged out. The stolen run would be crucial later in the game.

Iowa entered the sixth inning trailing by three runs, but Moore responded with an RBI triple to right field and shortstop Michael Seegers followed with an additional RBI single to trim the deficit to only one run, setting up an incredible moment in the seventh.

Little league grand slam

It wasn’t long before the Hawkeyes erased the Redbird lead entirely, and it came in the most bizarre way.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Mitchell came to the plate with a chance to either tie or take the lead. He slapped a single into left field, and then chaos ensued.

Davis Cop and Andy Nelson both scored easily, but the throw from right field still came home, and Moore saw an opportunity to take third base. The ball was fielded cleanly by Illinois State catcher Tyler Herron, but he gambled and attempted to gun down Moore at third.

Instead of recording the final out, Herron’s throw screamed down the right field line, allowing Moore and the batter Mitchell to score easily.  The crazy play gave the Hawkeyes the lead for good.

Pitching holds on late 

Iowa’s pitching staff has received the bulk of the criticism from the Hawkeye faithful, but it delivered in the clutch against the Redbirds.

Illinois State was clinging on to a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh inning, and it looked poised to extend the advantage and kill any hopes of an Iowa comeback.

Heller sent normal weekend starter Marcus Morgan to the hill, but the pitcher struggled with control issues almost immediately. After retiring the leadoff batter, he allowed three consecutive free bases and was pulled from the game.

Despite entering the game in a difficult spot, redshirt fourth-year Ben DeTaeye forced a flyout to right field for the second out and then struck out Luke Lawrence on a 2-2 pitch to end the frame and keep the Redbird lead at one.

After Iowa took the lead in the bottom half of the inning, DeTaeye pitched a quick 1-2-3 inning in the eighth and worked around a two-run homer in the ninth inning to secure the comeback win for the Hawkeyes.

Up next 

Iowa returns to action Wednesday evening for a matchup against the North Dakota State Bison, who are 13-24-1 on the season. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. CT.

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About the Contributor
Brad Schultz
Brad Schultz, Sports Reporter
Brad Schultz is a sophomore at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Sports Studies. This is first year working as a sports reporter and he has a deep passion and love for sports. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Brad is a contributor for Saturday Blitz, a college football site, with his content primarily covering Iowa and the Big Ten.