The Iowa baseball team churned out 13 hits against South Dakota State Friday at Duane Banks Field, but the biggest hit seemed to elude them. Iowa had bounced into inning-ending double plays in both the 9th and 10th innings, and had let numerous chances to win the game go to waste.
Taylor Zeutenhorst wasn’t about to let his chance go.
In the eleventh inning, Zeutenhorst drilled a game-winning single to give the Hawkeyes a 2-1 victory over South Dakota State, their third walk-off win of the season.
Four Iowa pitchers combined to toss a gem of a game, allowing just three hits while tallying 19 strikeouts. Starter Calvin Matthews allowed the sole run, a home run to right field by Matt Johnson, an Ankeny, Iowa native. Matthews, who allowed only the one hit over 3.1 innings, would exit the game one batter later due to an undisclosed abdominal injury. Blake Hickman, who was scheduled to start against Creighton on Wednesday before that game was cancelled due to weather — would come on and fan eight Jackrabbit hitters over four innings, allowing just two hits and no runs.
A single off Hickman in the eighth inning was the final hit of the game for the Jackrabbits, as the duo of Jared Mandel and Tyler Radtke threw the final 3.2 innings, allowing no hits with seven strikeouts. Radtke was awarded the win for his efforts on the mound. Iowa’s relief pitcher battled out of trouble in three of the game’s final four innings, as the Jackrabbits left runners in scoring position in the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings.
Despite the stellar pitching from the Hawkeyes, Iowa trailed the game 1-0 into the seventh inning, as Jackrabbit starter Adam Bray was excellent on the mound opposing the Hawkeyes. Over seven innings, Bray struck out nine Hawkeyes without surrendering a walk.
In the seventh, the inning began when Nick Day was hit by the third pitch of the at-bat. The next hitter, Eric Toole, hit a deep triple to center field that bounced off the glove of South Dakota State’s Zach Coppola, who was attempting to make a Willie Mays-esque grab. Two batters later, Toole was caught trying to score on a grounder to second, keeping the game’s 1-1 score.
Iowa’s winning run in the 11th inning came with two outs in the inning, and the bases loaded. Day was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, the third time on Friday that Day had been hit. After a sacrifice bunt from Toole, Jake Mangler singled to left field, advancing Day to third. Mangler’s hit, a looping fly ball down the line, froze Day on a hit that otherwise would have scored the winning run. The bases became loaded on an intentional walk to Jake Yacinich. With the bases loaded, Dan Potempa popped out to the catcher, leading to Zeutenhorst’s heroics.
The Hawkeyes and South Dakota State will complete their series tomorrow at Duane Banks Field, as Sunday’s scheduled game was moved up to Saturday in anticipation of inclement weather on Sunday.