By Jimmy Perrino
Starting pitching ruled the day as the Hawkeyes (22-9) defeat the Terrapins (24-9) in a 3-1 game. The first hit of the day didn’t come until the top of the third off Tayler Stiles (3-3) when Jake Mangler led the inning off with a double to the wall. He was driven in two batters later by a Daniel Aaron Moriel sac-fly. Two runs was all Iowa would get off Stiles, who finished the day with six plus innings of three hit baseball.
Maryland allowed the second run in the seventh inning. After Stiles walked the leadoff hitter, Ryan Selmer came in and uncharacteristically walked a batter, and allowed a single to Nick Day. LHP Rob Galligan came in and avoided major damage. After striking out Eric Toole, Iowa’s only lefty, he allowed an infield single to Mangler, his third hit of the day, which scored a run. On the play Kevin Smith appeared to injure his right shoulder but stayed in the game. On the next batter Galligan forced a double play to Cuas to close the frame.
For the Hawkeyes, Blake Hickman (5-1) was superb as well. The 6’5” righty lost his perfect game in the bottom of the fifth when he walked Jose Cuas, who was promptly doubled up by Mangler, when he snagged a line drive out of the air. Hickman would keep the no-hitter alive until the seventh when Kevin Martir ripped a line drive in through hole between short and third. A Cuas single moved him to third, and Anthony Papio brought him home, ending Hickman’s day after allowing three straight singles.
Iowa was able to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Bobby Ruse loaded the base after pitching an impressive eighth inning, and Zach Morris came on to relieve him. He recorded two consecutive outs, but the first was a sac-fly, allowing the lead to extend to 3-1.
Iowa reliever Nick Hibbing threw the end of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings for the Hawkeyes to close it out, striking out five of the eight batters he faced.
The series will conclude tomorrow when Maryland junior RHP Kevin Mooney (0-0, 1.64) will take the hill against Iowa junior RHP Calvin Mathews (3-0, 1.25).