IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa baseball team was silenced by Maryland’s Sean Burke for 5 2/3 innings, before taking a 3-2 lead via a Brendan Sher two-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to help the Hawkeyes to a 6-2 series-opening win on Friday night at Duane Banks Field.
“(Burke) came with fastball first pitch,” Sher said. “Then he came to that curveball. I was on time for it. It was a great couple of at-bats we put together. I was glad to be in that spot.”
Sher’s go-ahead RBI was on Burke’s 117th pitch of the night and gave the Hawkeyes life after registering only two hits in the first six innings.
Burke (2-3) struck out 10, issued six walks, and had a stretch of 10 straight retired batters, before Iowa bounced him from the game in the sixth. The Hawkeyes scored three runs off Maryland’s bullpen, including two runs on squeeze plays in the bottom of the seventh.
Iowa’s starting pitcher Trenton Wallace had a similar outing as Burke. He struggled with his command, issuing six walks, but racked up nine strikeouts, while allowing only two hits and one run.
Maryland scored the game’s first run in the third on a sacrifice fly after Chris Alleyne stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Wallace struck out the side the following inning, before handing the ball over to redshirt senior reliever Trace Hoffman in the top of the fifth.
With the bases loaded and one out, Hoffman induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Maryland stranded 12 runners on base in the game, batting 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Hoffman allowed one run on two hits in the top of the sixth to earn his third win of the season. Redshirt junior Dylan Nedved pitched the final three innings to earn his team-leading sixth save of the year. Nedved allowed only two base runners and recorded three strikeouts in relief
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“It was weird game in a sense that both starting pitchers struggled with their command. You also saw when runners got in scoring position, they toughed it out. Trenton minimized the damage as best he could. Trace Hoffman was big. He comes in and gets us out of a bases-loaded jam. It completely changed the dynamic of the game. I’m happy for Dylan after a rough outing last week. He came in and went three innings and pitched great. It was his birthday, too.”
• Iowa picked up its third win of the season over Maryland. The Hawkeyes have won 12 out of their last 14 games.
• The Hawkeyes tied a season-high with three steals. Nedved, Zeb Adreon, and Matthew Sosa each recorded their sixth steal of the season
• Peyton Williams and Zeb Adreon each went 2-for-4 with one RBI on the night.
Iowa faces Maryland tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. at Duane Banks Field in game two of the pod weekend.