EVANSTON, Ill. — Redshirt junior Trenton Wallace pitched six shutout innings and the University of Iowa offense hit two home runs in a 6-1 series-opening victory at Northwestern on Friday afternoon at Miller Park.
It is the Hawkeyes’ eighth straight Friday victory and it moves the team’s record to 23-16 overall.
Wallace tallied his sixth win and seventh quality start of season, scattering three hits over six innings. The southpaw punched out eight Wildcat batters — his ninth start with eight or more strikeouts. The performance moved Wallace into second place on Iowa’s all-time strikeouts list with 97, trailing only Jim Magrane’s 110 strikeouts in 1999.
“It was a great start by Wallace,” said head coach Rick Heller. “He was in command and was in control of himself. He was able to locate all of his pitches and was consistently ahead in the count and he did it against a good offense on a day when it was difficult to pitch. The wind was blowing out hard to left field — anything that got up in the air was going to go out. He did a great job and it was exactly what we needed.”
After striking out the side in the first, Wallace allowed a one-out double in the second before retiring seven straight. He allowed a double and walk in the fourth before sitting down six straight. He departed the game after walking the leadoff hitter in the seventh.
Iowa’s offense got going in the fourth when Matthew Sosa reached on a swinging bunt single before scoring on Dylan Nedved’s RBI double to right center to make the score 1-0. Senior Austin Martin tomahawked a two-run home run down the left field line in the fifth and redshirt junior Izaya Fullard hit a solo blast to left center to make the score 4-0 in the seventh.
The Hawkeyes tacked on two more runs in the eighth. After freshman Michael Seegers walked to leadoff the inning, senior Ben Norman tripled down the right field line and redshirt freshman Peyton Williams made it 6-0 with an RBI single — his third hit of the day.
Northwestern avoided the shutout when Anthony Calarco hit a solo home run down the left field line against Trace Hoffman to start the eighth. Hoffman pitched around two more singles in the inning before senior Grant Leonard got the final three outs.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“I think Northwestern made five diving catches in the first five innings. They were playing lights out defensively; the left fielder made three nice plays, including the one against the fence on Brayden Frazier that would have broken the game open.
“Being a part of a lot of those, it was a little scary. The thing that made me most happy is it didn’t get us down. We kept plugging away and finally in the final five innings we were able to get some runs. It was a steady offense and that was great to see. It was a professional effort and that’s what we need the rest of the way.”
- Wallace moved past Wes Obermueller, Brett Backlund, and Nick Allgeyer into second place on the all-time strikeouts list.
- Wallace has allowed two or fewer runs in nine starts this season.
- Seven different Hawkeyes tallied at least one hit in the game and five different players had RBIs. Martin’s home run was his second of the season; Fullard’s was his fifth.
- Iowa homered for the first time in five games. The Hawkeyes hit two or more home runs for the 12th time this season.
Game two of the series will begin at 1 p.m. (CT) Saturday from Miller Park. The game will be streamed on BTN+.