Omaha runner Sam Palinsky slides back into first base during the game between Omaha-Iowa at Duane Banks Field on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. The Hawkeyes pull off another comeback win with three runs in the 8th inning and two runs in the 9th inning for the 9-8 victory. (The Daily Iowan/ Alex Kroeze)

Aggies too much for Hawkeye baseball

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By Adam Hensley

adam-hensley@uiowa.edu

Iowa baseball fell to Texas A&M, 3-2, on June 3 in the Houston Regional,sending the Hawkeyes to an elimination contest against Houston at 3 p.m. June 4.

The fourth-seeded Hawkeyes got on base in the ninth inning, setting themselves up for a chance to string together some runs against No. 3 seed Aggies, but Iowa couldn’t capitalize.

Grant Judkins drew a walk to start off the inning. Justin Jenkins pinch ran for him and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt.

Ben Norman wasn’t able to reach base, but Mitchell Boe connected on a single; the ball almost escaped the A&M’s pitcher, but he was able to get his glove on it before it shot into the gap. Boe stole second during Chris Whelan’s at bat, giving Iowa runners on second and third.

Whelan popped out to end the game and send the Aggies to the regional final.

“We get the hit, Mitch had the hit to drive in the tying run, but unfortunately it hit the pitcher,” head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “We got a runner in scoring position and thought we had him to balk on the balk-steal play, and we had one of our best hitters up with the chance to tie the game and go ahead in the top of the ninth, but it just didn’t happen.”

Jake Adams did his part to keep Iowa in the game. With two outs, he launched his 28th home run of the season, a solo shot to left field that cut A&M’s lead to a single run.

“He left a slider up over the middle of the plate,” Adams said in a release. “I tried sparking our lineup, but we couldn’t get anything going after that.”

Adams’ dinger broke the Big Ten single-season record for home runs and also elevated him to No. 1 in the nation.

Iowa’s pitching began on a positive note; starter Nick Gallagher allowed just two base runners in the first three innings.

His touch wore off after that, and he gave up back-to-back singles and a 3-run home run to Cole Bedford.

“I got [Bedford] to two strikes, but hung a slider; I left it up,” Gallagher said in a release. “He did some damage. I wish I could have that pitch back.”

Zach Daniels came in for relief later. He allowed a single hit during the final 2.2 innings and recorded 3 strikeouts.

“Nick gave us a quality start, he had a rough fourth inning,” said Heller in the release. “That was the only runs he gave up. Zach was outstanding out of the bullpen.”

Iowa’s game against Houston will be a rematch of its opening game of the regional.

The Hawkeyes took down the Cougars, 6-3, connecting on 13 hits and holding the Texas squad to only 6.

Houston comes off of a 17-3 blowout win over two-seeded Baylor. The Cougars’ 20 hits was a stark contrast from their outing against the Hawkeyes.

“We have to take it one game at a time, just like we’ve been doing this entire year,” Gallagher said in the release. “Like in the Big Ten Tournament when we lost to Minnesota, we showed a lot coming back the next game, beating them in the nightcap.”

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