Iowa first baseman Jake Adams celebrates with teammates after a home run during the game between South Dakota State/Iowa at Duane Banks Field on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. The Hawkeyes scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to top the Jackrabbits 4-3. (The Daily Iowan/ Alex Kroeze)

Houston heartbreaker ends Hawkeyes’ season

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The Iowa baseball team’s season came to an end on June 4 when the Hawkeyes lost to Houston, 7-5, after the Cougars scored 2 runs in the ninth in the NCAA Houston Regional.

“This was a hard-fought game, I am proud of our guys,” head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “It looked like a game [in which] we were going to get it done.”

Iowa (39-22) kept the game competitive throughout but ultimately couldn’t counter No. 15 Houston’s (42-20) late lead.

“We let them back in every time we did something, and unfortunately, we didn’t have enough to hold on,” Heller said in the release. “Our best guy was out there in that situation, and he went after them, they hit it and we lost.”

Jake Adams’ statement homer in the eighth inning tied the game at 5.

Adams’ dinger was his 29th on the year, the most in Hawkeye and Big Ten history. His solo shot moved him to No. 1 this season in the NCAA, too.

“I hit a big home run in that situation,” said Adams in the release. “When I came back to the dugout, everybody was pumped up, and I thought that was going to be the turning point, but we couldn’t get anything going after that.”

Houston scored 2 runs in the top of the ninth to overpower Iowa, which couldn’t muster any runs in the bottom of the inning.

Despite the heartbreaker in Houston, Iowa’s season stands as a success. Its 39 wins in 2017 rank as the fifth-most in Hawkeye history. The team also won its first-ever Big Ten Tournament title, taking down Northwestern.

“We’re right here where we’re supposed to be,” said Adams in the release. “We competed with an SEC team and an AAC team; I wouldn’t change it for anything. A couple of plays and hits here and there, and we’re going to a Super Regional.”

— by Adam Hensley

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