The Daily Iowan

Iowa baseball beats Penn State, clinches Big Ten Tournament berth

Nick Allgeyer’s strong outing on the mound and Chris Whelan’s 3 hits propelled Iowa to a much-needed series-opening 3-1 victory on May 17.

Iowa+infielder+Kyle+Crowl+runs+to+first+base+during+baseball+Iowa+vs.+Oklahoma+State+at+Duane+Banks+Field+on+May+6%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Cowboys+11-3.++%28Katina+Zentz%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Iowa infielder Kyle Crowl runs to first base during baseball Iowa vs. Oklahoma State at Duane Banks Field on May 6, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cowboys 11-3.  (Katina Zentz/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa infielder Kyle Crowl runs to first base during baseball Iowa vs. Oklahoma State at Duane Banks Field on May 6, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cowboys 11-3. (Katina Zentz/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa infielder Kyle Crowl runs to first base during baseball Iowa vs. Oklahoma State at Duane Banks Field on May 6, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cowboys 11-3. (Katina Zentz/The Daily Iowan)

Adam Hensley, [email protected]

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The May 17 series opener at Banks Field against Penn State turned out to be a pitchers’ duel, and Iowa snagged a 3-1 win over the Nittany Lions and clinched a Big Ten Tournament berth.

Nick Allgeyer, the Hawkeyes’ No. 1 arm, was dealing from the mound. During his 7-inning tenure, Allgeyer only gave up 4 hits while striking out 6 and holding the Nittany Lions scoreless.

Iowa jumped ahead for good in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Penn State pitcher Taylor Lehman walked Kyle Crowl, Ben Norman — who was 0-for-3 — rocked an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Crowl and putting the Hawkeyes up, 2-1.

“I was just trying to go up there and put a good swing on it,” Norman said. “I actually didn’t put a good swing on it, but it ended up finding a hole, which is what we needed.”

Norman scored two batters later when Chris Whelan knocked a single through a gap in right field, and Iowa led, 3-1.

Before the Hawkeyes’ eighth-inning heroics, offense proved to be hard to come by. It took the Hawkeyes six innings to score, but when they did, they broke a 0-0 deadlock.

With the bases loaded, Mitchell Boe worked out of an 0-2 count and battled back, forcing a 3-2 count. Lehman walked Iowa’s second baseman, scoring Matt Hoeg.

“It was a traditional Friday night pitchers’ duel on a Thursday night,” Iowa head coach Rick Heller said. “I was really impressed with [Bailey] Dees and how well he pitched.”

Penn State’s Dees looked sharp in his outing. The freshman pitched 5 innings, allowing 4 hits, holding Iowa scoreless and striking out 6.

Hitting was not Iowa’s strong suit for most of the game; the Hawkeyes managed to connect on only 6 hits against a Penn State club allowing an average of 9.3 hits per game (Iowa tallied just 1 hit going into the fifth inning).

Whelan had himself a day, but besides his efforts in the box, only three other Hawkeyes notched hits. Robert Neustrom finished 1-for-4, Tyler Cropley went 0-for-4, Austin Guzzo and Lorenzo Elion finished 0-for-2 each, and Hoeg finished 0-for-3.

Iowa can secure a series win a victory on May 18, when the two teams will collide again at 6:05 p.m. at Banks Field.

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