On Friday night, despite being the lowest seed, being the only non-Texas school in the field of four in Houston and taking on one of the top teams on their own field, the Hawkeyes winning ways continued.
Facing off against Cougars ace Trey Cumbie, it was looking like an uphill battle for the Hawks, who like Houston were coming off the high of a conference tournament title. After an early victory by Texas A&M over Baylor, the stage was set for a battle between the fierce Hawkeye bats and one of the best pitchers in college baseball.
Confidence amongst Rick Heller’s ballclub, and the Iowa fans seemed high pre-game, and it carried over as the Hawkeyes struck first, and Jake Adams nearly busted the game open with a shot to the right field wall early.
The Hawkeyes continued to hit Cumbie hard, and were ever so close to making it a rout. Cougars center fielder Corey Julks made a highlight real catch to keep Houston in the game early.
Ryan Erickson battled and kept the Hawkeyes in the game. He departed with a 4-3 lead, and would go on to get the win.
The key moment in the game would come when a Houston base runner missed first base, which would be challenged, and would be determined to be correctly called an out. This took the tying run off the board for the Cougars, and they wouldn’t score again.
Iowa closer Josh Martsching came in for the Andrew Miller type ‘long-save’, and that would be it for the Cougars bats, as the Hawkeyes would end up winning 6-3.
Freshmen outfielder Ben Norman would lead the Hawkeyes with three hits; including a double. Big Ten Player of The Year Jake Adams and third basemen Matt Hoeg were the only starters to not get hits as the Hawkeyes crushed Cougars pitching to the tune of 13 hits.
- The Hawkeyes face off against the Texas A&M Aggies who finished the season 37-21. The Aggies beat the Baylor Bears Friday afternoon 8-5.
- The Aggies won the SEC Conference Tournament last season.
- Famous Aggie baseball alums include 4-time All Star Chuck Knoblauch and Cardinals Michael Wacha.
The Houston field features a ‘different’ black pitching mound: