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Late hits carry Hawks over Grand View

BY JORDAN HANSEN | APRIL 01, 2015 5:00 AM

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Up 2-1 going into the bottom of the sixth inning in the Iowa baseball team’s eventual 9-2 win over Grand View (9-11) Tuesday, the Hawkeyes needed a bit of breathing room.

Grand View starting pitcher Spencer Lockwood had struggled mightily early, walking five batters and forcing the Vikings to pull him just two-thirds of the way through the first inning.

After that, however, Iowa (18-6, 3-0 Big Ten) hadn’t been able to get much of anything going,  managing only one hit through the first five.

The sixth inning, however, went a bit differently. Outfielder Kris Goodman hit a lead-off double, which was quickly followed by a triple from freshman Grant Klenovich. It was his first college hit.

“I saw fastballs early and wasn’t able to put it in play with a runner in scoring position and trying to hit the ball hard up the middle,” Klenovich said. “I got two strikes on me, and I did the two-strike approach that our coaches preach to us every single day, and it worked out.

“I got an elevated curve ball, and I was able to sit back and drive it to the right side.”

The Hawkeyes tacked on a second run and then another in the seventh, and the floodgates really opened up in the eighth inning, when they scored another 4 runs to go up 9-2.

“I think our confidence was there the whole time, and it just came around at the end,” centerfielder Eric Toole said. “We were getting walks early, we were getting hits early, then they’d throw that one strike, and we’d ground into a double play and that’s unfortunate sometimes, but I feel we were swinging well the whole day.”

Most of Iowa’s 9 hits came in the fifth inning or later, and a solid outing by the Hawkeye pitchers kept the Grand View bats at bay until a cushion was in place.

Freshman Nick Gallagher got the start for the Hawkeyes — the first of his college career — and went 3.2 innings, striking out 3, walking 2, and giving up a single earned run.

“It was a lot of fun, I just tried to pound the zone, and Coach [Rick] Heller tells us to throw strikes and make them hit you,” Gallagher said. “No free bases, and I tried to do that the best I could today.”

He was strong for most of his time on the mound but was pulled after giving up a run on a Grand View single in the fourth inning.

Heller used three other pitchers after Gallagher, including Jared Mandel, who was credited with the win.

“It was great to get Nick Gallagher out there for a real start and let him roll, his first one, and we were just going to let him go until he was done,” Heller said. “I thought Jared Mandel did a nice job, too, and it was good to see him go out there and get some innings under his belt.

“We’re going to need both of those guys down the stretch.”


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