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Iowa takes series against Maryland

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | APRIL 13, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa baseball team kept humming along, taking two of three against No. 16 Maryland in the weekend series.

The wins pull the Hawks to 23-9 overall and a first-place worthy 8-1 record in the Big Ten.

While the weekend ended on a high note, it could not have began on a more unpleasant way for the Hawkeyes, who dropped the series opener against the Terps, 10-1, on April 10. It was their first conference loss of the season. 

“Our guys came out ready to play, but unfortunately, we gave up a lot of free bases, walked too many guys, and made three errors,” head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “The walks hurt us, and they were able to get a couple of clutch hits after we gave them the free bases.”

Iowa gave up 2 runs early on in the second, forcing it to play catch-up for most of the game. The Hawks could not overcome their own errors, however. 

“It was one of those games that turned south in a hurry,” Heller said. “We have to bounce back and play a lot better. We just didn’t play well enough to win.”

The Hawkeyes turned things around in the second game, however. 

Pitchers Blake Hickman and Nick Hibbing combined for nine innings of nearly perfect baseball, giving up a combined 1 run and 4 hits.

Hickman’s performance galvanized an Iowa lineup that struggled at the plate against the Terp arms. Though they managed just 6 hits, the Hawks’ offense mustered enough to scrape together a 3-1 win.

“Blake couldn’t have been any better with his command,” Heller said in a release. “He was able to pitch on both sides of the plate, and his secondary stuff was solid. It was an outstanding effort.”

The Hawks followed up in the rubber match Sundayby scraping together another win on the back of some elite pitching.

Heller will take the wins any way they happen.

“It’s amazing what can happen when you refuse to give up and refuse to give in,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our team and how hard we played today. We found a way to get it done.”

Follow @ryanarod for news, updates and analysis about the Iowa baseball team.


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