The fifth-seeded University of Iowa baseball team made history Sunday afternoon at Bart Kaufman Field.
The Hawkeyes belted out 14 hits in a 13-4 victory over seventh-seeded Northwestern to claim their first Big Ten Tournament title in school history. Iowa (38-20) won four games in four days to earn the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals — the program’s second appearance in three seasons.
“It’s never easy,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “Even with a lead like that, it’s never easy. Once it was over, I had a bunch of amazing feelings and emotions. I am happy for this team.”
With its pitching depth in question after Saturday’s doubleheader against Minnesota, the Hawkeyes got a performance for the ages from senior starting pitcher Drake Robison. The Illinois native allowed four hits and just one run over seven innings, fanning six.
“We won the championship because Drake gave us a tremendous start,” said Heller. “The offense did him a tremendous job of giving him a lead, but Drake was tremendous.”
After Robison worked around a pair of walks to strike out the side in the first, Iowa’s offense gave the right-hander some early breathing room, sending eight batters to the plate to jump out to a 5-0 lead. [Read more…]