The Iowa Hawkeyes (42-13, 15-8 Big Ten) are one win away from capturing their second all-time win in the Big Ten Baseball Tournament.
To do this, Iowa will have to topple No. 1 seed Maryland. The Terrapins (40-19, 17-7 Big Ten) arrive in the championship game after an opening win michigan state and then prevails back-to-back Nebraska.
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The Terps settled Sparty, 3-2. Then, Maryland trailed the Huskers 2–1 in extra innings thanks to a Nick Lorusso homer to enter the Big Ten Semifinals. As fate would have it, they met Nebraska again.
After a fantastic start from Jason Savacool, the top seeded Terps stormed into the title game. Savacool pitched six shutout innings and a three-run second inning propelled Maryland to an eventual 4–2 victory.
Meanwhile, Iowa opened with a 13–3 points victory Michigan. Jack Whitlock’s heroic exploits, a Brayden Frazier grand slam and a three-run Sam Petersen blast secured the Hawks’ opening win.
Iowa reached within one win of the title game after an epic rally against Indiana, winning 9-4 when it was all said and done. The Hawkeyes came alive to erase a three-run deficit with four runs in the seventh and four more in the ninth inning to send the Hoosiers to the loser.
The capstone of the championship round was a Ty Langenberg gem in the second tournament game for the Hawkeyes against Michigan. The right back pitched seven shutout innings en route to Iowa’s 5-0 blanking of the Wolverines.
Now the way is clear for Iowa to join the 2017 squad as the second Hawkeye baseball outfit to win the Big Ten Tournament championship. It’s a huge day for baseball in Iowa. Here’s how and where fans can dial in to all the action.
Plus some important game notes for both.
Hawkeye Radio Network: John Leo, John Evans
Meeting of all times: This will be the 19th meeting of all time
All time serial number: Iowa leads 10-8
If history is any indication, the Hawkeyes have it on their side. The two teams have met twice in their Big Ten Tournament history. Iowa owns a perfect 2-0 scoreline, beating Maryland 11-0 in Omaha in 2016 and 9-8 in 2017 in Bloomington, Ind.
While Iowa leads the all-time series, it was Maryland that won two of three games and the 2023 series earlier in the season. The Terps handed Iowa losses in each of their first two Big Ten games this season, beating Iowa on consecutive nights.
Maryland opened that series with a 10-9 victory on Friday, followed by a 7-4 victory on Saturday. Iowa saved the final game in the series by a 12-8 count. That means the Hawkeyes are looking for an even season streak in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament.
In the season series, Cade Moss went 5-for-11 (.455) with a pair of doubles and an RBI and Brennen Dorighi went 4-for-11 (.364) with an RBI. Find these two on Sunday.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) May 27, 2023
Maryland had not been one of the league’s top teams in terms of ERA all season. Meanwhile, the Terps had the best batting average during the regular season.
Suddenly left is right and up is down. Maryland was great in this tournament, so what does it mean on Sunday against an Iowa team that is second in batting average in the Big Ten?
Iowa has been sensational on the mound all season and the Hawkeyes led the Big Ten with a 4.11 ERA on Saturday against Michigan. Langenberg gave Iowa the quality start it was looking for and then some against the Wolverines.
Whoever gets the ball for Iowa in the title fight now has his hands full against Maryland and the best offense in the Big Ten. During the season, Maryland has scored 551 runs and hit 121 home runs.
While the Hawkeyes don’t hit the long ball with the same skill as Maryland, that doesn’t mean Iowa can’t make a rush. The Hawkeyes do it a different way, but they are second in the Big Ten in points scored, with 466 points on the season so far.
Iowa enters the B1G championship game with 125 doubles and 15 triples on the season. Iowa has hit 66 home runs, which ranks fifth in the conference.
- The Hawkeyes are 42-13 and 15-8 in Big Ten play. This is the fifth time in the program’s history that Iowa has reached the 40-win mark. 42 wins is the most in Rick Heller’s tenure at Iowa and the second most in program history.
- Iowa has won 19 of the last 23.
- Iowa has outscored its opponents 466-237, averaging 8.47 runs per game.
- The pitching staff has a 4.11 ERA good for first in the Big Ten and 12th in the nation, Iowa’s defense leads the conference and ranks 14th in the nation in fielding percentage of .980, and the Hawkeyes have a batting average from .301. If the season ended today, Iowa’s batting average would be the highest since 2008 (.316).
- Iowa makes its eighth consecutive Big Ten Tournament appearance and 16th in program history.
- The Hawkeyes are 23-28 all-time in tournament history, including winning their first-ever Big Ten Tournament title in 2017. Iowa has played in the championship game five times (1983, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2023).
- Iowa has won at least one game in seven of the last eight Big Ten tournaments and is 14-8 over the past six tournaments.
- Head coach Rick Heller is 16-12 in the conference tournament.
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