Hawkeyes Knock Off Top-Seeded Indiana

May 23, 2019

Written by Athletic Communications

OMAHA, Neb. — Senior Cole McDonald’s eight-inning, nine-strikeout performance lifted the eighth-seeded University of Iowa baseball team to a 4-2 opening round Big Ten Tournament victory over top-seeded and 21st-ranked Indiana on Wednesday night at TD Ameritrade Park.

McDonald was perfect through three innings with four strikeouts, while not allowing a ball to leave the infield and exited with a 4-1 lead after a dominant, effective 108 pitches with 71 strikes.

“The last four years have been the greatest of my life and I love representing Iowa across my chest,” said McDonald, who earned his sixth win of the season. “If it was my last game, I wanted to go out on the right note and give everything I had. We have a great group of guys, I know we can keep on playing and I don’t want our season to end.”

It was a pitcher’s duel with Indiana’s Pauly Milto through six innings before the Hoosiers scored the game’s first run in the sixth inning.

Indiana’s 1-0 was short-lived when Iowa scored three runs in the seventh inning, while adding a run in the eighth to take a 4-1 lead to the bottom of the ninth.

Iowa’s offense manufactured runs and junior closer Grant Leonard entered Iowa’s record books with his 14th save of the season, but it was McDonald’s day from the start. The right-hander pitched eight innings for the second time this season, allowing only one run on five hits.

McDonald used double plays in the sixth and seventh to get out of mini jams and finished his day with a 1-2-3 eighth inning before handing the ball over to Leonard, who locked down his record-breaking 14th save of the season in the ninth inning despite allowing one run on two hits.

Iowa’s three-run seventh inning featured three hits with RBIs from senior Tanner Wetrich, senior Chris Whelan, and sophomore Izaya Fullard. Iowa’s balanced offense recorded nine hits with six Hawkeyes recording at least one hit. Junior Justin Jenkins led Iowa with three hits from the nine hole, while junior Ben Norman scored two runs.

“It was a great game with two good pitchers going at it. I couldn’t be prouder with how our team showed up and how dialed in we were in all facets of the game. Cole McDonald was outstanding tonight. He located his fastball on both sides of the plate and he located his off-speed all night long. He gave us exactly what we needed.

“Offensively, we hit some barrels early. (Pauly) Milto was good tonight. We finally broke through. Justin Jenkins had an awesome game tonight. He picked us up at the bottom of the order. It was an overall team effort and a great game. I couldn’t be happier with the effort.”


  • Since 2014 when the Big Ten Tournament expanded to eight teams, No. 8 seeds are 5-9 all-time with the Hawkeyes owning all five victories (1 in 2014, three in 2016, and 1 in 2019).
  • Jenkins doubled and had two singles to record his first career three-hit game.
  • McDonald’s sixth win of the season is his first career victory in the Big Ten Tournament.
  • Leonard’s save moves him past Kevin Lee for the single-season school record with 14.
  • Fullard extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games and his on-base streak to 22 contests.

Iowa will face fifth-seeded Nebraska at 9 p.m. (CT) Thursday at TD Ameritrade Park.

Continue reading below

Related In HawkeyeNation Forums

Continue reading below

Continue reading below

Trending in Forums View All >

HawkeyeNation Archives View All >

John Waggoner Working to Push Way into D-End Rotation

Rob Howe

August 17, 2019

Freshman end from Dowling sees opportunity for playing time.

Deontae Craig Joins Hawkeye Recruiting Class

Rob Howe

August 16, 2019

Indiana defensive end announces decision Friday.

Julius Brents, Riley Moss Ready for Round 2 with Hawkeyes

Rob Howe

August 16, 2019

True sophomore cornerbacks striving for consistency.

Schwartz: Desmond King’s Star Continues to Rise

David Schwartz

August 15, 2019

Former Hawkeye all-American has turned into NFL force.

Hawkeyes Feel Good About Depth at Defensive Tackle

Rob Howe

August 14, 2019

Austin Schulte, Daviyon Nixon, Noah Shannon taking advantage of opportunity.

New Hawkeye Center Tyler Linderbaum a Rare Breed

Rob Howe

August 13, 2019

Solon product establishes himself as steady presence on Iowa O-Line.

HN Pod: Open Practice Discussion

Jon Miller

August 12, 2019

Miller and Deace talk about Iowa media observations from Saturday’s open practice and more talk relative to where we think Iowa’s record will wind up.

Bigger Ten: Best B1G Players Each School

Jon Miller

August 12, 2019

Miller and Deace offer up their picks for the best Big Ten players they have seen play at each school….which covers nearly the last 40 years of football in the conference.