Coming off of a series loss to Evansville, the Hawkeyes headed home for the first time this season to take on the Cal State Northridge Matadors. After dropping game 1 on Saturday the Hawks swept the Sunday doubleheader on the backs of Grant Judkins and Mitchell Boe.
GAME 1: CSU NORTHRIDGE 8, IOWA 5
Iowa dropped game one of the series 8-5 as Cole McDonald suffered his third loss of the season. The Matadors jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning after a pair of doubles. Iowa struck back in the second, tying the game at 2-2 after a Mitchell Boe single scored Chris Whelan and Ben Norman. Iowa would take the lead in the 3rd following an error by CSUN, which would be the last time Iowa held the lead.
CSUN added a run in the 4th and 5th innings before busting out for three in the 7th. Trailing 7-3, Iowa pinch hitter Trenton Wallace ripped a 2 RBI double to bring the score to 7-5. CSUN scored again in the top of the 9th to take an 8-5 lead before closing things out. Iowa had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th but couldn’t get anyone across the plate.
McDonald threw five innings, giving up four runs while striking out four. The Iowa bullpen gave up four runs as well in four innings of work. At the plate, Mitchel Boe went 3-5 with 2 RBIs, Lorenzo Elion went 2-4 with two runs scored, and Connor McCaffery got his first at-bat of the season.
GAME 2: IOWA 5, CSU NORTHRIDGE 4
Cam Bauman got the start for Iowa in game two and set a career high for strikeouts with eight in only 4.1 innings of work. CSUN took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the 7th inning before Iowa finally got things going. After a single and an error, Mitchell Boe hit a 3-run home run, the second of his career, to tie things up.
Iowa gave up the lead again in the 8th inning and trailed 4-3 heading into the bottom of the 9th. Thankfully, Iowa has Grant Judkins. We will talk about his pitching in a second, but in the final inning, Judkins launched a 2 RBI double to right center giving Iowa the walk-off win.
Grant Leonard got the win on the mound for Iowa, throwing two shutout innings in relief.
All of the drama from game one today at Banks Field! pic.twitter.com/xrO2bIBlpv— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) March 17, 2019
GAME 3: IOWA 3, CSU NORTHRIDGE 1
After grabbing the walk-off hit in game one of the doubleheader, the Grant Judkins show continued full steam ahead in game two. Judkins, who has been Iowa’s best starting pitcher all season long, took the momentum from his walk-off double and was even more brilliant on the mound. Judkins threw a gem, going eight innings and only allowing one run on three hits, while striking out five and walking one. He didn't walk any batters until the lead-off hitter in the 9th inning, which led to him being pulled, and he had four 1-2-3 innings while retiring eight straight batters at one point. He was absolutely locked in yesterday -- but that's been true of him pretty much all season. In 29.2 innings this year he has only allowed five earned runs, he has an ERA of 1.52, while striking out 30 batters, and holding opponents to a .170 batting average. That is all very, very good.
Judkins does it all in a doubleheader sweep: pic.twitter.com/wiUe4BDKMF— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) March 18, 2019
Grant Leonard, winner of game two, picked up the save in game three, completing a pretty great day for him on the mound.
Connor McCaffery stepped off of the basketball court for the weekend and got his first career start in game two of the doubleheader -- and made an instant impact. Playing left field, McCaffery almost made everyone forget about the horrible things that happened to the Iowa basketball team on Friday by going 3-4 with two doubles. Hawkeye Sports has a good piece on McCaffery's eventful weekend.
Mitchell Boe, Izaya Fllard, Austin Martin, Ben Norman, Justin Jenkins, and Brandon Sher recorded Iowa's other in game two, with Boe also scoring two runs and Wetrich scoring once. All of Iowa's runs came in the first three innings; Boe got Iowa started by scoring off a passed ball in the first, then scored Iowa's second in the third after an RBI single from Martin. Wetrich scored Iowa's final run in the third on an error. No more offense was needed with Judkins dazzling on the mound.
Iowa Batting Stats as of 3/18/19
Iowa Pitching Stats as of 3/18/19
Iowa is now 9-7 on the year and will welcome Chicago State to Iowa City on Wednesday (4 PM CT, BTN Plus) before heading to Indiana next weekend for the start of Big Ten play.