They don't make it easy, these Hawkeye baseballers. Iowa needed yet another comeback and even more late game heroics to emerge victorious in mid-week action against UW-Milwaukee, but win they did, with a 5-4 victory in the 12th inning. It was Iowa's second walk-off win in their past four games (after a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth against Nebraska last Friday) and their latest in an increasingly long line of mid-week late escapes. Overall Iowa is 6-2 in mid-week games this year, with five of those six wins coming by two runs or less. In all five of those narrow wins Iowa scored the winning runs in the 8th inning or later. The 2019 Hawkeyes are not for the faint of heart.
In this game, Iowa went down 1-0 in the first inning to Milwaukee after an RBI single, but tied the game in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single from Izaya Fullard. Milwaukee went back on top with a 2-run triple in the second inning. Iowa got one of those runs back in the bottom of the second after an RBI double from Chris Whelan. The scoring dried up for a while after that, until Iowa was able to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th with an RBI single from Ben Norman. Milwaukee took the lead for the third and final time in the 11th with an RBI single. Iowa responded with a two-out RBI single from Austin Martin to tie the game in the bottom of the 11th, before Justin Jenkins put on his cape and tights.
In the top of the 12th, Jenkins preserved the tie with a sharp defensive play -- he fielded the second out of the inning on a shallow fly ball, then picked up the third and final out with a sharp throw home to take out the Milwaukee runner trying to score.
Having flashed the leather in the top half of the inning, Jenkins showed off his bat in the bottom half of the inning. Jenkins launched a rocket over the right field wall to give Iowa its first (and only) lead of the game. WALK. IT. OFF.
Pretty good timing for Jenkins to record just the second home run of his Iowa career. Jenkins has struggled this season, hitting just .217 at the plate, but he came through in a big way for Iowa at the end of this game.
Duncan Davitt got the start for Iowa and he had a rocky outing, giving up three earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three in his two innings of work. Nine other Iowa pitchers chipped in to get the Hawkeyes through the remaining 10 innings of the game and they locked Milwaukee down, holding them to just one unearned run in those final 10 innings. Clayton Nettleton pitched two shutout innings and gave up just one hit while striking out two. Trenton Wallace pitching 1.2 shutout innings and also gave up just one hit while striking out two batters. Props also to Grant Leonard who threw 1.1 innings and struck out three and giving up a walk and a hit.
Both teams struggled to turn baserunners into actual runs. Milwaukee had 12 hits and drew three walks, but recorded just four runs because they stranded 11 runners on base. Iowa was even worse, picking up 13 hits and drawing four walks, but leaving 12 runners stranded. Several Hawkeyes had mult-hit games in this one, led by Brandon Sher, who went 3/5 with a double and two runs scored. Whelan went 2/4 with a double and an RBI, while Martin went 2/6 with the game-tying RBI in the 11th inning. Ben Norman, 2/6 with an RBI, was Iowa's other multi-hit guy today. But the hitting hero of the day was Justin Jenkins, who went 1/2, but that one hit was a doozy. Take a bow, Justin.
"The next thing you know, the game was over." The 12th inning belongs to Justin Jenkins pic.twitter.com/HayPm6RNio— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) April 24, 2019
Iowa improves to 24-15 overall and 15-4 at the friendly confines of Duane Banks Field this season. #BanksMagic is real, folks.
NEXT: Iowa heads on the road for a three-game weekend set at Ohio State (23-18 overall, 6-6 Big Ten) on Friday-Sunday.