By Mike Condon, Gazette Correspondent
IOWA CITY ? The Iowa baseball team has proved to be a resilient group this season.
On Saturday, Coach Rick Heller?s team overcame a loss and the cold to split a Big Ten twin-bill at a frigid Duane Banks Field.
After the Buckeyes held on for a 2-1 win in the opener, Iowa took advantage of some spotty OSU defense in the first inning of Game two to score seven runs en route to a 9-5 victory.
The two teams will play the deciding game of the series at 12:05 p.m. today, hoping to get the finale in ahead of what is expected to be measurable snow by midafternoon.
?I think our guys have shown a lot of toughness,? Iowa Coach Rick Heller said. ?It was not a great day to play, not a great day to hit, not a great day to play defense. The wind out there was brutal. I thought we played really well out there today.?
The opener was a pitcher?s dual between Iowa?s Nick Allgeyer and Ohio State?s Connor Curlis. The Hawkeyes took a 1-0 lead on a Tyler Cropley RBI single in the bottom of the third.
Ohio State took the lead in the top of the fourth on run-scoring singles from Tyler Cowles and Jacob Barnwell.
The Hawkeyes had their chances to tie the game, but couldn?t come up with the big hit. Allgeyer (3-3) was the tough-luck loser, giving up five hits, striking out eight and allowing one earned run over six innings.
?In that first game, we were hitting the ball but we were just hitting it right to people,? Iowa second baseman Mitchell Boe said. ?It was nice to come out and jump on them right away in the second game and get a big lead.?
After falling behind 1-0 in the nightcap, the Hawkeyes sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first, scoring seven runs, five of which were unearned thanks to a pair of Ohio State errors. Austin Guzzo, Lorenzo Elion and Boe drove in runs during the big inning.
That proved to be more than enough for Hawkeye starter Brady Schanuel (5-3), who struck out seven and walked four, throwing an even 100 pitches over six innings to gain the win.
?I just went out there thinking attack, attack, attack,? Schanuel said. ?Some might think you can ease up with a big lead, but for me it was just the same, trying to get outs.?
Elion, Cropley and Robert Neustrom had two hits each for Iowa (18-10, 4-3) in Game two. Boe, Cropley, Justin Jenkins and Chris Whelan each had two hits in the opener.
Curlis (5-1) went 6.2 innings to get the win in the opener for Ohio State (20-9, 3-2).