SAN DIEGO — The University of Iowa baseball team bounced back in the second game of the Tony Gwynn Legacy Tournament, downing No. 18 Arizona, 4-1, on Saturday afternoon at Fowler Park behind a strong pitching performance from senior Grant Judkins.
“I’m happy and proud of our team,” head coach Rick Heller said. “We showed a lot of toughness today with a quick turnaround. We played hard with good energy. We had a tremendous start from Grant today and we beat a good team with some big-time hitters.”
Judkins (2-0), a right-hander from Pella, Iowa, had his repertoire of pitches working from the get-go, allowing only two hits over six scoreless innings to earn the win. His only hits allowed were a bloop single to left field and a bunt single down the third base line.
Judkins retired the final 12 batters he faced, and that set the tone for Iowa’s offense.
The Hawkeyes scored two runs in the second and third innings, with four of their eight hits coming in those frames.
In the second inning, freshman Peyton Williams started the scoring with his first career home run to deep right center field. His two-run shot gave the Hawkeyes a 2-0 lead.
Iowa added on in the following inning. Junior Izaya Fullard walked and senior Austin Martin singled to start the inning, and Fullard came around to score on an RBI-single by senior Zeb Adreon. Martin scored on an RBI-groundout to extend Iowa’s lead to 4-0 after three.
Arizona scored its only run in the seventh inning after Iowa went to its bullpen. Junior left-hander Trenton Wallace struck out the first batter he faced, but loaded the bases after a single and two walks.
Junior Dylan Nedved relieved Wallace for the final two outs of the inning. He induced a ground ball that scored a run, followed by a line out to end the inning. Nedved worked a clean eighth with two strikeouts before handing the ball over to closer Grant Leonard.
Leonard needed only eight pitches to earn his second save of the season and 18th of his career to close out Iowa’s 4-1 win.
Today was Iowa’s first win over a ranked opponent. The Hawkeyes went 10-3 against top-30 teams last season.
Iowa pitchers limited Arizona to 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Judkins is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA and 12 strikeouts to only two walks in two starts this season.
Leonard’s 18th career save moves him into sole possession of fourth place on Iowa’s career saves list.
Williams went 2-for-3 — his second career multi-hit game — and stole his first career base on a delayed steal.
Martin tallied his second multi-hit game of the season on a 2-for-4 day with one double.
Senior and California native Matthew Sosa recorded his first multi-hit game of the season, finishing 2-for-4.
Iowa concludes the Tony Gwynn Legacy Tournament on Sunday, facing San Diego at 4 p.m. (CT) at Fowler Park.
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