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Minnesota beats Iowa 9-3, earns rematch with Hawkeyes

29 May 2017

Jack Claeys hit a three-run homer in the first inning to get seventh-seeded Northwestern started in a 6-5 victory over Maryland on Sunday, sending the Wildcats to the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the first time since 1984.

Iowa will face the victor of the Indiana-Minnesota game in the semifinals at 9 a.m. Saturday.

"We pitched great, had a bunch of opportunities", Husker coach Darin Erstad said. "Even with a lead like that, it's never easy". "I am happy for this team".

While the Hawkeyes offense stole the show, Drake Robison's performance on the mound shouldn't be overlooked.

Both starters struggled in the game; Shaffer was roughed up to the tune of eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings, while Gallagher gave up eight runs on 14 hits in six innings. He said he wasn't stressed about his slow start in the tournament.

Adams went 4-4 with a pair of homeruns to make him the NCAA leader with 27. The Hawkeyes scored 5 runs in the first inning, but then managed 1 over the next five.

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The Terps had one hit in the top of the second, but he was left on base.

Iowa added an insurance run on a throwing error, then Shane Ritter closed it down, allowing just a single in the bottom half. His big hit came after Taylor Walls scored on a wild pitch and Raleigh singled to left in the next inning.

"Once we put up 5 [in the first], I basically said I'd throw a bunch of strikes and get as many ground balls as possible", Robison said in a release. It also tied the Big Ten record for most home runs in a season.

The Hawkeyes had two winning seasons from 1997-2013.

Maryland (35-20) bounced back from a 9-8 loss to Iowa in the afternoon to advance to another elimination game against Nebraska or Iowa on Friday night.

Iowa kept its foot on the gas, using a Hoeg sacrifice fly and a Justin Jenkins RBI single to push its advantage to 13-1.

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Northwestern is now a Big Ten-best 9-3 during the month of May and have already taken down two of the giants, MI and Minnesota, in the tournament.

"This is an unbelievable moment", said Adams.

"That's where we're striving to take this program and we're making baby steps in that direction". "We knew that pitching was going to be short in the bullpen, but we knew we could do it". Mason McCoy singled and Jake Adams hit an RBI single that pushed the Hawkeyes' lead to 2-0.

Four Hawkeyes accounted for Iowa's seven hits. Pitchers Ryan Erickson and Josh Martsching, catcher Tyler Cropley, and Whelan all earned sports on the All-Tournament Team.

The game will start at 9 a.m., and the victor will advance to the championship game against Iowa on Sunday afternoon.

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Minnesota beats Iowa 9-3, earns rematch with Hawkeyes