CHAMPAIGN, Ill. | Robert Neustrom homered twice and Justin Jenkins made a game-saving catch as the Iowa Hawkeyes stayed in contention for the Big Ten Conference baseball title with a 6-5 win over Illinois here Thursday night.
Neustrom, a sophomore from Sioux City North, led off the second inning with a solo homer and connected again in the fourth, giving him six round-trippers for the season. It was his career two home run game.
Illinois had the tying run at third base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth when Mark Skonieczny laced a drive to the right center field gap, but Jenkins made a diving catch to end the game.
Iowa is 14-8 in the Big Ten and still mathematically alive in the title chase.
With the wind blowing out, the teams combined for eight home runs – all solo shots – in the first six innings. Jake Adams hit his 22nd homer of the season, tying John Knapp for the single-season school record that has stood since 1986.
Nick Gallagher (8-1) allowed five runs on seven hits to pick up the pitching win.
SDSU 7, OMAHA 2: South Dakota State downed Omaha in the first game of a Summit League doubleheader Friday in Brookings, S.D.
Ethan Kenkel, a Storm Lake, Iowa, product, picked up the pitching win to raise his record to 4-1. Bryce Hanson, who prepped at Sergeant Bluff-Luton, notched his first save of the season.
Kenkel allowed six hits, struck out four and walked two in five innings while Hanson gave up just one hit, struck out five and walked two in four innings.