Connor Coward posts career highs in innings and strikeouts in no-decision effort

Virginia Tech (1-4) 0001000000161
Iowa (4-0) 0010000001241
  • New Orleans, La - 173

NEW ORLEANS, La. – With two outs in the bottom of the 10th frame, Iowa scored the game-winning run after a Virginia Tech error and registered a 2-1 walk-off victory in the first game of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic at Maestri Field Friday afternoon.

Iowa (4-0) scored that run without a hit in the frame, using a one-out hit by pitch and a two-out walk to set up the game-wining play. Ben Norman hit a ball towards third base, which Sam Fragale could not come up with and pinch runner Kace Massner raced home for the win.

Tech (1-4) fell behind 1-0 in the third before Nick Menken tied the game in the top of the fourth with a solo home run to left – his second long ball of the season. That would be all the scoring done by either team until the 10th.

The rest of the day belonged to the pitchers most notably the starters, as Iowa’s Nick Allgeyer and Tech’s Connor Coward combined to surrender just three base runners the rest of their time on the mound. Allgeyer went a total of seven frames with eight strikeouts, while Coward lasted eight innings and struck out 11.

Tech pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts in the game, with Andrew McDonald and Joey Sullivan each collecting a pair. Iowa had 12 as Zach Daniels, who picked up the win, had four in three relief innings.

Inside the Box

  • Coward – second start on the mound, led Tech with 12 last season; retired seven straight to start the game; faced two over the minimum in a career-high 8.0 innings pitched; struck out a career-high 11 batters; also struck out the side in the seventh, second time this season, fifth time in his career.
  • Menken – home run, the second of his Tech career.
  • Nick Owens – two hits, second multi-hit game of the season.

Additional Notes

  • This was the fifth all-time meeting between the schools with Iowa now leading it 3-2. The Hokies entered the game having won the previous two meetings in the series.
  • While he was the head coach at Maryland, coach John Szefc faced Iowa seven times compiling a 2-5 record.
  • The Hokies are now 4-12 all-time in the state of Louisiana, including a 3-10 mark in New Orleans. It was the team’s first game in the Big Easy since April 9, 1995 – a 13-9 win over Tulane.
  • The last Tech pitcher to strike out 11 batters in a game was McDonald at Duke, March 11, 2017.

Up Next

  • Tech will stay in New Orleans and face the hosts of the tournament, the University of New Orleans, on Saturday with first pitch against the Privateers scheduled for 3 p.m. (EST).

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