Cropley’s HR in 13th beats Gophers, sends Iowa to title game

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Tyler Cropley hit his second home run of the game leading off the 13th inning, and the Iowa baseball team defeated Minnesota 7-5 on Saturday night to advance to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament.

The fifth-seeded Hawkeyes (37-20) reached the title game for the second straight year and will play Sunday afternoon against Maryland or Northwestern. Those teams will meet Sunday morning.

Five relievers held Iowa to one hit over 8 2/3 innings before Cropley connected for his third home run of the tournament in the 13th off Jake Stevenson (0-1). Iowa got an insurance run on an error.

Josh Martsching (5-0) pitched 5 2/3 innings of two-hit relief for the win, and Shane Ritter worked the 13th for his fifth save.

The Gophers (36-21) had beaten Iowa 9-3 in the afternoon to force a rematch, which at 4 hours, 57 minutes was the longest game in tournament history.