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IOWA CITY, Iowa - Late May is the beginning of college baseball’s October, so it was only fitting that Iowa’s regular-season finale against Indiana on Saturday night was played in fall-like weather.

“Shouldn’t it be warm in May?” Iowa coach Rick Heller asked.

It wasn’t warm. Temperatures in the 50s, dropping into the 40s by the end of the game that started at 8 p.m. for TV reasons, made it feel like it was one of those early April Big Ten-opening series.

Except this was the end that set up the beginning of what the Hawkeyes hope are a long next few weeks.

The 2-1 win over the Hoosiers completed a wild three-game sweep for the Hawkeyes (33-17, 17-7 Big Ten), giving them a piece of the three-way share of second place and the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament that starts Wednesday in Omaha.

Iowa won the first two games 30-16 and 12-0, but this one had more of the feel of the postseason crucible, and the Hawkeyes survived.

“We needed one of them,” Heller said. “We needed to have a grinder, to find a way to get it done. We definitely did that tonight — tough situations, and we fought out of it.”

“It was good for us to get that atmosphere,” said reliever Ben Beutel, who got the save. “So when it does happen in the conference playoffs — I don’t know what you call it — but when it happens there we have to be ready to focus and get locked in to get the job done, go where they want to go.”

Starting pitcher Ty Langenberg and relievers Connor Schultz and Ben Beutel created their own jams, and then found their ways out of them, which is something you may need to do in tournament settings.

Langenberg had base traffic in three of the five innings he pitched. Schultz gave up a home run to Matthew Ellis in the sixth, then retired the next five hitters he faced. Beutel worked out of a two-on, no-out situation in the eighth inning, and with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth struck out Carter Mathison and got Josh Pyne to fly out to right field to end the game.

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“Confidence,” Beutel said. “It all goes back to that.”

Beutel’s eighth was a tense journey. Mathison singled to open the inning, then Pyne walked. Beutel struck out Phillip Glasser, then got a called third strike past Ellis. Then, Beutel hit Brock Tibbitts with a two-strike pitch, but on appeal first-base umpire Kyle Fecteau ruled that Tibbitts swung at the pitch for the strikeout to end the inning.

“It was really loud at some points,” Beutel said. “It was good to get in those kinds of atmospheres.”

Iowa’s offense scored at will in the first two games, but was able to scratch out just enough runs in this one. Keaton Anthony hit a solo home run in the first inning, and Kyle Huckstorf scored on a wild pitch in a fifth inning in which the Hawkeyes had the bases loaded against Indiana reliever Ty Bothwell before Brendan Sher and Ben Wilmes struck out to end the inning.

“I thought when we let Bothwell off the hook in the fifth, it might come back to haunt us,” Heller said. “But it held up.”

It will be a hot week for the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten tournament. Their regular-season case for an NCAA tournament bid is complete, and the longer they stick around in Omaha enhances their chances.

The tiebreaker with Rutgers and Illinois gave the Hawkeyes the 3 seed, but it also put them in Wednesday’s 9 a.m. first-round game against Penn State. Had they lost Saturday night, they would have been playing a game on Wednesday that would have started no earlier than 9 p.m.

Heller didn’t want to be waiting around, because he’s been around long enough to know that the schedule of conference tournaments can become logjams with any sort of delay.

“It’s not crazy important, but it’s more convenient,” Heller said. “You can plan a lot better. I like to be able to plan.”

The plan this weekend came together perfectly for the Hawkeyes, from the 46-run onslaught on Thursday to the shutout on Friday to the postseason feel on a cold night in May.

“They really responded,” Heller said. “They showed a lot of toughness tonight.”