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Back home after two weekend road trips, Iowa started things off right.

The Hawkeyes had four two-run innings and picked up six solid frames from starter Nick Gallagher, sending Rick Heller’s squad to an 8-3 win over Rutgers on Friday at Duane Banks Field. 

Matt Hoeg drove in four with a two-run double in the second and a two-run homer in sixth, and Robert Neustrom added to the long ball action with a two-run blast in the fourth to give Iowa (23-13, 6-4 Big Ten Conference) a 6-1 lead.

That cushion was more than enough for Gallagher (5-1), who yielded just five hits and two runs with four walks and four strikeouts. After pushing a run across in the first, Rutgers (13-22, 2-5) didn’t score again until the seventh.

The series resumes Saturday at 6:02 p.m. with Iowa’s Ryan Erickson (1-1, 3.55) set to face Rutgers’ Serafino Brito (2-6, 5.21).

Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him atmsouthard@gannett.comor follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.