Iowa’s Tuesday afternoon game against Cornell College was cancelled due to some pretty unforgiving elements and will not be made up. A second February baseball game in Iowa City just wasn’t in the cards - Mother Nature pulled the old “Lucy pulling the football away before Charlie Brown could kick it” gag, teasing everyone with mid-to-upper 60s weather before throwing a thunderstorm into the mix.
The game was scheduled to start at 3 p.m., but due to lightning and thunderstorms in the area, it was pushed back. By the time the lightning, rain, and hail subsided in Iowa City, the game was set to begin at 5 p.m.
WEATHER DELAY: Lightning is within the 10-mile radius. We're in a holding pattern. #Hawkeyes— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) February 28, 2017
Alas, that was short lived, as only two innings were played before lightning struck again in the area and the game was called off for good. All-in-all, Iowa stranded five baserunners in the two innings played, so maybe it’s best that the weather forced the cancellation of the game.
Iowa is set to travel to Minneapolis, MN, to take part in the DQ Classic at U.S. Bank Stadium. Yes, the same U.S. Bank Stadium that hosts the Minnesota Vikings.
It looks like it’d take an absolute MOONSHOT to hit one out of there, especially to dead centerfield, but supposedly it’s only 401 to the deepest part of the ballpark. Either way, it looks like a functional enough baseball field despite the odd dugouts and spacious foul territory even though it looks really ugly (in my humble opinion).
But enough about the field, let’s talk about the teams Iowa is set to face this weekend!
- Game one will be played on Friday, and the Hawkeyes will take on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at 12:15 p.m. This will be the first road trip for the Rainbow Warriors, who are 3-4 on the season despite having the very unique home field advantage of playing all the way in Hawaii. They’ve received some pretty spectacular pitching from their starters (three of them boast an ERA lower than 2.25), but their bats haven’t been able to get them more wins as their leading hitter is only hitting .250 on the young season.
- Game two is Saturday at noon, and the opponent will be the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, who may be the toughest test at the DQ Classic. The Golden Eagles are 7-1 on the season and are riding a 4-game winning streak after sweeping Alabama and taking their last game against Kansas. Alabama was ranked to start the season, which gives you a pretty good indicator of how impressive a sweep in Tuscaloosa is.
Here’s a quick blurb on the Golden Eagles from Roll Bama Roll:
You never have a good feeling after being swept, and although Oral Roberts has the look of a formidable team, they are from the Summit League and have an enrollment of about 3,500 students. The Eagles played a scrappy, aggressive style of baseball, and were very impressive in their play. ORU bunted when they needed to, hit the ball the other way when called on and made big pitches at crucial times. The Tide never could gain any momentum or come up with the big hit or play when needed.
Oral Roberts has some really good players, but one to keep on eye on if you attend is Noah Cummings. The sophomore is on an absolute tear, hitting .469 with four home runs and 13 RBI. The Hawks are going to have to be really careful with him whenever he’s at the plate.
- Lastly, the Hawks take on Minnesota on Sunday at 3 p.m., and this one will be streamed on BTN Plus. The Gophers are 4-2 on the season and have had the fortune of playing a few games at U.S. Bank Stadium, where they are 3-1 so far. The Gophers appear to be a very contact oriented team, as they’ve only hit two home runs in their first six games and they have seven players hitting at least .296. It’s a small sample size, obviously, but something to keep an eye on.