After a 2-1 start to the season, Iowa baseball now sits at .500 following a two-loss weekend in the Tony Gwynn Legacy Tournament.
Iowa dropped its most recent game, a 10-5 loss to San Diego, on Sunday. It was a back-and-forth game for the Hawkeyes, who couldn’t match San Diego’s offense at the end. After a 2-0 lead through two innings, Iowa found itself down heading into the seventh inning. The Hawkeyes responded with three runs, tying the game at 4-4, but San Diego proved to be too strong offensively in the end. The Toreros outscored the Hawkeyes 6-3 over the game’s final three innings.
Duncan Davitt started on the mound, and he put together four solid innings (one run, three hits, four strikeouts) before his day was over. Izaya Fullard led the offense, going 3-for-5 from the plate.
Arguably the Hawkeyes’ best performance of the weekend, however, came on Feb. 22 when the Iowa took down No. 18 Arizona 4-1.
Grant Judkins was stellar on the mound in the win. He put together six scoreless innings, striking out six Arizona batters and allowing just two hits. Judkins now has allowed just two runs in his 11 innings pitched this season.
Just how good was Judkins’ outing against Arizona? The Big Ten named him the Pitcher of the Week on Monday. It was the second time he’s won the award.
Arizona just could not put together any sort of tangible offense with or without Judkins on the mound. Once Judkins left, Trenton Wallace, Dylan Nedved, and Grant Leonard combined to allow just one run on two hits. They struck out three batters.
This was Leonard’s second save of the season.
The win showed great resiliency by Iowa, as it came off the heals of a 4-1 loss to San Diego State in the weekend opener on Feb. 21.
Runs were hard to come by for both teams in the pitching duel. Iowa mustered its lone run on six hits, three of which came from Brendan Sher. Pitcher Jack Dreyer battled through 6.2 innings. He was on fire through the first six, but things fell apart in the seventh.
Stat of the weekend: 13 runners left on base against San Diego
In Iowa’s 10-5 loss to San Diego in the weekend finale, the Hawkeyes left 13 runners on base. Iowa managed to out-hit San Diego 12-10, too.
Player(s) of the weekend: Grant Judkins and Brendan Sher
We’ll split this award between pitcher Grant Judkins and shortstop Brendan Sher.
Judkins was sensational on the mound in the win over Arizona. In his six innings, he did not give up a run and allowed just two hits. He struck out six batters. This season, Judkins’ 1.64 ERA leads the starting pitchers and his 12 strikeouts rank second behind Dreyer’s 13.
Sherr was on fire in the loss to San Diego State, going 3-for-4 from the plate. He and Fullard were the only Hawkeyes to notch more than two hits in a single game this weekend. Then, in the weekend finale, Sherr got Iowa on the board with a home run. Sherr’s hitting .350 through six games.
What’s next for Iowa baseball?
Iowa baseball travels to Minneapolis for the Cambria College Classic. The Hawkeyes face North Carolina State on Friday at 11 a.m., North Carolina on Saturday at 3 p.m., and Duke on March 1 at 2 p.m.