April is here and with it, baseball is coming into full swing. While Major League Baseball is just getting underway, your Iowa Hawkeyes have been at it for nearly a month. Things have gotten off to a bit of a rocky start as the Hawkeyes enter April with a 7-8 record. Due to COVID-19, all 15 of those games have been against conference opponents, though they’ve come from a variety of locations.
Iowa kicked off the season with a 4-game series against Michigan down in Round Rock, Texas before heading up to Minneapolis for a pair of 2-game stints against Ohio State and Nebraska. Less than a week later, the Hawkeyes had their home opener against the Cornhuskers as part of a 3-game series to make it four straight games against Nebraska.
After losing two of three in that series, Iowa appeared to be reeling a bit. The Hawkeyes were just 4-7 heading into the final week of March with a trip to Columbus on the docket to again face off with Ohio State and added a new face in Maryland.
Iowa dropped their first against the Buckeyes as Ohio State notched 8 runs in the first 7 innings. The Hawkeyes battled to score a pair in the 9th, but fell 8-2.
But the Hawkeyes bounced back from the loss and rattled off three straight wins. In game two against OSU, RS Junior Cam Baumann (1-2) was throwing flames as he allowed just three hits and one run through seven innings of work. The Hawkeyes took the lead in the 4th on a 2-run bomb from Sophomore Tyler Snep, his third of the year. Iowa never looked back, adding a solo shot from Ben Norman (his team-leading 4th of the year) in the ninth while Dylan Nedved got a 6-out save to put the game away.
The bats came alive for 2⃣4⃣ runs this weekend in Columbus.— Iowa Baseball Managers (@UIBASEManagers) March 29, 2021
Re-watch all 1⃣6⃣ extra-base hits ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Xv8dMla8f9
Later in the day, the Hawkeyes were back on the diamond with a new opponent as they opened a two-game set against the Maryland Terrapins. Iowa took game one in dramatic fashion. With things knotted at 4 each entering the 9th, RS Junior Izaya Fullard hit a one-out double to give Iowa a chance at the win. Senior Zeb Adreon came to the plate two batters later finish the job as he sent a two-run shot over the left-centerfield fence giving Iowa a 6-4 lead. Nedved entered in the bottom of the ninth to get his fourth save of the season and second in the same day.
Iowa closed out the road trip with a much less dramatic 11-2 win over the Terrapins the following day. Things were close with Iowa holding onto a 2-1 lead entering the 6th, the but Hawkeyes blew things open with an 8-run inning as their first nine batters safely reached base. The onslaught was capped off by a 3-run homer from RS freshman Peyton Williams.
The win moved Iowa to 7-8 on the year and gave the Hawkeyes their first winning streak of the season. Now Iowa hits the road again this weekend looking to get above .500 for the first time all season.
They head to West Lafeyette for a three-game set against the Purdue Boilermakers, who enter the series 3-11 on the year after losing three of their last four. Lefty Trenton Walace (2-1, 2.14 ERA) is expected to get the start for Iowa in game one with RHP Drew Irvine (0-2, 5.49 ERA) on deck for game two and LHP Cam Baumann (1-2, 4.15 ERA) to close out the series.
MATCHUP: Iowa (7-8) at Purdue (3-11)
LOCATION:Alexander Field - West Lafayette, IN
DATE: April 2-4, 2021
WATCH: BTN+ (All Games)
LISTEN: Hawkeye Radio Network - TuneIn Radio
LIVE STATS: Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3
The Hawkeyes enter the weekend series 8th in the Big Ten standings. They were picked to finish 4th in the Preseason Big Ten Coaches Poll and 5th by D1Baseball.com. They’ll look to make some progress toward those projections this weekend.
Before we get to more baseball over the weekend, Iowa fans have an opportunity to get in on the action for the first time in over a year. After the Big Ten announced the conference would be allowing fans in the stands in accordance with local regulations for spring sports, the University of Iowa announced they would be allowing 50% capacity at spring sports the remainder of the year.
Tickets go on sale at 9am CT on Friday, April 2nd for Iowa’s remaining home games. That includes a home stint against the Minnesota Golden Gophers next weekend. Tickets can be purchased on HawkeyeSports.com.