Rick Heller’s Iowa baseball team traveled to Rutgers last weekend to take on a red-hot Scarlet Knights team. Iowa won the first two games of the series, 4-1 and 12-2, but then dropped the final game 10-4. Taking two out of three on the road against Rutgers was practically a best-case scenario. Rutgers came into the weekend in the top 5 of the NCAA in batting average and ERA. Iowa got nice starting pitching in two of the three games and played clean baseball defensively, committing one error. Here was a nice defensive play by third baseman Brendan Sher.
B8 | Have a day @bsher21_!— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) April 22, 2022
Great play for out #2. #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/9NA9KmJJ8U
A few highlights:
Izaya Fullard was 5 for 12 with 3 runs, and 4 RBI’s on the series. Fullard is slashing (BA/OBP/SLG) .328/.423/.426 on the season. Now that Fullard is not banged up look for his slugging percentage to rise.
Michael Seegers also hit his way on base five times in 12 at bats. Seegers scored 4 runs and knocked in 1 runner. When Seegers sets the tone at the top of the order, the Hawks can push some runs across the plate. Seegers’ slash line is .297/.382/.338 on the year.
Peyton Williams, coming off hitting for the cycle last week, continued to put the bat on the ball. For the series Williams batted .400 (4 for 10), scored 3 runs, and had 1 RBI. Williams is consistently Iowa’s big bat, slashing .370/.494/.689 on the season.
Keaton Anthony went 4 for 13 for the series with 3 runs and 2 RBI. The DH/RF is slashing .357/.445/.651.
Sam Peterson, a freshman from Huxley, Iowa, had an excellent series, going 4 for 12 with 4 RBI’s. Here he’s playing some small ball with a bunt single.
T5 | CLUTCH!@Petersen11Sam with the bunt single to score a run! #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/xHsaGmCra6— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) April 23, 2022
Here is a base hit by Petersen that drives in two runs.
T6 | @Petersen11Sam does it again!— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) April 23, 2022
He drives in 2 with a 1B to left field. #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/oy8Ip7VDl5
Adam Mazur started the Hawkeyes off on Friday with a gem on the mound. Mazur went 8 innings, giving up 6 hits, and allowing 1 earned run. Mazur struck out 11 and walked none. Dominant! Mazur improved to 4-2 on the season.
Dylan Nedved came in to pitch the ninth to pick up his third save.
Connor Schultz got the start in the second game and continued on where Mazur left off. Schultz also went 8 innings, allowing just 2 hits, 0 earned runs, striking out 6 and walking 1 batter. Schultz improved to 2-0 on the season. The starts by Mazur and Schultz were exceptional against any team, against the offensive juggernaut Scarlet Knights, these performances were off the charts.
Ty Langenberg started for the Hawkeyes and a sweep looked like a very real possibility. It was not to be as Langenberg got roughed up out of the gate, lasting just one inning and giving up 4 earned runs. Langenberg fell to 4-1 on the season. He has not pitched up to his standards the last few starts, but I would expect he will rebound.
Brody Brecht made an appearance in the final game. Brecht continues to trend in the right direction. He went one inning and struck out the side. That’s a pretty common theme for him. In 12 appearances this year, Brecht has a 1-2 record, an ERA of 2.50, just 9 hits in 18 innings, and 34 strikeouts. Brecht throws some nasty stuff.
Mid-week Game vs. Western Illinois Tonight
Iowa (23-13) hosts Western Illinois tonight (6pm BTN+/Hawkeye Radio Network) before heading to Nebraska this weekend. The Leathernecks (4-32) are struggling. Iowa will start Benjamin DeTaeye. DeTaeye is 0-1 with an ERA of 5.79 on the season. This should be a good opportunity for the Hawks to rest some players and get some young hitters and arms into the lineup. Of course Iowa is now thinking big-picture and its NCAA seeding, but winning a Big Ten championship will take precedent. Iowa should be able to have its best lineup and pitching rotation set up for the Nebraska series.
Nebraska On Deck
Iowa looks to continue climbing the B1G ladder this weekend. The Hawks sit at 8-4 in the conference behind Rutgers (12-3), Maryland (9-3), and Illinois (11-4). There are quite a few games left, but the Hawks are at a point where they have to win the games they are supposed to win. Last season Iowa looked to be in good shape for the postseason and then stumbled at the end of the year.
Offensively Nebraska is led by Griffin Everitt. Everitt is hitting .310 with 7 home runs and 34 RBI’s. His on base percentage is .401 and he’s slugging an excellent .549.
After Everitt, the Huskers’ offense is not a huge threat, at least on paper. Garrett Anglim comes in hitting .282, and Cam Chick is hitting .261 with 7 long balls. Look for Iowa’s pitchers to go at the Husker batters. I like our matchups this weekend. As a team Nebraska is slashing .244/.354/.384.
On the mound Nebraska is a bit more formidable. They can throw three quality starting pitchers at you. The best two starters are Koty Frank (3-0, ERA of 3.95) and Shay Schanaman (2-6, ERA of 4.37). Emmett Olson has appeared in 15 games, starting 4. He has an ERA of 2.45. Nine-game starter Dawson McCarville has posted a record of 2-4 with an ERA of 6.44.
The Cornhuskers’ team ERA is 4.94. They can strike batters out and they don’t give a ton of free passes. The Hawks will be swinging the bats and hopefully putting up some good numbers. Winning two of three this weekend would be a successful trip, but in order to win the B1G, the Hawks need to sweep some of their remaining series and also get some help from other conference teams.
Friday, April 29. 7pm BTN
Saturday, April 30. 2pm. BTN+
Sunday, May 1. Noon. BTN+
As always, Go Hawks!