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Iowa Hawkeye Baseball - Home Stretch for Heller’s Hawks

Hawkeyes heading into final week of regular season

Raise your hand if you want to see Hawks make the Regionals

As the great DJ Khaled says, “Another one.”

Ok, Khaled may not be that great, but the Hawks have been pretty great when it comes to winning B1G series this season. Iowa won 2 out of 3 games vs Michigan State this past weekend to improve to 30-17/14-7 on the year. The Hawkeyes announced that the mid-week game against Illinois-Chicago was cancelled (more on this later). Iowa hosts Indiana this weekend to wrap up the regular season slate.

Hawks Win 2 of 3 vs Sparty

Winning a series is always a nice accomplishment. That’s good baseball. It is, however, a bit of a disappointment when you easily win the first two games of the series and then drop the finale. Kinda leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Game 1 Hawks 5 - Michigan State 0

The player of the game was once again Iowa’s ace pitcher Adam Mazur. Mazur continued his excellent season going 7 innings, allowing 4 hits, 2 walks, 0 runs, and striking out 7. Mazur’s ERA this season is a sparkling 2.18. Ben Beutel pitched the final two innings, not allowing anything while striking out two batters. Offensively the Hawks got some production from their non-big two (Peyton Williams and Keaton Anthony) batters. Brendan Sher was 3 for 5, Cade Moss was 3 for 3 with an RBI, and Kyle Huckstorf was 2 for 4 with a home run and 3 runs batted in. Williams and Anthony have carried this club offensively this year. Getting quality at bats from other spots in the order is a great sign for the end of the year and the future. The only negative was that the Hawkeyes committed two errors. During this stretch run playing clean baseball is a must.

Game 2 Hawks 12 - Michigan State 2

Despite a poor outing by Iowa’s starting pitcher Connor Schultz, the Hawks won a yawner. Schultz lasted just two outs. His line was 23 of an inning, 4 hits, and 2 earned runs. Coach Rick Heller has a short leash on his starting pitchers if they struggle early. He has confidence in his bullpen and more often than not, the pen comes through. Relief pitchers Duncan Davitt, Ben Beutel, and Cam Baumann didn’t allow a Spartan to cross the plate. Iowa’s pitching staff has two pitchers whose ERA is over 5.00. That’s a rarity in the college game.

On the offensive side, Iowa’s big boppers were once again Peyton Williams and Keaton Anthony. Williams was 2 for 3 scoring 4 runs, driving in 2 RBI, and hitting his 12th home run. Anthony was 3 for 4 on the day with his 21st double. Sam Petersen had a double and drove in 3 Hawkeyes. Sam Hojnar was 2 for 4 manning second base.

Game 3 Michigan State 11 - Iowa 8

After winning the first two games of the series and sending Ty Langenberg to the mound, a sweep of Sparty felt like a real possibility. It was not to be as Langenberg only lasted one inning. He was rocked for six runs. Iowa’s five relief pitchers allowed only one earned the rest of the way. The Hawks trailed 10-1 at one point, but couldn’t climb the hill fast enough to get the win. Peyton Williams and Keaton Anthony both hit long balls; their 12th and 11th home runs respectively.

Left fielder Sam Petersen was 2 for 5 and shortstop Michael Seegers was 2 for 4.

Mid-Week Game vs Illinois-Chicago Cancelled

So this is a new thing for me as I only recently started following college baseball. Iowa’s game scheduled for May 17 was mutually cancelled. Basically what it comes down to is that this game would hurt Iowa’s RPI. Right now the Hawks’ RPI is #68 (other services have them placed similarly) according to D1 Baseball. Illinois-Chicago is ranked 189. Even a win against this opponent would drop Iowa’s RPI. That system seems broken to me. From a coaching standpoint it makes sense, but from that of a baseball fan it sucks. Texas A&M recently just cancelled their mid-week game against Incarnate Word.

On Deck: Indiana Hoosiers Come to Iowa City

The final regular season in B1G baseball is upon us. Indiana (24-27/10-11) comes to town. Iowa looks to sweep this series as a hopeful springboard going into the B1G Tournament and a potential berth in the Regionals. Iowa sits behind Maryland and Rutgers (both 16-5) and tied with Illinois in the conference (14-7).

Hoosier Hitters

Indiana can hit the baseball. The Hoosiers have two bangers who have 16 home runs on the season. Carter Mathison and Matthew Ellis provide the pop in the lineup. Phillip Glasser leads the team with a batting average of .344. Collectively the Hoosiers are slashing .283/.386/.460. Those are pretty nice numbers.

Pitching for the Hoosiers is another story. Jack Perkins is Indiana’s only reliable arm. He is 3-2 with an ERA of 4.75. After that? Nope. The Hoosier’s team ERA is 6.88. As stated earlier the Hawkeyes have two pitchers who have an ERA over 5.00. Indiana has two pitchers with an ERA below 5.00. Look for the Hawkeye batters to put up some nice offensive numbers this weekend.

Thursday, May 19. 6:05pm. B1G+

Friday, May 20. 6:05pm. B1G+

Saturday, May 21. 8:02pm ESPNU

All games also on the Hawkeye Radio Network.

After this series Iowa will participate in the Big Ten Tournament. More coverage will follow regarding that. Let’s get this sweep, Hawks and then we’ll look ahead at the what-ifs. As always, Go Hawks!