If the Iowa Hawkeyes end up making the postseason, one needs look back no further than this past weekend. Iowa swept B1G-leading Nebraska and the Hawkeyes now are tied for 4th place in the Big Ten with a 7-5 record. The Hawkeyes (29-10) sit behind Indiana, Maryland, and Michigan. Coach Rick Heller’s team improved its RPI, making a significant jump from #57 all the way up to #43. RPI is a major factor in determining who gets to play “free” baseball in the postseason.
Game 1: Iowa 11 - Nebraska 6
Iowa’s ace Brody Brecht did not have his best outing. Brecht went just four innings, giving up four runs and allowing seven bases on balls. Brecht did strike out seven batters. Iowa will need more consistency out of the young hurler. Jack Whitlock provided 2 1⁄3 quality innings out of the bullpen. He give up two hits and struck out five. Luke Llewellyn pitched 2.1 innings and gave up two runs. Jacob Henderson closed the game out after walking a batter.
Keaton Anthony continues to swing a hot bat. Anthony went 4-for-4 including a double and a home run. He also drove in four runs. Ben Wilmes scored three runs out of the leadoff spot. Iowa’s defense played a clean game. Iowa’s fielding percentage is a solid .976 on the season. For the most part this year the Hawkeyes are not giving extra outs to it opposition. Fielding errors are much like giving up offensive rebounds in basketball. Eventually they are going to get you beat. Hellerball places a premium on playing sound defensive baseball.
Game 2: Iowa 8 - Nebraska 0
Iowa’s starting pitcher, Marcus Morgan, has steadily improved this season. Morgan’s control has been much better as of late. Morgan went six strong innings and gave up just three hits, zero runs, and walked just one batter. Morgan improved to 2-1 on the year and lowered his ERA to 4.50 in 10 games and 38 innings. Getting quality starts from Morgan is going to go a long way if the Hawkeyes want to keep playing postseason baseball. Aaron Savary and Chas Wheatley came on in relief and held the Huskers scoreless.
The Hawkeyes didn’t need much in the way of run support (ok, one run, that’s all we needed) but the floodgates were smashed open. Iowa knocked in eight runs on ten hits. Eight Hawkeyes also earned a free pass from Nebraska’s erratic pitchers. Three Hawkeyes had two hits each. Brennen Dorighi, Raider Tello, and Michael Seegers all had multi-hit games. Tello had three RBI’s and Ben Wilmes went yard for his second home run of the year.
Game 3: Iowa 6 - Nebraska 1
Iowa’s most-experienced starting pitcher, Ty Langenberg, took the mound for game three of the series. Langenberg did not disappoint. Ty went seven excellent innings, giving up just one run, three hits, and walking two. Langenberg struck out nine and lowered his ERA to 4.44. Langenberg is 4-2 on the season so far. Will Christophers and Jared Simpson combined to pitch two innings of scoreless ball.
Iowa’s bats put the ball in play against Nebraska; the Hawkeyes had just three strikeouts. Raider Tello, Sam Petersen, and Michael Seegers all had two hits each. Here Seegers is flashing some glove skills.
Catcher Cade Moss knocked in two with a triple. First baseman Brennen Dorighi hit his seventh big fly of the season.
Here was a double play that completed the sweep for the Hawks.
On Deck (Tuesday):
The Hawkeyes host Upper Iowa University Tuesday, April 25. This will be a 4pm game and it will be televised on B1G+. It is also available on the Hawkeye Radio Network. The Hawkeyes have not yet faltered during these mid-week games.
In the Hole (this weekend):
The Hawkeyes travel to Happy Valley this weekend to continue conference play against the Nittany Lions. At this point Iowa needs to keep stacking wins to have a chance at post season play. The Hawks are putting forth a nice resume, but ultimately it will be important for Iowa to be in the top few teams in the conference and to have wins against quality opposition.
Friday, April 28. Penn State. 4pm. B1G Network
Saturday, April 29. Penn State. 1pm. B1G+
Sunday, April 30. Penn State. 2pm. B1G+
As always, it’s great to be a Hawkeye!
- Now, let’s get some baseball weather back. Please and thank you. Go Hawks!