With just two regular-season series remaining, the Iowa Hawkeyes baseball team (34-12) sit in fourth place in the Big Ten standings behind Maryland, Indiana, and Rutgers. The Hawkeyes are 10-7 in the conference after taking two of three to Ohio State this past weekend. The Hawkeyes throttled the Buckeyes in the first two games of the series by scores of 16-9 and 15-3. Unfortunately, the Hawks weren’t able to get the sweep, losing 5-2 on Sunday. Iowa’s RPI sits at 41 (it dropped one spot) and they are projected to make the field of 64 for postseason play. The Hawkeyes have found themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason, so they want to take care of business on the diamond. The Hawkeyes host a good Michigan State team this weekend and then end the regular season at Northwestern. The Hawks will make the eight-team Big Ten Tournament which will be held May 23-29.
Ohio State Series
Game 1: Iowa 16 - Ohio State 9
Iowa did not get a quality start from its ace, Brody Brecht. Brecht wasn’t able to go three innings, giving up two runs and walking four and hitting two batters. Brecht is 3-2 on the year with an ERA of 4.39. Brecht’s stuff is electric, but he is too wild at this point in his career to be considered a true ace. Yes, he will play in the Bigs, but his lack of consistency is something the Hawks are having to fight through. Iowa’s bullpen did not fare much better, but fortunately the Hawkeyes’ offense was hitting on all cylinders, pushing 16 runs across the plate.
Offensively Brennen Dorighi hit his tenth home run of the year and Sam Petersen hit two big flys (his seventh and eighth). The Hawkeyes also had multi-hit games from Sam Hojnar, Michael Seegers (two triples), and Cade Moss.
The Hawkeyes were without their best position player, Keaton Anthony, for the weekend.
Game 2: Iowa 15 - Ohio State 3
The Hawkeyes took a few innings to settle in against the Buckeyes’ pitching staff on Saturday, but the bats came around to give Iowa an easy win. The Hawkeyes pounded out 19 hits and scored 15 runs. Iowa had six players with two or more hits on the day. First baseman Brennen Dorighi had three hits as did catcher Cade Moss. Sam Hojnar hit two home runs on the day. Here is a triple by Sam Petersen (one of the most exciting plays in sports).
Yo, you want to see some real speed? @Petersen11Sam x #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/QipQFGPREs— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 6, 2023
On the mound the Hawks got a solid start from Marcus Morgan. Morgan improved to 3-2 on the year. His ERA sits at 5.08. Morgan is starting to settle in and consistently make better pitches than he did earlier in the year. Relievers Aaron Savary, Will Christophers, and Jack Young combined to throw four innings in relief; they gave up one run, struck out seven, and walked just one batter. A quality bullpen is as important as starting pitching.
Game 3: Ohio State 5 - Iowa 2
The final game of the series was a low-scoring affair. The Hawkeyes were held to eight hits on the day. Ty Langenberg went over six innings, giving up four hits and three earned runs. He struck out seven and walked three. It was a start that was worth of a win, but the Hawkeyes couldn’t make it happen. Langenberg took the loss and falls to 5-3 on the year. He has a quality ERA of 4.42. Jared Simpson came on in relief and gave up two runs and was able to register just one out. Luke Llewellyn, Will Christophers, and Zach Voelker came in to shut the door, but by then the damage was done. Iowa’s bats were kept quiet by Ohio State’s pitchers, and Iowa was unable to get the much-needed sweep. Centerfielder Kyle Huckstorf was the only Hawkeye who had more than one hit. Sam Hojnar hit his third home run in two days.
Can he do it again? @shojnar hits his second home run, that's four today for the #Hawkeyes! pic.twitter.com/zFnybQC7D9— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 6, 2023
This was a wind-aided shot by Hojnar, but we’ll take it. Having pop at second base reminds me of the “old days” with Ryne Sandberg playing for the Cubbies, but I digress.
On Deck: Michigan State
The Hawkeyes host another series this weekend. The Spartans sit just behind the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten and they are looking to upset the Hawks.
Friday, May 12. 6pm. B1G+
Saturday, May 13. 2pm. B1G+
Sunday, May 14. 1pm. B1G+
As always, Go Hawks!