“All good things must come to an end.” - my mom (and yeah, also a proverb). When the dust settles on the 2023 Iowa Hawkeyes baseball season, it will go down as a historic season in the history of Iowa athletics. The Hawkeyes ended up with 44 wins; this victory total equals the wins accumulated by the Duane Banks-coached 1981 team. The way the year ended will take a little while to process as it looked like the Hawkeyes were in the driver’s seat after Brody Brecht pitched a gem in the first game against Indiana State. The bullpen did not shut the door and we know what happened after that. Alas, it was still a heckuva run for the black and gold.
After beating North Carolina and falling to Indiana State, the Hawkeyes faced the Tar Heels in an elimination game. Starting pitcher Ty Langenberg showed his toughness as he took a rocket off his glove wrist; he shook it off to pitch an excellent game. The Hawks had to go three extra innings to beat Carolina, and after that the Hawkeyes found themselves with a depleted bullpen.
After the 6-5, 13 inning win, the Hawkeyes once again faced Indiana State on its home field. It became a hit-by-pitch fest, ten Indiana State batters were given a free pass, and the Hawks were sent home. Offensively the Hawkeyes were led by Michael Seegers and Raider Tello; each had three hits. True freshman Blake Guerin showed promise by knocking a ball out of the park.
There will always be a “what might have been” feeling for this team, but in the end it was a fantastic season for us fans.
Coach Rick Heller has this Iowa program in an excellent place. At first glance, the Hawkeyes could potentially return everyone except Brennen Dorighi and Jared Simpson. Those are the only two players on the roster who appear to be out of eligibility. It is confusing with the “Covid” year, so there is a chance that Simpson could even return as he was listed as a redshirt senior. Dorighi was a graduate student this year.
The name of the game is pitching and the Hawkeyes could return three excellent starters. Marcus Morgan and Brody Brecht were dominant pitchers by the end of the year. As they fine tune their control, they will be heavily sought after to play at the next level. Ty Langenberg ended the year with a 6-3 record and an ERA of 4.15. Not bad for a number three starter. The Hawkeyes have some terrific young arms as well. Look for Cade Obermueller to make tremendous strides between now and next season.
Offensively the Hawkeyes appear to return everyone minus Brennen Dorighi. Dorighi led the team with a .348 batting average, 15 home runs, and 67 RBI. Keaton Anthony’s absence very much hurt this team. The Hawks played very well without him, but he was Iowa’s best position player.
Last offseason Rick Heller hit the transfer portal and brought in some good ballplayers. It is never certain who will return, who will move on to minor league baseball, who will transfer, etc..., but Coach Heller has something very special to offer incoming players. The future is bright for the Iowa Hawkeyes baseball team. Let’s get 45 wins next year, Hawks! As always, it’s great to be a Hawkeye!