Hawkeye baseball goes 1-2 in trip to San Diego

Grant Judkins led Iowa baseball to an impressive win over a ranked Arizona squad, but the rest of the weekend didn’t go as planned for the Hawkeyes.


David Harmantas

Iowa’s Grant Judkins winds up to pitch during a baseball game against the University of Illinois on Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini 3-1.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

Following a solid opening weekend for Iowa baseball, the Hawkeyes were met with mixed results in week No. 2.

After falling to San Diego State 4-1 to open its trip to San Diego, Iowa toppled No. 18 Arizona, 4-1, on Feb. 22 before dropping its final game to San Diego, 10-5, on Sunday.

While a lot went wrong for the Hawkeyes over the weekend, a big piece of Iowa’s victory over the ranked Wildcats can be credited to senior starter Grant Judkins.

The Pella, Iowa, native earned his second win of the season by allowing two hits in six scoreless innings of work.

The only hits Judkins gave up came from a single to left field and a bunt single down the third-base line.

Freshman Peyton Williams started the scoring for the Hawkeyes with a two-run home run for the first dinger of his career.

One inning later, Zeb Adreon and Austin Martin brought in runs to take a 4-0 lead that Iowa wouldn’t look back from.

The performance proved to be the perfect bounce-back game for the Hawkeyes after dropping the first game of the road trip.

“I’m happy and proud of our team,” Iowa head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “We showed a lot of toughness [Feb. 22] with a quick turnaround. We played hard with good energy. We had a tremendous start from Grant [Feb. 22] and we beat a good team with some big-time hitters.”

Iowa failed to continue its winning ways on Sunday, however.

The Hawkeyes took an early 2-0 lead after the first two innings, but San Diego battled back to grab a 4-2 lead by the end of the sixth.

Iowa tied the game in the seventh when Adreon hit a two-run single with two outs.

Iowa right-hander Duncan Davitt put together a solid start, giving up one run on three hits in four innings. The Hawkeye bullpen, however, couldn’t keep the momentum going.

Iowa’s relievers gave up nine runs, including three in the bottom of the seventh inning. San Diego proceeded to score three more in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

“The first half of the game was solid,” Heller said in a release. “We got a great start from Duncan Davitt We had better at-bats today up-and-down the lineup. We stranded a lot of runners [Sunday] and had chances to break it open.”

Iowa’s weekend-opening loss on Feb. 21 came by way of free bases.

In a pitching duel, both traded a run through the first six innings. Then, the Aztecs broke it open.

Starter Jack Dreyer allowed a single run on three hits through the first six innings, but he walked the first two batters in the seventh.

San Diego State ended up scoring three runs in the inning, with two getting charged to Dreyer and one going to reliever Trace Hoffman.

“Our guys came out and played well,” Heller said in a release. “Two good pitchers going at it. Jack pitched extremely well. Unfortunately, three of their four runs came via free bases. It was one of those Friday night games that if you make mistakes, it puts you in a bad spot.”

Iowa will play next in an action-packed trip to Minneapolis from Feb. 28 through March 1 in which it will battle historically nationally-relevant programs in North Carolina State, North Carolina, and Duke.