Hawkeye baseball prepares for first double midweek

Iowa baseball’s offensive firepower has been impressive of late, and it has a chance to continue that against Kansas Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Nichole Harris

Iowa right handed pitcher Hunter Lee pitches during a baseball game between Iowa and Grand View at Duane Banks Field on March 3, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Vikings 15-2.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor


Iowa has played dominant baseball at times this season, and a lot of it came just last weekend.

The Hawkeyes downed Western Michigan, 10-0, in seven innings on March 6 thanks to the mercy rule, and they destroyed Georgetown 22-2 one day later.

Iowa closed the weekend with a loss to Army, but it showed the pieces to put together a run are there. The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents, 51-10, in their last four games.

They’ll get another shot to add to that total with its first double midweek of the season against Kansas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Jayhawks hold a 7-8 record heading into the two-game series. They’re coming off two home losses to Indiana State, where Iowa head coach Rick Heller led the Sycamores to their first conference title as head coach in 2012.

It’s understandable to see how Kansas fell in the final two games of the series.

The Jayhawks have not found their groove at the plate this season. They’re hitting just .231 as a team and have one player with at least 30 at bats hitting over .300.

The pitching will be an improvement from what Iowa faced over the weekend, however.

Western Michigan and Georgetown both entered the tournament with a team ERA over 6.60, while Army sat at 5.76.

Kansas will travel to Iowa City with a 3.65 team ERA.

Its staff includes Blake Goldsberry, Jonah Ulane, and Nathan Berry, who have combined to allow just one earned run in 23 innings of work.

But the Hawkeyes are no strangers to battling teams with stellar pitching staffs.

Iowa faced a lethal trio of teams from North Carolina in North Carolina State, North Carolina, and Duke to begin the month.

Each team boasted an ERA of 1.75 or better, with Duke leading the way at 0.75. Still, Iowa managed to topple the Blue Devils and Tar Heels to close the weekend with two top-20 wins.

The Hawkeyes’ mindset shouldn’t change heading into the two midweek games.

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They’re coming off two successful weekends of hitting and scoring runs; the confidence is there. Now, it’s about taking advantage when giving the opportunity.

The Hawkeye lineup features seven players (minimum 30 at bats) who are hitting at least .275. Four of those players — Izaya Fullard, Zeb Adreon, Matthew Sosa, and Dylan Nedved — sit above .320. In addition, Ben Norman and Peyton Williams are hitting .296 and .292, respectively.

Iowa’s pitching has been productive of late, as well.

In the Hawkeyes’ last midweek game, a 15-2 win over Grand View, Hunter Lee earned the win in the first start of his career.

The junior gave up two hits in three scoreless innings. He also struck out six of the 12 batters he faced.

The double midweek adds an extra wrinkle to the pitching strategy with another series against Cal State-Northridge coming up this weekend.

If Lee and the rest of the Hawkeye pitching staff can find their groove once again and the bats stay hot, Iowa could enter the weekend with even more momentum.

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