Iowa baseball splits four-game weekend set with Ohio State and Nebraska

The 2-2 weekend moves the Hawkeyes to 3-5 on the season.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa outfielder Trenton Wallace swings while at-bat during the second game of a baseball doubleheader between Iowa and Cal-State Northridge at Duane Banks Field on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

On opening day two Fridays ago against Michigan, junior left-handed pitcher and this year’s ace of the starting rotation in Jack Dryer’s absence, Trenton Wallace had what Iowa head baseball coach Rick Heller called “great stuff.”  But Wallace surrendered two runs in what was eventually a 4-2 loss for Iowa.

In this weekend’s first game, Wallace’s second start of the season, according to Heller, he was “a little better.”

The sky is the limit for Wallace considering a six-inning, two-hit, ten strikeout performance in which he shutout the Ohio State Buckeyes and retired the first ten batters he faced was just a little better than his opening day outing.

“I was pitching with a little more conviction and was trusting every pitch that (pitching coach) Robin (Lund) called to put it in the zone,” Wallace said in a release after the game. “The most important thing I had in my mind was I was going to attack the zone early and I was going to make these guys beat me, I was not going to beat myself.”

Wallace improved to 1-0 and owns a 1.64 ERA with 18 strikeouts to six walks in his two starts.

Heller said Wallace would’ve stayed in the game longer, but his control worsened a little in his last couple innings.

“Trenton gave us a great start and was good today,” Heller said in a release. “He got into a little bit of self-inflicted trouble in the fifth and sixth with longer innings that forced him from the game a little earlier than we would have liked, but it was a quality start.”

Four Hawkeye relievers combined to finish what Wallace had started as the Hawkeyes shutout the Buckeyes, 4-0, on Friday, marking the first time the Hawkeyes had blanked a Big Ten foe since the 2017 Big Ten Tournament.

RELATED: Iowa baseball set for weekend tilt with Nebraska and Ohio Sate

At the plate in the weekend’s first game, Iowa collected six hits by six different players and scored two runs in the fourth inning, one in the seventh and one in the eighth.

Iowa would surrender both games on Saturday, one to Nebraska and one to Ohio State. Versus the Cornhuskers, the Hawkeyes were shutout themselves even as they loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning. After being ahead in the count, Iowa pinch-hitter Peyton Williams struck out on three straight fastballs.

Ohio State’s six runs in the fifth inning of the trip’s third contest spelled defeat for Iowa as the Hawkeyes dropped Saturday’s second game, 7-4. The Buckeyes brought 10 batters to the plate in the fifth frame and Iowa committed an error and had a passed ball and wild pitch in that stretch to sink its chances.

The Hawkeyes would right the ship on Sunday. The team played tighter defense and came out on the right side of a low-scoring 3-1 contest with the Cornhuskers.

Sophomore hurler Duncan Davitt followed Wallace’s lead on the mound, allowing just two hits over six innings of work.

Heller called it Davitt’s best start of his career.

The Hawkeyes tallied a season-high nine hits on the day including one from Matthew Sosa to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He has yet to go hitless in a game this season.

Iowa will face off against Nebraska this Friday for its home-opener at Duane Banks Field at 4:05 p.m., which is the first of three games that weekend against the Cornhuskers.