Iowa baseball begins first home-series of 2021

The Hawkeyes take on the Cornhuskers from Friday to Sunday.


Ryan Adams

Hawkeye pitcher Trenton Wallace pitches during the baseball game against Illinois at Duane Banks Field on March 30, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini 2-1 after the 9th inning.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

It has just been over a year since Iowa baseball (3-5) has played at Duane Banks Field, but that will change Friday when the team starts a three-game series against Nebraska (5-3) on its home field.

The Cornhuskers are a familiar opponent for the Hawkeyes, as their last game was against them in a 3-1 victory Sunday in Minneapolis. The Hawkeyes also played the Cornhuskers Saturday and lost, 4-0.

Also, at U.S. Bank Stadium, Iowa split against Ohio State by winning the first game, 4-0, last Friday while losing the second game, 7-4, Saturday.

In that Friday game, junior Trenton Wallace pitched 5 one-third inning of no-hit baseball in what ended up being a two-hit shutout for the Hawkeyes. Wallace has had a fantastic season so far, as he has pitched 11 innings while giving up two runs and five hits. The left-hander has a 1.64 ERA with 18 strikeouts and six walks and is allowing his opponents a batting average of .139.

The Rock Island, Illinois, native will probably start in the first game of the home-opening series. Wallace is continuing to fill in for sophomore Jack Dryer for the Friday starting pitcher slot as Dryer is out for the season because of an elbow injury.

Another pitcher that did well up north was sophomore Duncan Davitt. On Sunday, he pitched 5 and two-thirds hitless innings. He will probably start this Sunday as well.

Junior Dylan Nedved recorded two saves in Minneapolis and has a 0.00 ERA through 5 and two-thirds innings for the season.

Those weren’t the only pitchers that did well in Minneapolis, as the Hawkeyes’ pitching staff recorded a 0.79 ERA in the 34 innings pitched last weekend. Out of the 12 runs the Hawkeyes gave up, only three of them were earned, and the Hawkeyes also had 44 strikeouts compared to 13 walks.

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

On the season, Iowa has the fourth best team ERA within the Big Ten at 3.44. The Hawkeyes are also fourth in the conference with 82 strikeouts.

Sophomore Drew Irvine is the probable pitcher Saturday and has a 4.15 ERA.

In terms of hitting, senior infielder Matthew Sosa is getting his hits. He has secured a hit in all eight games this season, and his hitting streak is a career-high. The Whittier, California, native is hitting 10-of-25 and has a team-high three doubles and seven RBIs.

Senior outfielder Ben Norman hit the team’s best batting average at .545 last weekend, which included the Hawkeyes’ first home run of the season. The Des Moines native went 3-of-4 on Sunday. He also had five steals during the series in Minneapolis.

Iowa has hit 16 doubles in 2021, which is tied for fourth in the conference. The team has a batting average of .203.

Nebraska’s pitching staff has posted a 2.66 ERA, and its hitters have earned a .263 batting average. The Cornhuskers’ defense has allowed one error, while the Hawkeyes have seven errors.

Junior Cade Povich is Nebraska’s probable starter for Friday and has a 6.00 ERA. On Saturday, Chance Hroch, a senior with a 2.50 ERA, is the Cornhuskers probable starter. Junior Shay Schanaman is their probable starter Sunday with a 3.48 ERA.

Friday’s game will begin at 4:05 p.m., Saturday’s game starts at 2:05 p.m., and Sunday’s first pitch will be at 1:05 p.m. All games will be streamed on BTN+.