Nedved’s big day propels Hawkeyes to series sweep of Golden Gophers

The junior from Shawnee, Kansas, contributed to the Hawkeyes’ winning efforts both at the plate and on the mound.


Grace Smith

Iowa players, Dylan Nedved and Zeb Adreon, celebrate Nedved’s home run during the Iowa baseball game v. Minnesota at the Duane Banks Field in Iowa City on April 11, 2021.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

According to Iowa baseball head coach Rick Heller, playing two ways on the diamond in Division I college baseball is no easy task.

Heller believes athletes that play two ways have to be uniquely talented on one or both sides of the ball, much like Hawkeye junior  Dylan Nedved.

“It’s extremely difficult [to play two ways],” Heller said after Iowa’s 18-0 win over Minnesota in the second leg of Sunday’s doubleheader between the Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers.  “At this level, it takes a lot of work both ways, and a lot of extra work by Dylan. Dylan is one of the fortunate few that probably doesn’t have to work at the pitching as much as most. That’s, to me, what it takes. [Two-way players] have to be able to do one of the two so well that they don’t have to put as much time into it, if that makes any sense.”

“That’s how it works with Dylan,” Heller continued. “He gets a bullpen a week, and that’s about all he needs, really, and he’s ready to go on the weekends.”

On Sunday, Nedved proved his mettle as a two-way player. Across seven at-bats in Iowa’s two wins over Minnesota, Nedved registered six hits, scoring four runs and driving in another. On the mound in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader — a 6-1 Iowa victory — Nedved tossed two innings, posting two strikeouts and surrendering two hits in 22 pitches.

“[Preparing for a game as a two-way player is] definitely a lot more work,” Nedved said. “You know, just at practice, I’ll always hit, and then, you know, when I need to get my pitching work done, I’ll get my pithing work. So, I mean, in the game, I just do my thing as a hitter, and then when coach calls my name to go to the bullpen I just, you know, try my best to get ready for the team.”

Nedved also hit the cycle Sunday, accumulating a three singles, one double, one triple, and one home run in two games worth of action.

“I was just seeing the ball real well,” Nedved said. “Before the game, I was feeling real comfortable in the cage, feeling good about my swing. You know, we had good scouting reports on [Minnesota]. So, I had a good approach going up to the plate, and you know, I just stuck with it and it turned out well.”

Nedved’s home run came with some assistance from the wind blowing across Duane Banks Field from left to right field, as his home run hit just drifted over the top of the right field wall in the top half of the second inning in the first game played Sunday afternoon.

“So, the first pitch [of the home run at-bat] was a fastball outside,” Nedved said. “I definitely was a little late to it, fouled it off. The next pitch was a changeup, and I was ready for it, saw it well, and I was able to put a good swing on it and let the wind carry it out.”

Prior to this weekend’s series with the Golden Gophers, Nedved sported a .245 batting average. In just three games against Minnesota, the Shawnee, Kansas, native pumped his season-long batting average up to .309.

“[Nedved] had a really big day,” Heller said. “We’ve just been waiting for Dylan to break out, offensively. He’s probably had the most bad luck of anybody on our team, especially probably the first eight to ten games. He had so many line drives right at people, and he didn’t get anything for it. He stuck with it and just kept going, and they finally started to fall today. He had a big day for us.”

With their weekend sweep of the Golden Gophers, the Hawkeyes improve their record to 12-9 in 2020-21. Iowa’s next series begins April 16, as the Hawkeyes travel to Piscataway, New Jersey, for a four-game tilt with Rutgers.

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