Iowa baseball’s pitching struggles in 8-6 loss to Maryland

Starter Drew Irvine gave up four runs in three innings for the Hawkeyes Saturday.


Grace Smith

Iowa pitcher, Drew Irvine, pitches the ball during the Iowa baseball game v. Minnesota at the Duane Banks Field in Iowa City on April 11, 2021.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

Iowa baseball starter Drew Irvine had given up one earned run in each of his past two starts, but his good streak came to an end in the first inning of his start against Maryland Saturday.

The Waukee, Iowa, native walked his first two batters of the day. On the first pitch to shortstop Benjamin Cowles, he hit a three-run home to right field, giving the Terrapins their first three runs of the day in what ended up being an 8-6 victory for them.

Irvine didn’t have a long outing, as he was pulled out after giving up an RBI single in the fourth inning. His final statistic line of the day read three innings pitched, four earned runs, six walks, and four strikeouts on 87 pitches. His ERA jumped from 4.00 to 5.14 because of his Saturday performance.

“Nobody saw that one coming today,” head coach Rick Heller said regarding Irvine’s start. “I mean that was a surprise to all of us. He just didn’t have command of anything and to have to go the bullpen as early as we did, it was tough, especially after we had to go to the bullpen early last night and we survived it last night. But unfortunately we did not survive it today.”

The first relief pitcher that was brought in was Jacob Henderson. In his first appearance since March 26, the Gilbert, Arizona, native gave up zero runs and one hit in two innings of work.

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Ben Beutel was the next relief pitcher, and he didn’t have as good of an outing as Henderson. Though he only allowed one baserunner in the sixth, he struggled in the seventh, as he gave up a walk, an RBI double, and an RBI single that led to Heller yanking him out of the game.

The third relief pitcher was Ben Probst, who finished the seventh inning with one earned run to his statistic line, but he gave up two runs on a single. Therefore, the Terrapins had a four-run seventh inning.

Jack Guzek was the fourth and final relief pitcher of the day, and he threw two clean innings with three strikeouts.

“I thought that Jacob Henderson did a great job for us,” Heller said. “He settled the game down. He got it to a better pace for us and gave us two quality innings, really super pleased with that.”

It was the second game in a row where the Hawkeyes faced pitching struggles, thought the difference Friday was the Terrapins struggling to get across the plate once they got baserunners. In their game Friday, starter Trenton Wallace went 4 1/3 innings and gave up one run and six walks.

In both games, the Hawkeyes gave up eight walks and two errors.

“The crazy thing is I don’t anybody had seen it coming,” Heller said. “We had been on such a good roll where we were playing solid defense, we were getting quality pitching, we weren’t giving up a lot of free bases on the mound. We were sitting at an average of four to six free bases per game and then we go double-digit in free bases in the first two games here at home, and it’s just super disappointing but we just have to get better. Hopefully, Cam Baumann will go out and give us a quality start tomorrow [and] set the tone for the two games against Northwestern.”

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