Hawkeye pitcher Cam Baumann impresses in 15-4 win over Northwestern

The junior right-hander tossed 80 pitches in six innings of work, surrendering just two runs.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa pitcher Cam Baumann throws a pitch during a baseball game between Iowa and Northwestern on Sunday, April 25, 2021 at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats 15-4. (Jerod Ringwald/The Daily Iowan)

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

After two-straight subpar outings from its starting pitchers on Friday and Saturday, Iowa baseball received its first quality start of the weekend from junior right-handed hurler Cam Baumann Sunday.

In six innings of work in Iowa’s 15-4 win over Northwestern, Baumann threw 80 pitches, struck out four batters, and surrendered just five hits and two earned runs.

“My slider was [working] very well today,” Baumann said postgame. “It was very tight, had lot of swing-and-misess with it. I believe all my strikeouts were with it. So, that was really the one thing that helped me out today.”

Hawkeye ace Trenton Wallace pitched just 4.1 innings in the Hawkeyes’s 6-2 win over Maryland Friday night, walking six batters.

Sophomore starter Drew Irvine hurled three innings and gave up five hits and four earned runs in the Hawkeyes’ 8-6 loss to the Terrapins Saturday afternoon.

“We really needed [a quality start from a starting pitcher],” Hawkeye head coach Rick Heller said Sunday. “The last two days have been really hard, but Cam went out and gave us a great start … He did exactly what we needed today. He just gave us consistency, and he went out there with a lot of confidence, and he’s just been on a really solid roll for us. Going out there and battling and controlling things, controlling himself. He was good again today against a really dangerous lineup.”

At the beginning of the season, Baumann’s earned run average was as high as 18. Since then, he’s widdled his ERA down to 2.69.

“Obviously at the beginning of the year it was a little rough,” Baumann said. “It was hard mentally too, but once I got the right mindset, I had the most confidence on the mound. I can throw every pitch with with the most confidence and the same confidence. So, that’s really where I’ve [stood] out from the beginning of the year until now.”

In his last seven starts, Baumann has surrendered just six earned runs on 23 hits.

“[Baumann] has just been more consistent with his location of all his pitches, particularly his fastball command,” Heller said. “I think all of us felt like he had really done a nice job of cleaning up his slider. It was much more efficient. It tunneled better with his fastball, which really helps him. He’s continued to progress with his changeup. He’s been able to throw strikes with all three pitches. He’s been able to get to both sides of the plate with his fastball.”

“It’s so much more than just stuff, it’s a mentality,” Heller added. “He turned a switch. He’s just been going out there and doing what he can do and not worrying about a missed call here or a missed call there … He’s just [done] a great job of sticking in the present and playing it one pitch at a time.”

When Baumann’s been on the mound, he’s received great support from Iowa’s position players both offensively and defensively. In the 40.1 frames he’s pitched this season, Baumann has struck out 33 batters. The other 88 outs the Fairfield, Iowa, native has racked up this season have come with some assistance from the Hawkeyes’ position players.

“[I’m] extremely confident [in our defense],” Baumann said. “I have the utmost confidence with them making every play the other team puts in play.”

In the eight games Baumann has started, Iowa’s offense has scored a whopping 64 runs, and according to outfielder Zeb Adreon, that’s no coincidence.

“Cam’s been throwing really well lately,” Adreon said. “As a position player, it kind of puts your mind at ease when you know you’ve got a guy that’s gonna come out and throw a lotta strikes and get a lotta quick outs. So, I mean, the quicker you can get in and out of the dugout and back in and ready to hit, it makes it a lot easier on us hitters to be able to focus on our at-bats and scoring runs for him.”

Iowa returns to Duane Banks Field Monday for its second-straight matchup with Northwestern. Action between the Wildcats and Hawkeyes will begin at 3:02 p.m. and air on the Big Ten Network.