Early offense propels Iowa baseball to 4-2 victory over Penn State

The Hawkeyes hung four runs on the Nittany Lions in the first two innings of Friday’s contest and didn’t score for the remainder of the game.

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Jerod Ringwald

Iowa starting pitcher Trenton Wallace pitches during a baseball game between Iowa and Penn State on Friday, May 7, 2021 at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions 4-2. (Jerod Ringwald/The Daily Iowan)

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor


For seven of the nine innings it played against Penn State Friday night, Iowa baseball did not score any runs.

Despite that, the Hawkeyes still found a way to down the Nittany Lions, 4-2, and improve their record to 20-13 on the season.

In the first two frames of its series-opener with Penn State, Iowa hung four runs on the scoreboard.

First baseman Izaya Fullard drove in Iowa’s first run of the contest, slicing a ball over the right-field wall. 

After Fullard circled the bases, right fielder Zeb Adreon stepped to the plate. Three pitches into his at-bat, Adreon seemingly copied Fullard, hitting a solo home run to shallow right field.

A Ben Norman grounder that found a gap in the Nittany Lions’ defense in the bottom of the second inning brought Iowa’s last two runs of the game across home plate.

For the final seven innings of Friday’s contest, the Hawkeyes leaned on their pitching staff.

Ace Trenton Wallace threw 94 pitches in five innings of work, striking out 10 of the 23 batters he faced.

Wallace surrendered one run in the first frame and then proceeded to hold the Nittany Lions scoreless for the next four innings.

“The main goal for me after the first inning — obviously they got a couple of knocks — was just kind of stay in the zone,” Wallace said postgame. “Obviously, the walk came back and hurt me in the first inning. Couple of knocks brought him in. From there on out, I just said, ‘They’re going to hit their way on.’ I mean, that’s the way you gotta approach a team like this. They’re a solid hitting team. You just can’t give them the freebies. You gotta be able to challenge them and continue to go with that.”

Wallace exited the contest after he surrendered a quick single in the top of the first inning.

Senior Trace Hoffman took over for Wallace on the bump, pitching three shutout frames.

Up 4-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Hawkeye head coach Rick Heller handed the ball to Dylan Nedved — who had played the majority of Friday’s contest at second base.

Nedved struck out two of the four batters he faced, surrendering no runs and picking up a save.

“Trenton had a little trouble in the first inning, gave up a run, but settled in and gave us a really quality start” Heller said. “Not a lot of hard contact. The bullpen was outstanding. I mean, that’s the story that Trace Hoffman did a nice job. Had to get three innings for us tonight. Then, Dylan was sharp in the ninth.”

“Offense did just enough early with the two home runs,” Heller added. “ … We played great defense. What you’d expect when you’re playing a good team, their [pitching] staff did a really nice job, especially their bullpen, and held us down. It was just a good game, and happy that we came out on top.”

Friday’s game was originally scheduled to begin at 6:05 p.m. Instead, it started at 4:05 p.m. to accommodate some changes the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions made to the structure of this weekend’s series.

Instead of playing three games in three days, Iowa and Penn State will square off three times in two days. To avoid inclement weather that may hit Iowa City Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions elected to play one game Friday and a doubleheader Saturday.

The first leg of Saturday’s doubleheader is currently slated to begin at 11:05 a.m. with game three of the series to follow at 3:05 p.m.

Per a UI Athletics spokesperson and a release, the start time of Saturday’s contests could be adjusted in response to changes in the weather forecast.

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