Iowa baseball handles Division III Loras, 9-2, in home opener

The Hawkeyes got revenge against the Duhawks after last year’s 3-1 loss.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa right fielder Keaton Anthony rounds third base to score during a baseball game between Iowa and Purdue at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City on Sunday, May 8, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers, 9-1.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

The Iowa baseball team used a four-run first inning to get past the Division III Loras Duhawks, 9-2, on Tuesday afternoon in the Hawkeyes’ home opener at Duane Banks Field.

Iowa began the season with six road games.

“I thought from the time we got to the ballpark until the game was over there was good energy,” head coach Rick Heller said postgame. “Guys were into the game like you would expect and want them to be.”

Reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Keaton Anthony homered to left-center field with two outs in the Hawkeye half of the first inning to get the scoring started, and the home team would put up two more runs in the frame.

Wofford graduate transfer Brennen Dorighi followed up Anthony’s long ball with another solo shot to give the Hawkeyes a 2-0 lead, and then center fielder Sam Peterson was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a Sam Hojnar single, and stole home as Hojnar swiped second during the following at-bat.

Iowa would put up one more in the second, two in the seventh, and three runs in the eighth.

Heller said the Hawkeyes’ sluggers fueled the win.

“I thought that the middle of our lineup did a really nice job with Bello, Dorighi, and Anthony each having three hits,” Heller said. 

This was a bullpen game for the Iowa arms, as the Hawkeyes used a different pitcher for each inning — the first appearance of the season for many of them. 

The Hawkeye hurlers held the Duhawks to only two runs on five hits — including back-to-back strikeouts by redshirt junior Jacob Henderson in the seventh with bases loaded.

“[Playing nine pitchers] is always a little worrisome the first time you do it,” Heller said. “For a bunch of them, this is the first time they have been in the game as a Hawkeye. I feel good about the fact that we got through it and we had a few guys pitch really well.”

The last time these two programs played, March 1, 2022, the Duhawks stunned the Hawkeyes, 3-1, in what turned out to be one of two midweek losses that season for Iowa. The Hawkeye players and coaches were not willing to let that happen again. 

“Yeah I felt like [extra motivation] was there, they knew from last year,” Anthony said. “But no matter who we are playing, we don’t look at the jersey. We just have to make sure we are coming out and competing every day.”

Anthony and Dorighi keep bats hot

Anthony and Dorighi went 9-for-26 at the dish from Feb. 24-26 at the Round Rock Classic in Lubbock, Texas. The duo combined for a 5-for-9 stat line against No.1 LSU on Feb. 25 in a 12-4 win over the Tigers. 

RELATED: Iowa baseball notebook | Hawkeyes beat No. 1 LSU in Round Rock Classic

Both batters raked against Loras, going 6-for-10 with two home runs and driving in three runs. 

“I think it’s about keeping the mindset the same,” Dorighni said. “I think we are trying to be aggressive to our spots and stay committed to our plan. I think that was what we were able to implement tonight, so that was huge.”

Big picture

With the win, the Hawkeyes moved to 6-1 on the season. Iowa is the only one-loss team left in the Big Ten. Conference play kicks off on March 31 for Iowa when Maryland comes to town for a three-game set. 

Up next

The Hawkeye baseball team will travel to Mobile, Alabama, to compete in the South Alabama Invitational from March 3-5. Iowa will kick off the weekend series against Southern, followed by games against South Alabama and Pepperdine on Saturday and Sunday.