Iowa baseball notebook | Big Ten Tournament semifinal recap, championship preview

The Hawkeyes will battle the Maryland Terrapins on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a conference title and automatic NCAA regional berth.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa pitcher Ty Langenberg pitches the ball during a baseball game at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City on Saturday, May 21, 2022. The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Indiana Hoosiers, 2-1. Langenberg pitched five innings and struck out four batters.

Keaton Speicher, Sports Reporter

The Iowa baseball team advanced to the Big Ten Championship game with a 5-0 victory against  Michigan on Saturday morning at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. 

The victory marked Iowa’s sixth shutout of the season, which is tied for second in the nation.

The Hawkeyes defeated the Wolverines, 13-3, to start the conference tournament and the Indiana Hoosiers, 9-4, in the second round. 

Iowa is now 42-13 and 16-8 in conference play. The Hawkeyes’ 42 wins are tied for the most in head coach Rick Heller’s tenure at Iowa and second most in program history.

How it happened 

The Hawkeyes got on the board in the third inning after Raider Tello was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Iowa went up, 2-0, in the bottom of the sixth frame after an RBI triple from junior Kyle Huckstorf. 

The Hawkeyes opened up the bottom of the seventh inning with a single from Cade Moss, who advanced to second base with a sacrifice bunt from Ben Wilmes. 

Then, RBI singles from Brennan Dorighi and Tello and an RBI sacrifice fly from Sam Honjar improved Iowa’s lead to 5-0. 

Junior Ty Langenberg got the start on the bump for Iowa. The Urbandale, Iowa, native struck out nine batters through seven innings and only allowed two hits. 

“Ty did exactly what you expect a veteran with a lot of confidence to do,” Heller said in a statement. “He went out there and attacked the strike zone. I feel like since the weather has warmed up, he has been really sharp. When he’s hitting with all four of his pitches, he can beat anyone in the country. He pitched a gem today. and his quiet confidence is the Ty Langenberg we like to see. He did everything he needed to do to put us in a good position going into tomorrow.” 

Junior Luke Llewelyn came in to close with runners on first and second and struck out three-straight Wolverines to secure the victory.

The Hawkeyes pitching staff boasts a 4.11 ERA, which ranks first in the Big Ten and 12th in the nation. The Iowa defense also leads the conference and  stands at 14th in the country with a .980 fielding percentage. 

“We have won games in every way imaginable this year,” Heller said. “That’s a tribute to the balance that we have with this team this year. With the pitching, the hitting, and then the big one that we haven’t talked a lot about in this tournament is our defense.”

Championship preview 

Iowa will battle Maryland on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a Big Ten title and automatic NCAA regional berth.

This will mark Iowa’s fifth conference title game appearance and third under Heller.

The Hawkeyes played the Terrapins early on in the season and lost two of three at Duane Banks Field. Iowa lost the first game, 10-9, and the second contest, 7-4. The Hawkeyes ended the series with a 12-8 victory.

Iowa and Maryland have met twice in the Big Ten Tournament, with the Hawkeyes winning both games. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 11-0, in Omaha in 2016, and 9-8 in Bloomington, Indiana, in 2017.

Sunday’s game will be televised live on BTN.