The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Point/Counterpoint | How many games will Iowa baseball win this season?

The Hawkeyes have a highly anticipated lineup but a tough slate.
Averi Coffee
Iowa utility player Sam Peterson celebrating after hitting a home run during a baseball game between Iowa and Ohio State at Duane Banks Baseball Stadium on Friday, May 5, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes 16-9.


The Iowa baseball team enters the 2024 season with some of the highest expectations in program history. Last season, the Hawkeyes eclipsed the 40-win mark and tied the program record for the most wins in a season with 44.

While I don’t think the Hawkeyes will break that record this year, I still see Iowa comfortably eclipsing the 40-win mark under the guidance of head coach Rick Heller.

Coming back for the Hawkeyes are a slew of players who helped the team reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years.

Flexing one of the best starting rotations in the Big Ten, Iowa returned two of their three-weekend starters from last year in third-years Brody Brecht and Marcus Morgan. Both players posted a sub-3.80 ERA and combined for 182 strikeouts in 142 innings of production.

In the bullpen, third-year Jack Whitlock returns after having the best season out of any relief pitcher. Throwing for 36 innings, the Hutchinson Community College transfer posted a 2.52 ERA while striking out 36 batters.

Highlighting the offense is the third-year tandem of outfielder Sam Petersen and third baseman Raider Tello.

Petersen hit for a .319 batting average while posting the third-best OPS on the team with 1.003. Tello impressed in his first season with the Hawkeyes, hitting for a .306 batting average and driving in 48 runs for Iowa.

While the Hawkeyes have a difficult non-conference schedule against teams like Auburn, Virginia, and Ole Miss, they avoid some of the better teams in the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes can avoid both Indiana and Maryland, two teams that are projected to be fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. While the series against Rutgers and Nebraska will be challenging, not playing the Hoosiers or Terrapins is big for this season’s win column.


In my short time following the Iowa baseball program, I have been blessed to witness the incredible rise of the program under Rick Heller. There have been plenty of talented squads under his tenure, but he looks to have his best team yet in 2024.

Iowa enters the season as the favorite to win the Big Ten, something the program hasn’t accomplished since 1990. If that’s not enough, many analysts are predicting a run to the College World Series for the first time since 1972.

On paper, this is one of the deepest rosters in school history, and I have no doubt that they’ll back up the preseason hype.

The Hawkeyes are strong at every position, but the main focal point of this squad must be its pitching staff, which posted a 4.19 ERA a season ago.

Third-year flamethrower Brody Brecht is the most notable of the bunch, but fellow third-year Marcus Morgan and second-year Cade Obermueller have a wealth of starting pitching experience that should pay dividends as the season goes on.

As for the offense, Iowa hit a .295 average as a team last season, with six players in the lineup hitting over .300. Not only that, but the Hawkeyes also clubbed 70 home runs and 452 RBIs.

Iowa lost standout Keaton Anthony to the MLB draft, but third-years Raider Tello, Sam Petersen, and fourth-year Kyle Huckstorf all return and should continue to provide production in the lineup. This lineup is legit, and every batter is more than capable of doing damage at the plate.

If you combine the sheer amount of talent on the roster with a weaker conference schedule, I’m confident this club can win a program-record 45 games this season.

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About the Contributors
Jake Olson, Sports Reporter
Email: [email protected] Jake Olson is a Sports Reporter for The Daily Iowan. In his three years with the paper, he has covered everything from rowing to basketball. He is studying journalism and mass communication with a minor in sports and rec management.
Brad Schultz
Brad Schultz, Sports Reporter
Brad Schultz is a sophomore at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Sports Studies. This is first year working as a sports reporter and he has a deep passion and love for sports. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Brad is a contributor for Saturday Blitz, a college football site, with his content primarily covering Iowa and the Big Ten.