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

Three takeaways from Iowa baseball’s win over Northern Illinois

The Hawkeyes topped the Huskies 14-6 on Tuesday afternoon.
Shaely Odean
Iowa pitcher Justin Hackett pitches the ball during a baseball game between No. 18 Iowa and Northern Illinois at Duane Banks Field on Tuesday, February. 27, 2024. The Hawkeyes defeated the Huskies 14-6.

The Iowa baseball team snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Northern Illinois, 14-6, at Duane Banks Field on Tuesday afternoon. 

Iowa is now 4-4 overall. Here are three takeaways from the Hawkeyes lopsided win against the Huskies. 

Early and often

With the temperature dropping from the mid-70s to the low 50s over the span of the game, Iowa’s head coach Rick Heller emphasized to his team that they had to attack the Northern Illinois pitchers early. 

The Hawkeye offense started the game with a five-run first inning to set the tone. Third-basemen Sam Petersen and catcher Davis Cop both hit two-run homeruns to get the evening going. Second-year Blake Guerin capped off the inning with an RBI double.

“Getting runs early was important and was something we really focused on,” Heller said. “We knew at some point in the game it was going to shift and the wind was going to start blowing in. While it was still warm and a little bit more friendly, it was good to get those runs.”

Reese Moore continues to impress

The Iowa offense has been powered by two players so far this season. The third-year tandem of Petersen and Raider Tello have done most of the damage for the Hawkeyes in 2024.

Both hitters have a batting average of .340 or better while combining for 16 of the team’s 47 RBIs.

While both bats have been excellent for the Hawkeyes so far, first-year Reese Moore has provided an unexpected boost for the team’s offense.

The part-time catcher and designated hitter is experiencing his first season of collegiate action after redshirting last year

Starting in five of the team’s seven games this season, Moore has proven to be more than capable of being an offensive weapon like Petersen and Tello. Though it has been limited action, Moore has hit for a .333 batting average while notching a 1.121 OPS.

Today was more or less the same for the righty, as Moore got a hit on three of his four plate appearances while driving in a run. 

He was the only Hawkeye to notch three hits on the afternoon.

“Right now he is playing really well and catching really well,” Heller said. “He is getting a good swing off all the time, and he had a great game offensively today as well. He’s going to be a big part of our lineup if we are going to score runs, and he has done a really nice job in the middle for us.”

Experience for the bullpen

So far this season, Iowa has boasted one of the strongest starting pitching rotations in the conference. The three-headed monster of Brody Brecht, Marcus Morgan, and Cade Obermueller have held opponents to a .133  batting average. 

But other than the starters, the Hawkeye pitching staff has struggled. 

Coming into Tuesday, the Hawkeye bullpen had given up 37 of the team’s 43 earned runs.

Heller and his coaching staff took advantage of this mid-week competition to give some pieces in the bullpen their first live experience this season. Ten Hawkeyes saw the mound on Tuesday. 

“We are just trying to get some guys going,” Heller said. “The best way to do it is to get them out there and compete against another team. I had the opportunity to see a bunch of those guys today, and it was kind of a half and half. Half were really solid and the other half weren’t.”

As the season continues to ramp up and conference play finds itself right around the corner, Heller is looking for arms to step up during high-pressure situations and help the team reach its full potential.

“What we are trying to do is find that group of nine guys on the mound that you can go to,” Heller said. “You hope you don’t have to go any deeper than that on the weekend, and that is what we are searching for right now.”

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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.
Shaely Odean, Photojournalist
Shaely Odean is a transfer student at the University of Iowa, currently in her third year. She is pursuing double majors in Journalism and Strategic Communications, as well as Sustainability Sciences. Shaely works as a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan, and her passion lies in environmental issues. Before joining the University of Iowa, she attended Kirkwood Community College, where she served as the photo editor for the Kirkwood Communique.