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 midweek victory over Bradley

The Hawkeyes trailed 6-3 at one point, but patient hitting and solid pitching led them to a much-needed victory.
Ryan Paris/The Daily Iowan
Iowa players high five after securing the win after a baseball game between St. Thomas and Iowa at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tommies 17-11.

The Iowa baseball team defeated the Bradley Braves in a hard-fought midweek contest. The Hawkeyes trailed 6-3 at one point, but patient hitting and solid pitching led them to victory. With the triumph, Iowa improves to 19-15 on the season. 

Here are three takeaways from the win: 

Resilience at the plate 

Iowa struggled at the dish during last weekend’s series against Ohio State, and things looked grim for a large portion of this one. The Hawkeyes put up a three spot in the second inning but couldn’t do anything over the next two frames and watched Bradley take a 6-3 advantage. 

But unlike the series in Columbus, Iowa pulled itself together in a big way, scoring eight consecutive runs on their way to victory. 

In the sixth, the Hawkeyes battled back from two quick outs and began to show patience at the plate, resulting in three free bases, including one with the bases loaded to bring in a run. Third-year Andy Nelson tied the game at six runs apiece with a two-run single, and the floodgates opened from there. 

Iowa scored five more runs over the final two innings, with four of those coming with two outs. 

“It was great to see us bounce back in the second half with our backs against the wall,” head coach Rick Heller said. “We just kept fighting and putting pressure on them.”

Pitching bounces back from rough patch  

Iowa’s pitching has had issues all season long, and it nearly came back to haunt them in this one in the middle innings. But this time they weathered the storm and came out on top. 

The Hawkeyes usually employ a bullpen-style game for midweeks, and Heller sent out second-year Ganon Archer to begin the game. Archer gave up a solo shot in the first inning but calmly retired the rest of the side to close out his only inning of work. 

The next two Iowa pitchers threw scoreless frames, but then second-year Aaron Savary got into some trouble in the fourth. After striking out his first batter, he surrendered two walks and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases. 

Savary was pulled, but Bradley capitalized with four runs in the inning to take a 5-3 lead. A solo shot in the fifth extended the lead to three, but the Braves didn’t score again the rest of the night. The Hawkeye pitching staff held their own from there to secure a much-needed victory. 

“The guys just did an awesome job on the back end of the bullpen,” Heller said 

Key series ahead 

As it stands right now, the Hawkeyes would barely qualify for the eight-team Big Ten Tournament next month. Iowa currently sits in seventh place, but Maryland and Penn State are only one game back in the standings. 

This weekend, the Hawkeyes will host a desperate Rutgers squad looking to save its season after a rough patch to begin Big Ten play. The Scarlet Knights are 3-6 in conference play and 1.5 games out of the final bid to Omaha. A series victory in Iowa City would drastically improve their positioning while damaging Iowa’s hopes at the same time. 

The Hawkeyes have the home-field advantage, but Rutgers has scored 31 runs over its last three games, resulting in a surprising series win over first-place Nebraska. The Scarlet Knights top the league in total offense, with Iowa close behind in second place. 

“They are going to be playing for their lives,” Heller said. “It’s going to be a tough battle, but it should be a really good series.”

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About the Contributor
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.