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 sweep over Rutgers

The Hawkeyes had a 21-run differential against the Scarlet Knights this weekend.
Ryan Paris
Iowa infielder Raider Tello watches a pitch during a baseball game between Bradley and Iowa at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes defeated the Braves 11-6.

The Iowa baseball team earned its first sweep of the Big Ten season after taking all three contests against Rutgers this weekend.

Here are three takeaways from Iowa’s sweep over Rutgers:

Brody Brecht has best start of season

Heading into Sunday, starting pitcher Brody Brecht was given the ball with a chance to secure the first sweep of the season in Big Ten play.

So far this season, there has been a lot of positives and negatives for the highly touted prospect. Starting the season hot, Brecht posted a 1.52 ERA in just over 23 innings against non-conference opponents.

But the script completely flipped during his first four starts in Big Ten play. In just 17 innings, the hard-throwing righty posted a 10.61 ERA, registering a 0-2 record during that span.

On Sunday, though, Brecht showed the Iowa faithful why he was listed as a preseason First-Team All-American by Perfect Game.

Reaching 110 pitches thrown, Brecht finished the day pitching 7 and 2/3 scoreless innings. He held the Scarlet Knight bats to just one hit while only allowing three walks and striking out 12.

“He did a fantastic job today and stepped up for us big time,” head coach Rick Heller said. “He hadn’t been feeling the greatest and worked really hard this week to get back to full health. We allowed one leadoff guy in his eight innings. The difference that makes at the start of an inning is really important, and he really minimized the free bases.”

Raider Tello improves on monster season

Third basemen Raider Tello has had one of the more impressive jumps for Iowa from last season to now.

Last year, the Hawkeye made a name for himself by posting a .315 batting average and knocking in 50 RBIs.

This season, Tello has not only increased his performance but has also become one of the most important bats in the Iowa lineup.

Hitting .382 from the plate and getting on base at a 44 percent clip, Tello has improved on almost every statistic from last season.

This weekend was no different for the third basemen. Tello went 4-for-9 from the plate with eight RBIs — four of those RBIs coming from Sunday’s 5-1 victory over Rutgers.

“I’m never trying to do too much whether it is a big moment or not a big moment; I treat them all the same,” Tello said. “I want to be able to at least do my job for the team. I want to be able to drive in a run if needed or move the ball as much as I can.”

The starting rotation goes deep into each game

After being one of the most hyped units in all of the Big Ten, Iowa’s starting pitchers have had consistency issues all season. The unit, consisting of Brody Brecht, Marcus Morgan, and Cade Obermueller, are going to be a main factor if the Hawkeyes want to return to the NCAA Tournament this summer.

One of the main problems has been a lack of pitching deep into starts. As a whole, the starting pitching staff has averaged just over four innings per start this season.

This weekend, however, all pitchers eclipsed the five inning mark, giving Heller a lot of options for who he wants throwing the rest of the game.

“When starters like Cade and Brody get you deeper in the game you are able to put your guys in there that you want to put in there,” Heller said. “You aren’t trying to milk six or seven innings out of the bullpen early in the weekend, which makes it really difficult the second half of the weekend, especially on Sunday’s.”

Up Next

The Iowa baseball team returns home one more time on Tuesday to take on Milwaukee before heading to Lincoln to face Nebraska for three games. First pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. on Friday.

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About the Contributor
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.