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 12-6 victory over Milwaukee

The Hawkeyes scored five runs in the final two innings to pull away from the Panthers.
Ryan Paris
Iowa reliever Drew Deremer winds up 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 continued to extend its winning streak after a 12-6 victory over Milwaukee at Duane Banks Field on Tuesday night — but not without some adjustments needed moving forward. 

The Hawkeyes have now won five-consecutive games as they approach one of the biggest series of the season at Nebraska this weekend.

Here are three takeaways from the win against the Panthers. 

Bullpen struggles

The Iowa bullpen is coming off of one of its most dominant performances all season. In a crucial series against Rutgers, the relief staff threw over eight scoreless innings against one of the hottest offensive teams in the Big Ten. 

Today was not the same story. 

The Hawkeyes started the game by giving up a run in three of the first four innings — and giving up five free bases in the process. 

After two scoreless innings from Anthony Watts and Drew Deremer, the bullpen continued to struggle, surrendering three runs in the last three innings.

“We allowed runs in six different innings, and a good chunk of those were after we got the leadoff guy out,” Iowa head coach Rick Heller said. “We had a hard time finishing guys off tonight.

“Milwaukee battled,” he added. “They battled hard with two strikes. It wasn’t as clean as you would like. There were way too many free bases, and it seemed like every guy that came in at least had one.”

While seeing the bullpen give up six runs is never a good sign, the staff managed to get through multiple jams and hold Milwaukee from getting any explosive innings.

“There were a couple of positive innings in there,” Heller said. “On the mound, for the most part, everybody ran into a little trouble but found ways to get out of it without too much damage.”

Sluggish offense

Entering tonight, the Hawkeyes found themselves as one of the premier offensive teams in the Big Ten, trailing only Rutgers in batting average with .308. 

Despite the box score showing 12 runs, the Hawkeye offense looked slow at times against the Panthers. 

Iowa started the evening pouncing on the Milwaukee pitching staff, scoring seven runs in the first three innings. 

“Offensively, the first three innings we had good energy,” Heller said. “We were taking advantage of the free bases they were giving us.”

But the next three innings were not the same. The Panther bullpen held the Hawkeyes scoreless, managing to only give up two hits in that span. 

“We got a nice lead — then it seemed like we went into cruise control in the middle three innings,” Heller said. “There wasn’t a lot of life, and [we had] some bad at-bats. I wasn’t really happy with that.”

Iowa managed to add a bit of a spark, though, by scoring five runs in the final two innings of the game to show flashes of better nights heading into the weekend.

Big series in Lincoln

After dropping back-to-back series against Ohio State and Michigan, the Hawkeyes have rattled off five-straight victories. 

The Hawkeyes now have a three-game series against their biggest Big Ten test of the year in Nebraska. 

Nebraska enters this series boasting an impressive 25-13 record and has gone 8-4 in conference play, second to only Illinois. 

The Huskers are also No. 22 in the country in RPI, higher than any other team in the Big Ten. 

For Iowa to earn a second-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, the team will have to earn everything against Nebraska.

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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.