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 series sweep over Northwestern

Brody Brecht struck out 13 batters in game two, and redshirt first-year Kellen Strohmeyer clinched the sweep with a walk-off single in game three.
Ryan Paris/The Daily Iowan
Iowa pitcher Brody Brecht and infielder Raider Tello celebrate getting through the eighth inning during a baseball game between Northwestern and Iowa at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa. Friday, May 3, 2024. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats 9-2.

The Iowa baseball team swept the Northwestern Wildcats in a three-game series over the weekend at Duane Banks Field. Games one and three were decided by a single run, but the Hawkeyes prevailed in each contest to secure a much-needed series victory.

Here are three takeaways from the weekend triumph:

Brecht dominates again 

Following an outstanding 2023 season where he posted a 3.74 ERA and struck out 109 batters, third-year pitcher Brody Brecht hoped to continue the momentum into his junior season.

Despite battling injuries early in the year, he has done just that.

Brecht had a disappointing outing against Ohio State on April 14 but has flipped the switch ever since. He’s logged three straight wins along with an impressive 0.79 ERA.

The 6-foot-4 flamethrower recorded his best outing of the season against the Wildcats, throwing eight full innings while allowing only two hits and one run. He also struck out 13 batters.

“Just been taking it one pitch at a time, executing one pitch,” Brecht told Hawkeye Sports after the game. “Whether it’s a double, a home run, or a strikeout I am going to approach that next pitch the same way.”

Iowa’s pitching staff has been through its fair share of troubles this season, but a healthy and productive Brecht will greatly improve its postseason chances moving forward.

Strohmeyer is the hero 

Brecht’s dominant outing clinched the series for the Hawkeyes, but game three still offered plenty of drama.

Iowa jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning after a pair of RBI’s from Davis Cop and Andy Nelson. The Hawkeyes stalled out over the next few innings after that.

Making matters worse, Northwestern rattled off three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 3-2 advantage.

The Hawkeyes responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to grab a 5-3 lead, but the Wildcats tied the game an inning later. Neither team could muster any runs from there, and the contest went into extra-innings.

With the game still tied in the bottom of the 13th inning, Michael Seegers ripped a two-out double to right field, setting up a big-time opportunity for redshirt first-year Kellen Strohmeyer.

Strohmeyer smacked one into center field, and Seegers barely beat out the tag at the plate to secure Iowa’s third sweep of the season. After touching first base, Strohmeyer was doused in a bucket of water by his teammates.

“They got me, but it actually felt good though. I love it,” Strohmeyer told On3 after the game.

Final stretch  

The series victory nearly guarantees Iowa a spot in the Big Ten Tournament later this month. The Hawkeyes currently sit in fifth place in the standings and only need to finish in the top eight to qualify.

Iowa returns to action next weekend on the road against Big Ten leader Illinois, who is 28-16 overall and 13-5 in conference play. It marks the final Big Ten series of the season.

Following the series against the Fighting Illini, the Hawkeyes will host Illinois-Chicago for a midweek contest on May 14. They will conclude the regular season with a three-game set in Des Moines against Florida International on May 16-18.

Four non-conference games before the Big Ten Tournament could give Iowa a significant confidence boost as it attempts to make a run to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

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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.