Iowa Baseball: Hawkeyes Open Big Ten Slate at Michigan

The Iowa Hawkeyes (12-9) head to Michigan to take on the Wolverines this weekend. It will be the first conference game for the Hawkeyes. The Hawks started out 4-0 and then hit a dip in the schedule. Iowa rebounded a bit winning 6 of its last 8 games. All three games are on B1G +.

Friday 3pm

Saturday 1 pm

Sunday Noon

The Hawkeyes have been without one of their best players this year. Izaya Fullard is dealing with a hand injury. Hopefully Fullard heals up and returns to last year form as he really became a force last year. In 2021 he it .296 (48-of-162) with nine doubles, five home runs, 25 runs and 21 RBIs. A positive with his absence is that the Hawks are developing depth. Iowa’s Peyton Williams has been holding down first base and he’s been Iowa’s best hitter. On the year he is hitting .364 with 5 home runs, 16 RBI, and slugging .675. Williams missed some time last year due to injury. He provides a very good left-handed bat in the second or third spot in the batting order. Here are a few highlights from the Hawks’ last series.

Iowa’s Lineup

For the most part the Hawkeyes’ batting order and positions look like this:

  1. Michael Seegers (SS) .271 BA
  2. Peyton Williams (1B) .364 5 HR 9 Doubles 16 RBI
  3. Ty Snep (DH) .233
  4. Keaton Anthony (RF) .347 3 HR. 11 Doubles 17 RBI
  5. Sam Hojnar (3B) .294
  6. Brayden Frazier (LF) .211
  7. Brett McCleary (C) .175
  8. Brendan Sher (2B) .196
  9. Kyle Huckstorf (CF) .288 6 Stolen Bases

The Hawkeyes have not exactly been tearing the cover off the ball. As the weather warms expect better numbers. Playing baseball in near-freezing temperatures is not ideal. Heller always does an excellent job of mixing in non-starters to give guys breaks and for underclassmen to gain valuable experience. Freshman Sam Petersen from Ballard Huxley (IA) has played in 17 games, starting 10. He’s hitting .243 with 2 HR and 10 RBI.

Iowa’s Pitching Staff

Iowa has had five starting pitchers this season. Adam Mazur (South Dakota State) has started six games. He is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.82. In 33 innings he has 38 strikeouts and he’s showing excellent control with 15 bases on balls. After Mazur the Hawks have Ty Langenberg (3-0 / 2.31 ERA), Duncan Davitt (2-1 / 1.46 ERA), and Marcus Morgan (0-0 / 5.79 ERA) each with three starts. Iowa’s closer, Dylan Nedved, is 1-2 with 2 saves and an ERA of 4.88. Nedved has also started two games. Cam Baumann has appeared in five games, starting once. He has no record but an ERA of just 1.59. Luke Llewellyn has appeared in six games; he’s 1-0 and has not given up a run. Of note is Iowa football player Brody Brecht has appeared in seven games. He is 1-2 with an ERA of 4.22. He has a very impressive 19 strikeouts in 10 innings, but his control has been a little off allowing 12 free passes. For the most part Iowa’s pitching staff has done a nice job. The staff’s ERA is 3.57 compared to the opponents’ ERA of 5.11. Iowa had to replace its ace Trenton Wallacelast year B1G pitcher of the year.

Tale of the Tape vs. Michigan

On paper the Hawkeyes have a superior pitching staff compared to the Wolverines. Michigan’s team ERA is a ginormous 6.08 whereas the Hawks come in at 3.57. Offensively, Michigan has a big edge. Iowa is slashing (Batting Average / On Base Percentage / Slugging Percentage) .263 / .358 / .393. The Wolverines are at .281 / .384 / .467. Also, the Wolverines have hit 34 big flys to Iowa’s 14.

This is Iowa’s first Big Ten conference game. Michigan is 2-1 in the conference, beating a strong Nebraska team 2 out of 3. The Wolverines also beat Maryland in a tournament earlier this year (it was not part of the conference schedule).

Let’s hope that Iowa’s pitching staff can hold down Michigan’s potent offense and Iowa’s batters can take advantage of the Wolverines’ suspect hurlers. As always, Go Hawks!

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