By now, the praises of the Iowa Hawkeye baseball team have echoed through just about every hall. Rightfully so after they dominated the visiting Minnesota Gophers within the confines of Duane Banks Field. It truly was remarkable as the Hawkeye offense out-slugged the Gophers 31-2 across their three-game slate. It was a series to look back on for certain as the Hawkeye secured their eighth win in nine contests. Whether the hits came in bunches or were scarce, the wins came just the same. Iowa was out-hit 11-3 in game one yet still walked away with a 7-1 victory. They also once again proved their strength at the plate with 28 combined hits across the next two games, a far cry from Minnesota’s nine count. Iowa touched up one of their best marks of the season with 13 extra-base hits including five home runs.
Interestingly enough, in the 18-0 spanking Iowa gave Minnesota in game three, there wasn’t a single out of the park shot. Between 17 combined walked drawn and a collective .310 batting average, this series was nothing short of productive. Nearly everything seemed to be working with ease from lead-off batting (.416) all the way to two-out hitting (.294). Creating opportunities has seemingly been the motto as of late for Iowa, and against the Gophers, that once again came alive. The Hawkeyes went .507 in advancement opportunities. Once runners were on, it was off to the races sporting a team mark of .500 once runners found their way onto the base paths. With only leaving 22 runners on base, Iowa was able to take advantage with runners in scoring position more, sporting a .333 average. Iowa’s opportunities came in a variety of ways from their .294 average with two outs all the way to runners on third. In fact, the Hawkeyes had 11 total instances where they had a runner on third base and less than two out and from those 11 instances, they tallied six hits! They also found the bases juiced with some regularity and they connected going 7-for-11 with the bases loaded (3-of-8 came in the 18-0 game three victory).
On the mound, the Hawkeyes were equally as impressive, allowing just two earned runs across all three games. The starters alone went a perfect 3-0 while punching out 18 batters in 18 innings of work, part of a strong overall pitching effort for the Hawkeyes with 27 strikeouts in 27 innings. As a staff, Iowa hurlers sported a 0.67 ERA for the weekend. They were able to limit the Gopher offense to just one hit in 22 opportunities with runners in scoring position. Of the mere 20 hits that Iowa pitching did allow, a minuscule four went for extra bases. With what the Hawkeyes were dishing out on the rubber, Minnesota managed a mere .125 average with two outs and left 29 runners on base across the three games combined.
One of many players who had quite an impressive weekend included the Shawnee Kansas native in Dylan Nedved. At the plate, Nedved was a force going 6-for-10 including three extra-base hits (one home run, one double, and one triple). All that came while striking out just twice across the three game span.
Perhaps what may be even more interesting is the fact that Nedved impacted the other side of the equation as well. Trenton Wallace isn’t the only two way star and Nedved showed once again what he can do on the mound, picking up his fifth save of the year with two strikeouts and not a single earned run to speak of on the rubber.
We got the chance to break down the Minnesota series and his life as a two-way player recently! Check it out here: