The season is still young for the Hawkeyes baseball team, but after being swept by Indiana in the first conference series of the season, Iowa needed a confidence booster. The Hawks got just that. They brought their own brooms to the party in a sweep against a top 25 Illinois squad.
The bats were alive and well in game one of this series. The Hawkeyes tallied up 13 hits, eight runs and had key contributions from catcher Austin Martin and pinch hitter Grant Judkins. Martin finished the game 3-3 with two RBI’s and two runs scored.
After 6 innings from Cole McDonald, the bullpen came in and shut down the Illini bats for the final three innings. This would result in a much needed 8-4 win for the Hawkeyes.
Game two was an old fashioned pitchers duel featuring Iowa’s Cam Baumann and Illinois’ Ty Weber.
Iowa was able to get on the board first with a two RBI single from Tanner Wetrich that brought in Connor McCaffery and Ben Norman. These were the only two runs the Hawkeyes were able to tally. That’s all Cam Baumann and the bullpen needed to secure the win. Baumann left the game with 6.0 IP, one ER and four strikeouts, giving him his first win of the season.
Finally, Iowa’s starting rotation was playing a game of “whatever you can do, I can do better”. After a great start in game two from Cam Baumann, Grant Judkins came in and made his presence felt with 7.0 IP, one ER and five strikeouts on the day.
Later, Austin Martin asserted himself yet again in the series by knocking in two of the three runs on one swing of the bat, getting himself a two RBI triple. Martin would later score on a wild pitch to account for all three runs scored in the ball game.
The pitching was without a doubt the storyline of the weekend for Iowa. After allowing 23 runs in the series against Indiana, the Iowa pitching staff stepped up. The Hawks held Illinois to only six total runs on the weekend.
All in all, after being swept in the first Big Ten series of the season against Indiana, it was a much needed weekend sweep for the Hawks. Iowa will try to build off of the momentum with another conference matchup at home this weekend against Rutgers.
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