|MATCHUP||Illinois (16-18) at Iowa (21-14)|
|LOCATION||Duane Banks Field | Iowa City, Iowa|
|DATE||May 14-16, 2021|
|WATCH||BTN+ (All Games)|
|LISTEN||Hawkeye Radio Network | TuneIn Radio|
|LIVE STATS||Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3|
|Game 1 | May 14 | 6:05 p.m.||UI: LHP Trenton Wallace (5-1, 2.83 ERA)
ILL: RHP Andrew Hoffmann (2-0, 3.27 ERA)
|Game 2 | May 15 | 2:05 p.m.||UI: RHP Duncan Davitt (4-1, 4.20 ERA)
ILL: LHP Nate Lavender (5-2, 4.79 ERA)
|Game 3 | May 16 | 1:05 p.m.||UI: LHP Cam Baumann (4-4, 3.86 ERA)
ILL: RHP Riley Gowens (1-3, 5.59 ERA)
The University of Iowa baseball team will host Illinois from May 14-16 at Duane Banks Field in its final home series of the season. Friday’s opener is set for 6:05 p.m. (CT) followed by 2:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. starts on Saturday and Sunday.
Iowa will honor its seniors in a pregame ceremony prior to Sunday’s series finale at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Fifty percent capacity (approximately 1,200) will be allowed at Duane Banks Field. Tickets must be pre-purchased online as no walk-up tickets will be sold.
• All three games will be streamed live on BTN+, a paid subscription service.
• All three games will be available on the Hawkeye Radio Network with Zach Mackey and Steve Duncan on the call. Fans can access the stream via TuneIn Radio.
• Fans can follow along for live updates via Twitter/@UIBaseball.
SENIOR SEND OFF
The Hawkeyes will honor 13 seniors as well as 10 managers in a pregame ceremony. The Iowa players are: Zeb Adreon, Cam Baumann, Jack Dreyer, Izaya Fullard, Jack Guzek, Trace Hoffman, Adam Ketelsen, Hunter Lee, Grant Leonard, Ben Norman, Ben Probst, Austin Martin, and Matthew Sosa.
• After starting the season 4-8, Iowa has won 17 of its last 23 games to improve to 21-14 overall. The Hawkeyes are three games behind Big Ten-leading Indiana, 2.5 games back of Nebraska and two games back of Michigan.
• Twelve of Iowa’s 21 wins have come against the top seven teams in the Big Ten standings.
• The Hawkeyes have won six of their last seven series. Iowa’s lone setback was losing two of three games at league-leading Indiana from April 30-May 2.
• Iowa has won 21 Big Ten games, the second-most in school history. The Hawkeyes went 22-6 during the 1990 season en route to the Big Ten regular season title.
• Senior Ben Norman, who was the Big Ten Player of the Week on April 20, leads the Big Ten in RBIs (46) and walks (25) while ranking in the top eight in seven categories. He is third in home runs (10), fourth in slugging (.657), tied for fourth in steals (11), seventh in OBP (.451) and eighth in runs (32).
• The Hawkeyes’ RPI sits at No. 56 — the highest mark in the Big Ten. Iowa is projected as an NCAA Regional team by D1Baseball.com and Baseball America for a fourth straight week.
• Iowa’s offense ranks in the top four of the Big Ten in six different categories, including leading the league in triples (9) and walks (183), while ranking third in doubles (72) and RBIs (206) and fourth in runs (223) and hit by pitch (45).
• Redshirt junior Trenton Wallace has a team-leading five quality starts this season as Iowa’s Friday night starter. The southpaw is 5-1 with a 2.83 ERA. He is tied for the league lead in strikeouts (80), while ranking second in ERA (2.83) and third in wins (5).
• Iowa’s pitching staff is fifth in the Big Ten in ERA (4.60) and batting average against (.245), while the Hawkeye defense has the second-best team fielding percentage (.974). Iowa made a season weekend low two errors in the series against Penn State.
• Iowa’s starting pitchers have tallied 14 quality starts this season. The starting pitchers are 14-10 with a 4.19 ERA this season and they are limiting hitters to a .239 average. Iowa has used the same four starting pitchers for the duration of the season.
• Norman has started 110 consecutive games dating back to the 2018 season. He has played in 211 games in his Hawkeye career — the fourth-most all-time.
• Head coach Rick Heller is one win shy of moving into third place on Iowa’s all-time wins list. He has 235 wins at Iowa.
THE RACE FOR NO. 1
The Hawkeyes (21-14) (and Maryland) are three games back of first-place Indiana (23-10), 2.5 games behind second-place Nebraska (23-11) and two games back of Michigan (23-12) with three weekends left.
Here’s a rundown of the remaining schedules for the top five teams:
Indiana: at Michigan (3), Illinois (1), Nebraska (2), Ohio State (2), at Maryland (3)
Nebraska: Northwestern (3), at Indiana (2), vs. Ohio State (2), Michigan (3)
Michigan: Indiana (3), Maryland (3), at Nebraska (3)
Iowa: Illinois (3), at Northwestern (3), at Michigan State (3)
Maryland: Purdue (3), at Michigan (3), Indiana (3)
• The Hawkeyes scored a season-high 18 runs on April 11 in the 18-0 victory over Minnesota. They are the team’s most scored in a Big Ten game since 2011 in a 19-7 win over Michigan State and the most in a shutout since beating Northwestern College, 28-0, in 2016.
• Senior Matthew Sosa has hit safely in seven of his last nine games.
• Iowa has hit at least one home run in 17 of its last 27 games. The Hawkeyes have 11 games with two or more home runs.
• Redshirt seniors Ben Norman and Matthew Sosa are the only two Hawkeyes to start every game this season.
• Sosa has been plunked a Big Ten-high 17 times. The total is tied for fourth in a single-season in school history.
• Iowa’s starting pitchers have gone five or more innings in 18 of their last 23 starts. They have allowed two or fewer runs in 16 of the 23 starts.
• Iowa has 14 games with 10 or more hits this season, including a season-high 18 hits against Northwestern on April 25.
• Over the last 10 games, Iowa is hitting .308, while averaging 7.2 runs per game. Iowa has 35 extra-base hits during the stretch with 24 doubles, two triples, and nine home runs. Four Hawkeyes — Izaya Fullard (.404, Zeb Adreon (.400), Matthew Sosa (.355), and Ben Norman (.342) — are hitting .342 or higher.
• Iowa has had four or more extra base hits in 14 games this season, including eight (6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR) against Northwestern on April 25. Ben Norman tied a school record in the game with three doubles.
• Norman is riding a 23-game reached base streak — the longest of his career. Izaya Fullard has reached in 18 straight games to go along with a season-high 10-game hitting streak.
• Fullard and redshirt freshman Peyton Williams tied the Iowa single game walks record in consecutive games. Williams had four walks in the series finale at Purdue, and Fullard drew four walks in the series opener against Minnesota.
The Hawkeyes posted a 12-3 record during the month of April. Iowa hit .297 as a team during the month, averaging 8.5 runs per game with 34 doubles, seven triples and 15 home runs. Senior Zeb Adreon hit a team-best .379 with 14 RBIs, while senior Ben Norman drove in 26 runs.
Eight of Iowa’s starters (including DH) are native Iowans, while all four starting pitchers (who have started a game in 2021) are Iowans.
• Third baseman Matthew Sosa and utility/closer Dylan Nedved are the only two non-Iowa starters on the roster.
SIT ‘EM DOWN WALLEY
Redshirt junior Trenton Wallace is tied for the Big Ten lead with 80 strikeouts this season. The total is ninth in a single season in school history and is just seven strikeouts away from fifth place.
SUPER SENIOR NORM
University of Iowa redshirt senior Ben Norman is enjoying a breakout “super senior” season. The outfielder is leading the team in hits (41), runs (32), home runs (10), RBIs (46), slugging percentage (.651) and steals (11). He is leading the Big Ten in RBIs (46) and walks (25), while third in home runs (11) and fourth in steals (11) and slugging (.657).
• If you take away the season-opening four-game series, when Norman was working his way back following a COVID pause, the outfielder has posted a .365 average. Norman has hit safely in 27 of 31 games since the opening weekend with 12 multi-hit and 12 multi-RBI games.
• Norman was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on April 20 after hitting .400 with two home runs, eight RBIs, and six runs scored in the road series at Rutgers.
• Norman tied a school record with three doubles on April 25 in the 15-4 victory over Northwestern. He finished 3-for-6 with a career-high five RBIs.
• Norman has scored at least one run in 22 of the last 31 games with nine games scoring two or more runs.
• Norman has a career-high 10 home runs and has surpassed his home run total from his first four seasons where he had seven blasts in his first 176 career games. He is the first Hawkeye since Robert Neustrom in 2018 (11 home runs) to reach double figures in the category.
• He went 2-for-5 with a home run and a career-best four RBIs in series finale against Nebraska. Norman hit a second home run in the game, but was called out after mistakenly passing a teammate on the base paths.
• Norman has played in 211 games in his Hawkeye career to rank fourth all-time. Craig Conti (1983-86) holds the school record, playing in 220 career games. He also is ninth all-time in career doubles (44), 11th in career steals (45) and 14th in career singles (128).
• Redshirt junior Izaya Fullard is hitting a team-best .418 (28-of-67) over his last 15 games. He has had multi-hit contest in 11 of the 15 games with 13 RBIs and 11 runs scored. He is slashing .418/.657/.466 during the stretch with four doubles and four home runs.
• The North Liberty, Iowa, native had the go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning as Iowa rallied from four runs down to win 14-12 in the series opener at Rutgers and he hit his first home run of the season in game two. Fullard homered to straight-away center field for his second blast on April 26 against Northwestern and he finished 3-for-6 with two RBIs in the come-from-behind win. He homered and had another three-hit game in the series finale at Indiana.
• Fullard had an RBI single (and potential game-tying two-run single) in the bottom of the ninth inning against Penn State on May 8, but the tying run was thrown out at the plate in a 5-4 loss.
WALLEY: THE ACE
Redshirt junior Trenton Wallace is Iowa’s ace and is one of the top pitchers in the Big Ten Conference. The southpaw is 5-1 with a 2.83 ERA over 54 innings. He has five quality starts to his ledger and he has allowed zero earned runs in four starts.
• The Rock Island, Illinois, native ranks in the top six in the Big Ten in six categories. He is leading the league in strikeouts (80) along with Michigan’s Steve Hajjar and Ohio State’s Seth Lonsway and he is tied for first in fewest runs allowed (18). Wallace also is second in ERA (2.83), third in strikeouts looking (24), tied for third in wins (5), and tied for sixth in fewest earned runs allowed (17).
• Wallace had 18 2/3 consecutive scoreless frames spanning two-plus starts against Ohio State, Nebraska, and Ohio State. He allowed five hits during the streak and fanned 24.
• He was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on March 24 after scattering two hits over seven shutout innings in a 3-0 victory over Nebraska on March 19. The southpaw struck out eight Huskers in his career long outing.
• Wallace has allowed two or fewer runs in seven starts and has eight or more strikeouts in seven starts. He matched a season-high in the win over Penn State on May 7, fanning 10 over five innings. (He also punched out 10 against Ohio State on March 12.)
Southpaw Cam Baumann has enjoyed a strong redshirt junior season as Iowa’s Sunday starter. The Fairfield, Iowa, native is 4-4 with a 3.86 ERA over 10 appearances (nine starts).
• During a seven-week stretch from Week 2 to Week 8, Baumann went 4-1 with a 1.45 ERA over 37 1/3 innings. He allowed eight runs (six earned) and had 27 strikeouts to 10 walks, while limiting hitters to a .176 average. He wont three straight starts in wins over Minnesota, Rutgers and Northwestern.
• Baumann has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his last nine outings. He went seven innings twice during the span, scattering three hits and allowing a single run in a road win at Ohio State on March 27 and scattering three hits and allowing one run in a win at Rutgers on April 17.
• Baumann tallied his third quality start of the season against Northwestern on April 25, allowing two runs on five hits over six innings. It was his fifth career quality start.
• Baumann combined on a shutout in the 18-0 victory over Minnesota on April 11, scattering two hits over five shutout innings.
Redshirt sophomore Duncan Davitt notched his fourth win of the season in his first Saturday start on May 8 against Penn State. The right-hander allowed one run on six hits over five innings in a 5-3 win.
• Davitt is 3-1 with a 4.64 ERA in seven starts this season. He has victories over Nebraska, Maryland and Penn State. He has gone six innings in three of his seven starts and allowed two or fewer runs in four starts. Davitt is tied for fifth in the Big Ten in fewest runs allowed (20).
WHAT A SUNDAY
Redshirt junior Dylan Nedved enjoyed a stellar Sunday on April 11 in the doubleheader sweep of Minnesota. The Kansas native hit for the cycle across the two games and recorded his fifth save (in as many chances) to clinch the series win.
• Nedved went 4-for-4 with a home run — the first of his career — and a triple in game one. The four hits were a career-high. He also got the final six outs, scattering a pair of hits over two shutout frames.
• He completed the cycle with his first inning double in game two, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
• Nedved hit .600 (6-for-10) with three extra base hits and five runs scored in the series.
• On the year, Nedved is hitting .250 (27-of-108) with 17 RBIs and 24 runs scored. He has started games at shortstop, second base and left field, while serving as the team’s closer.
ZEB: B1G POW
Senior Zeb Adreon earned his second career Big Ten Player of the Week honor on April 27 after hitting .714 (10-of-14) with five RBIs and seven runs scored against Maryland and Northwestern. Adreon had four multi-hit games on the weekend.
• Adreon reached base safely in 11 straight plate appearances from April 24-30. He had eight hits, two walks and a hit by pitch.
• Adreon tripled in consecutive games, making him the first Hawkeye to do so since Ben Norman in 2018. He leads the Big Ten with four triples this season.
• He went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and four runs scored in the 15-4 win over Northwestern. He had career-bests in hits and runs, while tying his career-best RBI total.
• The Pleasantville, Iowa, native is hitting .304 with 21 RBIs and 21 runs scored this season.
THE BIG KAHUNAH
Redshirt freshman Peyton Williams has hit safely in 16 games with six multi-hit and seven multi-RBI games. He is tied for first in the Big Ten in walks (25), while ranking eighth in OBP (.447) and 10th in slugging (.598).
• Williams finished with a .500 (4-for-8) average in the three-game series at Purdue. In game two, he had a career game, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. He doubled and then homered in consecutive at-bats, for his first career multi-home run game. He is the first Hawkeye since Tanner Wetrich in 2019 to have a multi-home run contest.
• In the series finale in West Lafayette, Williams reached base in all five plate appearances. He drew Barry Bonds treatment, being intentionally walked twice in the game, and he walked a total of four times to tie the Iowa single-game school record. He also reached via a hit by pitch.
• Williams homered in consecutive games, hitting a two-run blast and finishing 2-for-4 with two RBIs in a 6-4 win over Maryland on March 27 and 2-for-4 with four RBIs — and a three-run shot — in the 11-2 win over the Terps on March 28.
• Williams hit his first career grand slam in Iowa’s 7-1 victory over Minnesota on April 9. He sent the no-doubt blast down the right field line and per metrics, it was estimated to go 430 feet with a 109 mph exit velocity.
• Iowa’s starting pitchers have allowed two or fewer earned runs in 21 of 35 starts this season and they have gone at least five innings in 23 starts.
• Iowa has used the same four starting pitchers in each of the first nine weeks. Redshirt junior Cam Baumann and redshirt sophomore Duncan Davitt have shared the No. 3 spot on three-game weekends.
• Iowa’s starters have notched 14 quality starts this season with redshirt junior Trenton Wallace leading the way with five such starts.
THE HAWKEYES ARE…
• 16-2 when scoring first.
• 14-1 when out-hitting its opposition.
• 10-4 against left-handed starters and 11-10 against righties.
• 19-3 when limiting opponents to five or fewer runs.
• 17-1 when leading after six innings, 13-1 after seven, and 15-1 after eight.
• 13-1 when making zero errors.
• Out-scoring their opposition, 78-49, over the final three innings and in extra innings.
• Iowa’s pitching staff has 10 games with 10 or more strikeouts and 15 with nine or more Ks. The Hawkeyes had a season-high 15 strikeouts May 7 in the win over Penn State.
• Iowa’s pitching staff has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 19 games.
• The Hawkeyes rank fifth in the Big Ten with a 4.60 staff ERA. Iowa is limiting hitters to a .245 average — fifth-best in the league — and the team has three shutouts.
ACE IN THE ‘PEN
• Redshirt junior Dylan Nedved is Iowa’s closer and primary late-inning stopper. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 4.08 ERA with eight saves over 16 appearances, spanning 28 2/3 innings.
• The eight saves are tied for the sixth most in a single season in school history. Nedved is two saves shy of being in the top three in school history.
• The right-hander has made multiple weekend appearances six times this season, including pitching both games of the doubleheader against Ohio State and Maryland on March 27 — where he notched two saves.
• Nedved earned wins against Michigan (2 IP), Purdue (3 1/3) and Northwestern (2 2/3). He has pitched more than one inning in 10 appearances.
• Nedved allowed a single hit over a career-high 3 1/3 shutout innings en route to his second win of the season in the series opener at Purdue. He extended his scoreless innings streak to 14 1/3 innings before surrendering three runs in the series finale against the Boilermakers.
• Nedved earned a win and save in Iowa’s Big Ten pod weekend against Maryland and Northwestern. He was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in two appearances (5 2/3 innings).
Iowa’s bullpen has been up and down, posting a 5.14 ERA over 131 1/3 innings. Sixteen players have pitched in relief, limiting opposing hitters to a .254 average.
• Senior Trace Hoffman is second on the team with 15 appearances, allowing nine runs on 18 hits over 19 innings. Hoffman pitched three shutout innings, scattering two hits against Penn State on May 7.
• Redshirt sophomore Ben Probst has a 2.45 ERA, allowing three hits over eight appearances, spanning 7 1/3 innings. Opponents are batting .100 against the right-hander. Probst didn’t allow a run and allowed a single hit over his first six outings.
• Freshman Will Semb had the best outing of his career, not allowing a hit and fanning two over 2 2/3 innings at Indiana. He is 0-0 with a 3.12 ERA in five appearances this season.
• Redshirt senior Grant Leonard is 0-1 with one save and a 7.27 ERA in nine appearances this season. Leonard struck out the side, needing only 10 pitches, for his first save on May 8 against Penn State.
• For his career, Leonard has 21 career saves, which are the second most in Hawkeye history. Kurt Belger (1993-97) holds the program record with 22 career saves.
• Redshirt senior Zeb Adreon hit a two-run, opposite field home run to break a four-all tie in the ninth inning to send the Hawkeyes to a 6-4 victory over Maryland on March 27. Adreon, who was 2-for-4 in the game, also had a triple in the contest.
• Redshirt junior Brett McCleary hit a two-run, 10th-inning single to send the Hawkeyes to a 6-4 victory over Purdue on April 2 in West Lafayette.
• Redshirt freshman Peyton Williams hit his first career grand slam in Iowa’s 7-1 victory over Minnesota on April 9. He sent the no-doubt blast down the right field line and per metrics, it was estimated to go 430 feet with a 109 mph exit velocity.
• Iowa rallied from four runs down in the ninth inning to defeat Rutgers, 14-12, on April 16 in the series opener. Down to his final strike, Brendan Sher had a two-run single to close the gap to 10-9 and Izaya Fullard followed with a two-run single to give the Hawkeyes the lead.
• Redshirt junior Brett McCleary had a pinch-hit, walk-off three-run home run, sending the blast to right field to down Northwestern, 12-9, on April 26 at Banks. It completed a rally where Iowa was down four runs through seven and down one heading to the ninth.
DON’T COUNT ‘EM OUT
The Hawkeyes have overcome deficits to win 61 games since the start of the 2017 season and posted 15 walk-offs. Twenty-nine of those victories have come with Iowa trailing or being tied entering or through seven innings. Twenty have come in the final at-bat.
• The Hawkeyes have overcome deficits in 14 games in 2021. The team is 10-4 in such contests.
• The Illini dropped two of three games against Maryland last weekend in Champaign. Illinois is 16-18 overall, sitting eighth in the Big Ten standings.
• Illinois is 4-8 against ranked opponents this season, which includes splitting a four-game series against Michigan on May 1-2 in Evanston, Ill.
• The Illini are second in the Big Ten with a .275 team batting average with three regulars hitting over .300. Justin Janas has a team-best .361 average, while Jackson Raper is hitting .317 with team-bests in doubles (10), home runs (10) and RBIs (36).
• Illinois is second-to-last in the league with a 7.15 team ERA. The Illini have given up 356 hits over 295 2/3 innings. Friday starter Andrew Hoffmann is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in eight starts.
• Illinois leads the all-time series over Iowa, 128-91-2. The two teams haven’t met since the 2018 season.
• Iowa has won the last three series over the Fighting Illini, winning two of three game in Iowa City in 2016 and two of three in Champaign in 2017 and 2018.
Iowa’s team captains for the 2021 season are seniors Trace Hoffman, Grant Leonard, Austin Martin, and Ben Norman and junior Trenton Wallace.
30 WINS X 6
Since head coach Rick Heller’s first season in 2014, the Hawkeyes have reached the 30-win plateau six straight seasons. It is the program’s longest stretch since posting seven straight 30-win seasons from 1979-85.
2015: 41-18 (2nd-most wins all-time)
2017: 39-22 (5th-most wins all-time)
2020: 10-5 (*pandemic shortened)
• The Hawkeyes are 104-31 at home since the start of the 2015 season.
• Iowa won 19 games in 2019, the third-most in a single-season in school history, trailing only the 22 wins in 1977 and 20 wins in 2018.
• Iowa has 17 walk-off victories at Duane Banks Field since the start of 2015.
• Head coach Rick Heller recorded his 900th career win against Grand View in a 15-2 victory on March 3, 2020, at Duane Banks Field
• Heller is one of nine coaches all-time to lead three different NCAA Division I teams to regional play.
• The Hawkeyes have won 30 or more games in each of Heller’s six full seasons as the helm of the program. It’s a first for the team since winning 30 or more in seven straight seasons from 1979-85.
• Heller has led the Hawkeyes to two NCAA Regional appearances; the program had three regional appearances in its history prior to his arrival.
• Heller is fourth in school history in career wins with 235 at Iowa, including the second (41) and fifth-most (39) in school history. He is one win shy of moving into third place.
• Heller led Iowa to its first Big Ten Tournament title in 2017 — the first conference title since 1990 — and he guided the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament title game in consecutive seasons. Iowa has advanced to the league tournament in six straight years for the first time in program history.
• Heller has coached at least one first-team All-Big Ten selection in five of his first seven seasons, and has 21 Major League Baseball Draft picks in seven seasons — the most in a six-year stretch in school history.
• Iowa had a school-record six All-Big Ten selections in 2015 and five in 2017. The Hawkeyes have had 23 All-Big Ten honorees in six seasons under Heller.
• Iowa has posted winning streaks of nine games (in 2015) and eight games (in 2017) — the longest streaks for the program since 2012.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook @iowabaseball, Twitter @UIBaseball, and Instagram @UIBaseball in addition to coverage on hawkeyesports.com.