IOWA CITY, Iowa – Two University of Iowa pitchers – sophomore Ty Langenberg and senior Dylan Nedved – combined to strike out 17 Red Raider batters leading the Hawkeyes to a 6-3 victory over No. 12 Texas Tech on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,240 in attendance at Duane Banks Field.
The win was Iowa’s first over a ranked foe this season and it moved the Hawkeyes’ record to 8-8 overall.
“This is the type of game that snowballs,” said Langenberg. “This is a game we can build upon. We have six games before conference play and we’re hoping we can string together a couple after this big win.”
Langenberg struck out a career-high 10 batters, while limiting Texas Tech to one run on three hits over five innings. Nedved entered in the sixth and allowed two runs on one hit, while fanning seven. The two hurlers had only two walks in the game.
“My fastball command was the biggest thing,” said Langenberg. “They’re a big, physical team, especially at the top of the lineup. I knew I would have to locate the fastball and slider. As long as I could hit with my slider, I knew it would be a good day.”
Texas Tech jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second on a Ty Coleman solo home run to center field, but Iowa scored the next five runs to take a 5-1 lead.
Sophomore Michael Seegers had a sacrifice fly in the third and the Wisconsin native doubled home the go-ahead run in the sixth, plating freshman Ben Wilmes, who opened the inning with a nine-pitch walk.
Redshirt freshman Keaton Anthony’s RBI ground out pushed the lead to 3-1 and sophomore Andy Nelson delivered the big blow, hitting a two-run homer off the Sharp Family Video Board for his first career home run. The blast made the score 5-1.
“Things lined up, things were building up toward that moment,” said Nelson. “We needed a big spark. Everybody was doing their jobs and we felt like we needed to break it open. Luckily for me it was my opportunity and I got it done.
“I felt the energy from the fans and dugout and the level of intensity rose. I was looking for a fastball and I got a good swing on it.”
Texas Tech got two runs back in the eighth on a two-run homer from MLB mega-prospect Jace Jung down the left field line before Iowa added an insurance run in the eighth. Nelson struck out swinging for what would have been the third out, but he reached on an errant throw, allowing pinch runner Alec Nigut to score an insurance run, Iowa’s sixth of the day.
It didn’t matter as Nedved finished off his first win of the season by striking out the side looking in the ninth.
QUOTING COACH HELLER
“Ty set the tone for us, he was outstanding and gave us a great start. Nedved, it was a perfect situation to bookend the game and he did a nice job. The big thing for us is fastball command and you see what you can do if you have that command.
“We have six games until conference. Today was a positive day, win or lose. We played better, we played with intent, we were more focused and confident. Let’s try to string something together and it starts tomorrow.
“Today we were playing without Izaya (Fullard), Andy (Nelson) hadn’t played in two weeks, Brendan Sher hurt his knee yesterday and Sam Hojnar got a stomach bug and was up all night and wasn’t here. The day didn’t start making the lineup easy today.
“It’s what we always talk about but haven’t done this year, it was a get it done day, find a way regardless of who was out there. The next man up mentality and go out and find a way to put a good game together and they did.”
– Head coach Rick Heller has defeated at least one ranked opponent in each of his nine seasons as Iowa’s head coach.
– Langenberg’s 10 strikeouts are the most by a Hawkeye pitcher this season. Iowa fanned 17, the team’s fourth game with 16 or more punch outs.
– Iowa has 13 games with 10 or more strikeouts this season.
– Nelson became the seventh different Hawkeye to homer this season and his three RBIs were a career high.
The Hawkeyes will host St. Thomas on Monday at 4:05 p.m. (CT) at Duane Banks Field. The game was originally scheduled to be played Tuesday, but was moved up a day due to the weather forecast.