PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Graduate transfer Connor Schultz was masterful, scattering two hits over eight shutout innings and the University of Iowa baseball team scored 12 runs on 13 hits in a 12-2 rout of No. 8 Rutgers on Saturday afternoon at Bainton Field.
The victory is the Hawkeyes’ seventh straight and secures the road series win. It is Iowa’s first series win over a top 10 ranked team since 2018 (No. 7 Michigan) and the first road series win over a ranked foe since 2019 (No. 19 Oklahoma State).
“This shows who we are,” said Schultz. “Today and yesterday, this is the team we are. Going out today and showing it against a team like this is huge. It shows people how good we are.”
Iowa moves to 8-3 in the Big Ten and 23-12 overall.
Schultz (2-0) had his best start as a Hawkeye, allowing only a second inning walk and third and sixth inning singles. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native retired the final seven batters he faced, needing just 85 pitches to complete eight innings. Schultz tied a career high, going eight innings, while he fanned six with only one walk.
“It was huge having Adam (Mazur) put up that start for us,” said Schultz. “He helped me, I was going over the book, watching him pitch and see the sequences of what worked for him.
“(Iowa pitching coach) Robin Lund had a great game plan for them and it paid off well, I got a lot of weak contact early, which allowed me to throw as long as I did. They wanted me to throw 80 pitches, I think I did pretty well with my 85 pitches.”
Iowa’s offense gave Schultz an early lead, scoring an unearned run in the first before tacking on two more in the third on a Keaton Anthony double and Will Mulflur single. Sam Petersen’s bunt single in the fifth with the bases loaded made it 5-0.
The Hawkeyes broke the game open with a five-run sixth. Iowa loaded the bases with one out before Mulflur’s sacrifice fly made the score 6-0, Ben Tallman walked with the bases juiced to make it 7-0, Petersen’s two-run single made it 9-0 and Brendan Sher’s RBI single made it 10-0.
“We had a lot of traffic in the first five innings and would get one, one,” said head coach Rick Heller. “We kept after it, we kept finding a way to get guys on base. In the sixth we break it open. It was good to see our offense stick with it all day for the second day in a row, grinding at-bats out.”
Iowa continued its barrage, loading the bases and Michael Seegers scoring the Hawkeyes’ 11th run on a wild pitch and Rutgers forced into two more runs with bases loaded walks to Seegers and Peyton Williams, making it 12-0.
Rutgers avoided the shutout, scoring two runs in the ninth on two hits against sophomore reliever Jacob Henderson.
QUOTING COACH HELLER
“Connor set the tone. He was outstanding. That was fun to watch. He was able to hit with all of his pitches and when you have five like him and you can hit with all of them, that makes it tough on the hitters. To do that against an offense like Rutgers was special.
“I am happy our guys have gone out and played to their capabilities. All year we’ve been dealing with this and that. We came out here and knew we were in for a big challenge against a good team that was in an awesome place and playing well. Our guys embraced it and to this point that have put a chip on their shoulder and that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing to see the fight.”
– The seven-game winning streak is Iowa’s longest since 2019. The Hawkeyes have won 10 of 12 games and 12 of 15.
– Iowa finished with 12 hits, giving the team 10 or more hits in five of its last seven games.
– Petersen finished with three hits, tying a career-high and his three RBIs also tie a career-high.
– The Hawkeyes finished with nine walks in the game – third-most this season.
– Schultz’s previous best outing this season was a five-inning start at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. He left the start because of injury.
– In two games, Iowa’s pitching staff has limited one of the nation’s best offenses to three runs on 10 hits with 19 strikeouts to two walks. The Scarlet Knights are hitting .156.
– Iowa hasn’t committed an error in five straight games – the longest streak of the year.
The Hawkeyes go for their second straight sweep on Sunday. Game time is set for 11 a.m. (CT).