Non-Rev Run: Rick Heller Earns Win No. 800

By Jeremy Karll on March 16, 2017 at 1:00p
Heller wins and wins.

@UIBaseball

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From Iowa baseball manager Rick Heller to Iowa gymnastics, Iowa Hawkeyes' sports history was made this past week. Also, the track and field team concluded their indoor season at the NCAA Indoor Championships last week.

Here's a recap of all the Hawkeyes' Olympic sports action from the past week.

Iowa Baseball

It was an up-and-down week for Iowa baseball. They went 2-2 at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida, before their home game against Iowa Wesleyan was postponed.

The Hawkeyes started the Classic with a 10-1 blowout loss to Villanova. They only managed five hits, and usual ace Nick Gallagher struggled. He gave up five runs and eight hits over five innings, but struck out seven batters. Gallagher is now 2-1 on the season.

The bats stayed cold against Bucknell the next day. Iowa managed nine hits on the afternoon but couldn’t drive in runs, and lost 7-1. Jake Adams and Matt Hoeg each went 2-for-5 at the plate, plus Grant Judkins drew three walks, but a poor outing from the bullpen cost the Hawkeyes. Starter Cole McDonald only allowed three earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched, while also striking out five. Although, in the seventh inning, as McDonald departed with the score tied 1-1, Ryan Erickson, Josh Martsching and Nick Nelsen allowed four runs on five hits in 0.2 innings. They allowed two more runs in the eighth before Elijah Wood shut the door in the final two innings, despite it being too late.

The Hawkeyes bounced back by sweeping the double-header on Sunday against Lehigh to earn manager Rick Heller his 800th career victory.

In their 15-7 win, Iowa scored eight runs in the second inning. Lehigh walked in three runs, but Adams also hit a grand slam, his fifth home run of the season. He finished the game going 3-for-5 with six RBIs. Mason McCoy added a pair of RBIs, too, going 2-for-4 with two walks. In the second game, Robert Neustrom stole the show with four hits and five RBIs. Ben Norman also went 3-for-5, and the Hawkeyes had stellar pitching from Judkins, Shane Ritter and Zach Daniels, who combined to only give up three runs in Iowa’s 8-3 win.

On Thursday morning, news broke that starting pitcher C.J. Eldred will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to repair his UCL. Eldred started the second game of the season against South Florida, but has dealt with an ulnar nerve issue since.

The Hawkeyes travel to Kansas State over the weekend and host Bradley on March 22.

Iowa Softball

The losing streak continues. It’s now at 16 games for Iowa softball. It could be worse, though, as two games against UMKC and one against Kansas were postponed this weekend at the Jayhawk Invitational.

Still, Iowa managed to lose 11-1 to Drake and 6-2 to Kansas at the Invitational. Against Drake, Allie Wood had the only RBI of the game, with Taylor MaKowsky allowing the Bulldogs to blow the game open by giving up six runs on four hits and two walks in the fifth inning. It wasn’t much better in the second game of the doubleheader. Allison Doocy went the distance, giving up six runs in six innings, and Angela Schmiederer went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. Although the Hawkeyes simply couldn’t manufacture any offense.

The offensive struggles continued at Mizzou on Wednesday. In five innings, Iowa lost 9-0 and then lost 2-0 in the second game of the doubleheader. Shayla Starkenburg pitched well for the Hawkeyes in the first game. She pitched all four innings, but three Iowa errors led to seven unearned runs. They didn’t have that problem in the second game, but the Hawkeyes still wasted a complete game, two-run pitching performance from Doocy, who is now 1-7 on the season.

They will host the Hawkeye Invitational this week. On March 18, Iowa plays Valparaiso and South Dakota, with Creighton and South Dakota State slated for March 19.

Iowa Golf

Iowa men's golf had a long break but resumed play last week with a win over No. 32 Michigan State at the Chechessee Creek Club Dual. Iowa shot 363 (+13) compared to Michigan State’s 369 (+19) for a comfortable win. The Hawkeyes had great performances from senior Raymond Knoll (70, E), freshman Alex Schaake (71, +1), and sophomore Matthew Walker (72, +2).

They will golf at the Schenkel Invitational this weekend in Statesboro, Georgia, among a 14-team field.

The women’s golf team also found success last week. Iowa tied for fifth with Wyoming at the Entrada Classic in St. George, Utah, by shooting a 607 (+31). Kent State, who shot a 575 (-1), won the event. Junior Jessica Ip (148, +4) tied for seventh by shooting an impressive 72 in the first round, senior Jessie Sindlinger (149, +5) tied for 14th, and freshman Sophie Liu (153, +9) tied for 30th at the event.

They will travel to Rancho Santa Fe, California, on March 20-22 to take part in the SDSU March Mayhem.

Iowa Gymnastics

Taking part in a tri-meet, Iowa men’s gymnastics took second with 406.850 points. The host, Minnesota, won the meet with 411.200 points with Arizona State far behind in third with 391.700 points.

Junior Austin Hodges had a great meet for the Hawkeyes. He placed first on parallel bars with 14.050 points, and third on the pommel horse with 14.000 points. Alongside him, senior Andrew Botto continued his stellar senior campaign by placing top-three in three events. He finished second in the all-around with 79.950 points, and third on rings (14.000 points) and parallel bars (13.650 points).

Also, sophomore Rogelio Vazquez and senior Cory Patterson each earned season-highs of 14.050 and 13.900, respectively, on the high bar to place second and third. On the floor, senior Mark Springett placed third with a season-high 14.450 points.

Senior night is March 20 against Nebraska. It will also air on Big Ten Network.

It was a historic week for the No. 16 women’s gymnastics team. In the third annual Big Five Meet, Iowa placed second with 196.400 points behind No. 11 Michigan, who had 197.150 points. Penn State, Minnesota and Rutgers rounded out the field.

Iowa had several top performances. Senior Mollie Drenth tied for first on beam with 9.900 points, senior Angel Metcalf placed first on uneven bars with a career-high 9.950 points, and sophomore Maria Ortiz finished second on vault with a season-high 9.950 points, while junior Melissa Zurawski placed fourth.

Although, the big news came later in the week. For the first time ever, Iowa has five All-Big Ten gymnasts. Drenth and Metcalf were named to the All-Big Ten First Team, while Zurawski, junior Lanie Snyder, and freshman Clair Kaji were named to the Second Team. It breaks their previous record of three members, which has happened multiple times.

The Hawkeyes travel to Piscataway, New Jersey, on March 18 for the Big Ten Championships.

Iowa Track and Field

The Hawkeyes finished with nine Indoor All-Americans at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

On the men’s side, sophomore O’Shea Wilson placed 15th in the long jump with a distance of 7.33 meters. Junior Carter Lilly ran in the 800 meters but didn’t qualify for finals with a time of 1:48.97.

Senior Aaron Mallet and the 4x400 relay team did qualify for finals, though. Mallet, now a three-time Indoor All-American, had an uncharacteristic mistake when he tripped on a hurdle and finished last in the finals. Luckily it didn’t occur in the prelims, but his time of 9.49 seconds was not even close to the winning time of 7.58 seconds.

The 4x400 relay had more success in the finals. Freshmen Emmanuel Ogwo and Collin Hofacker, and sophomores DeJuan Frye and Mar’yea Harris, have a bright future together. That was on display when they ran a 3:05.60 and placed fifth. They’ll be a favorite to go back to the Indoor Championships in the next couple of years.

On the women’s side, Brittany Brown and Jahisha Thomas competed for Iowa, as well. Thomas finished 13th in the long jump, as she jumped 6.17 meters. Brown made the finals in the 200 meters and cemented herself as one of the best in Iowa history at that event. She finished fifth with a time of 22.92 seconds, just a half second off the winning time of 22.42 seconds.

The team’s focus will now switch to outdoor season. Iowa will kick off the outdoor season on March 17-18 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Arizona.

Iowa Tennis

Iowa men’s tennis earned their first conference win of the season over Nebraska, 5-2.  Junior Josh Silverstein defeated Toby Boyer 6-3, 6-4 as Iowa’s No. 1 singles player. Junior Jake Jacoby also earned Iowa a singles win with a dominating 6-1, 6-0 win over Rok Krizaj. Silverstein and junior Lefteris Theodorous defeated Dylan Bednarcyzk and Chris Dean, 6-4, to give Iowa a doubles win, as well.

Iowa (9-4, 1-1 B10) will host Harvard on March 16.

Women’s tennis split a pair of matches last week. First, they started the week by beating Indiana for their first conference win of the year. Iowa’s No. 1 singles player, freshman Elise Van Heuvelen, paved the way by defeating Madison Appel 7-5, 6-1. Doubles partners Van Heuvelen and junior Zoe Douglas also earned a win over Appel and Kim Schmider, 6-4.

Although, the Hawkeyes suffered just their second loss of the season when Old Dominion beat them 4-3, dropping Iowa to 11-2 on the year. Sophomore Kristen Thoms, senior Aimee Tarun and junior Montana Crawford were the only singles players to win. Crawford, who defeated Natalya Malenko 6-0, 6-3, also won in three sets against Indiana’s Pauline Johren earlier in the week.

After starting the season 9-0, Iowa has gone just 2-2 since. They will have another challenge in No. 38 Florida International on March 18.

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