IOWA CITY, Iowa – Redshirt junior Trenton Wallace pitched seven shutout innings and senior Trace Hoffman closed the door on a three-hit shutout, leading the University of Iowa baseball team to a 3-0 victory over Nebraska in Friday’s series and home opener at Duane Banks Field.
The southpaw from Rock Island, Illinois, (2-0) stifled the Huskers on the mound. Over seven innings, the southpaw allowed only two hits and issued three walks, while striking out eight. He improved to 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in three starts with 26 strikeouts over 18 innings.
“I was trusting the defense and was able to put four pitches in the zone,” said Wallace. “ I was erratic with my fastball early on, but I trusted my secondary stuff and then I started throwing the fast ball with more conviction later in the game. I trusted my defense and forced the Nebraska hitters to put the ball in play was the biggest key in getting deep in the game.”
The Hawkeyes scored all of their runs in the sixth inning off the bats of redshirt sophomore Brendan Sher and redshirt senior Ben Norman against Nebraska starter Cade Povich.
Sher led off the sixth with a solo home run to left center for his first round-tripper of the season. Redshirt freshman Brayden Frazier, who was pinch hitting for redshirt freshman Sam Link, followed Sher with a double.
Norman kept the line moving with a home run over the right center field wall, giving Iowa a 3-0 lead. It was Iowa’s second home run of the inning and Norman’s second of the season.
“I took the first pitch that was a curve ball and it was a pitch I should have swung at,” said Norman. “The second one, in my head, I was like I can’t miss this one if it’s there. He threw it and I got it well. I wasn’t sure if it was gone off the bat, so I was still booking it out of the box, but luckily it went over the fence an we got two runs out of it.”
Wallace sat down the final eight batters he faced, before handing the ball over to Hoffman, who pitched the final two innings. Hoffman allowed no runs on one hit to earn his first save of the season and fourth of his career.
Nebraska only had two baserunners advance into scoring position, with no Husker reaching second base after the third inning.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“We needed something to happen and someone to come through. Cade Povich was good on the mound for Nebraska with a great change-up. Brendan Sher stepped up big for us and hit the home run, the catch Ben made brought a lot of energy to the dugout and Brayden stepped in and got a hit, pinch-hitting and scored on Norman’s home run.”
• The shutout was Iowa’s second of the season and second in four games. The Hawkeyes shut out Ohio State, 4-0, in a two-hitter on March 12.
• The last time the Hawkeyes had two Big Ten shutouts in the same season came in 2016. Iowa shutout out Maryland, Penn State, and Ohio State that season.
• Wallace had eight strikeouts in the victory. He has eight or more strikeouts in all three of his starts this season.
• Iowa has won two straight games over Nebraska. The Hawkeyes beat the Huskers, 3-1, on March 14 in Minneapolis.
• The Hawkeyes had eight hits in the game with senior Zed Adreon finishing 2-for-3 for his second multi-hit game of the season.
• Redshirt senior Matthew Sosa had his career-best eight-game hitting streak come to an end.
Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 2:05 p.m. (CT) and it will be streamed on B1G Network+.