CHARLESTON, S.C. – Three University of Iowa pitchers limited Bucknell to three hits in a 3-0 shutout victory on Sunday morning in the Swig & Swine Classic finale at Shipyard Park. The win propelled the Hawkeyes to a weekend sweep, giving the team its first 3-0 start since 2018.
Freshman Marcus Morgan tossed four innings of one hit ball and fanned six in his Iowa debut, while sophomore Ty Langenberg earned his first career win, going 3 2/3 innings, scattering two hits and fanning four. Senior Dylan Nedved got the final four outs to notch his first save of the season.
The pitching performance capped a remarkable weekend for the Hawkeye pitching staff. Ten Iowa pitchers combined to post a 1.00 ERA, allowing just three runs on six hits over 27 innings, while fanning 46.
“Marcus didn’t have his command early, but worked out of it,” said head coach Rick Heller. “Michael Seegers made a diving catch up the middle to turn a double play and that was probably the biggest play of the game. It stopped their rally in the first.
“After that it was smooth sailing on the mound. Marcus settled in and pitched well, Ty came in and shut them down and Dylan was really good today.”
Offensively, Iowa finished with eight hits in the game, which included a three-hit performance from redshirt sophomore Sam Hojnar in his first career start. The Naperville, Illinois, native went 3-for-4 with a double and run scored.
“We scored three runs on a day when runs were hard to come by,” said Heller. “Tip your hat to them, they did a great job limiting our free bases. They made us beat them and thankfully we were able to do that with solid defense. The guys played hard and I loved the energy today on a get-out day and two early mornings in a row.”
The Hawkeyes got going in the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out on a Keaton Anthony walk and back-to-back singles from Hojnar and Brayden Frazier. Sher collected the first of his two hits on the day, singling through the left side to give Iowa a 1-0 lead.
Iowa pushed across two more runs two innings later. Hojnar had a leadoff double and moved to third on a Bison error. With runners on second and third, senior Brett McCleary had an RBI ground out to plate the second run and Sher’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
Bucknell brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth inning with a two-out rally against Langenberg. Nedved made his season debut and he needed just one pitch to get a fly out to end the inning. The Kansas native then retired the Bison in order in a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the perfect weekend.
QUOTING COACH HELLER
“I am pleased with where we are at, but on the other side, there are a lot of things we need to work on. It doesn’t appear that way if you’re looking at the stat line, but there are things we need to do offensively to be better and there were a few situations on the mound where we gave some freebies away.
“I told the team today that every time we scored this entire weekend, we had a shut down inning right after. That’s a great sign when you see that happening and that’s a positive thing. Overall, I was happy with how the guys fought and battled and came together as a team. We just have to keep growing and work on confidence and toughness and all those things that is going to get us through these next few weeks.”
– Iowa notched its first shutout of the season, its earliest shutout since the 2019 season. The Hawkeyes had three shutouts last season.
– Hojnar made his first career start and became the seventh Hawkeye to tally a multi-hit game on the weekend.
– Frazier and Sher hit safely in all three games.
– Nedved’s save is the 10th of his career.
– Iowa outscored its three opponents 26-3 on the weekend.
Iowa returns to action Friday, traveling to Corpus Christi, Texas, for the Kleberg Bank Classic. The Hawkeyes will face Pepperdine at 2 p.m. (CT) at Whataburger Field.