A wild Big Ten Tournament opener just the start for Iowa baseball, Connor McCaffery’s 2-sport plan, and more
The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 7 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Friday, May 26.
Worth the wait
Iowa-Maryland had everything: 6 home runs, 27 hits, an escape from a bases-loaded jam … and an Iowa victory.
No. 5 seed Iowa beat No. 4 seed Maryland 9-8 in a test of wills in a Big Ten Tournament first-round baseball game on Thursday in Bloomington, Ind. The game, which was postponed Wednesday, serves as a good warmup for what’s ahead.
The Hawkeyes (35-19) must face No. 1 seed Nebraska (35-18-1) at 1:30 p.m. ET Friday. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Not only will Iowa be facing the top seed in the tournament, but Nebraska will be coming in fresh after not playing Thursday. It’s not an ideal setup to be facing the Big Ten regular-season champion, but rarely in a conference tournament does the perfect scenario present itself.
It certainly didn’t against the Terrapins. The Hawkeyes and Terps traded the lead like kids playing hot potato. Pitchers struggled to keep the ball in the yard as Chris Whelan, Robert Neustrom and Tyler Cropley hit home runs for Iowa.
The drama seemed to increase with each passing inning. Iowa pitcher Josh Martsching worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, setting up Matt Hoeg to be the hero with the game-winning sacrifice fly in the ninth.
It was a wild win. It likely will take another big-time performance to beat Nebraska.
What is the plan?
Connor McCaffery will play baseball and basketball at Iowa. He announced last month his plan to redshirt in basketball and focus on baseball as a freshman.
McCaffery went more in-depth on his plans with Rob Howe of HawkeyeNation.
Some of the new details:
- McCaffery won’t play in the Prime Time League with the basketball team.
- He will work out with both programs as they prepare for overseas trips this summer, but doesn’t know if he’ll make either trip.
- He will start focusing on baseball once the team returns from Taiwan at the end of August.
- He will switch his focus to basketball when fall baseball ends in October.
- He will become baseball-centric again in time for the start of the regular season in February 2018.
Quite a scare for Noah Fant
Iowa tight end Noah Fant was held at gunpoint on Tuesday. An Omaha man is charged with allegedly pulling a gun on Fant.
It looks like a wrong place-wrong time situation. Based on the police report, it doesn’t appear that Fant did anything wrong.
Fant is fine, which is the most important part of the story.
Troubleshooting Iowa’s IT issues
A state audit revealed that former Iowa athletics information technology director Patrick Delin intentionally submitted false invoices, according to the Associated Press.
Delin spent thousands of dollars to travel to a conference in Colorado that wasn’t work related and also registered for a event in Miami that he didn’t attend, the report stated. Delin provided his wife, a university employee, with a university cell phone she didn’t need, the report stated.
Delin resigned in February amid the state audit. Iowa conducted an internal audit and found improper handling of IT equipment.
The Delin news is the latest negative issue for the athletic department. Iowa recently settled discrimination lawsuits with Jane Meyer and Tracey Griesbaum for $6.5 million.
Lots of links
- Why Iowa quarterbacks are going to love incoming wide receiver Brandon Smith.
- A Nebraska man was charged after allegedly pulling a gun on Iowa tight end Noah Fant.
- It looks like Iowa is on the verge of landing a third wide receiver in the 2018 class.
- Which game is most intriguing for Iowa football in 2017?
- How Luka Garza dropped 30 pounds to become a Division I basketball player, from Mark Emmert of the Des Moines Register.