Iowa Hawkeyes Baseball Preview

The Iowa Hawkeyes finished third in the Big Ten conference and finished with a 39-13 overall record for head coach Rick Heller. It is more difficult for cold weather teams to get the same love as the others but Iowa is hoping to change that in 2024.

Iowa will return quite a bit of their starting lineup,however, losing DH Keaton Anthony is a big hit to the program as he led them in runs,hits, doubles,OBP, and average. Along with that loss, they no longer can suit up first baseman Brennen Dorighi who would be a leader for the Hawkeyes. Third sacker Andy Nelson has left via the transfer portland catcher Gehrig Christensen has departed.

Pitching will rely on their ace. Brody Brecht, junior at 6’4” 225 lbs from Ankeny, Iowa will have all eyes on him and a likely Top Ten draft pick.

Blake Guerin figures to takeover at first base after accumulating just 31 at-bats during his freshman season. Six of his nine hits did go for extra bases, including a home run. Guerin is spending the summer with the Bluefield Ridge Runners in the Appalachian League and will get more experience against college pitchers.

The class consists of 10 position players: Kyle Alivo (UT, Milwaukee, Wis.), Cash Campbell (3B, Lombard, Ill.), Colin Coonradt (SS, Cedar Falls, Iowa), Myles Davis (SS, Marion, Iowa), Karson Grout (UT, Wellman, Iowa), Carter Geffre (C, Ames, Iowa), Tyler Guerin (1B, Shoreview, Minn.), Miles Risley (OF, Johnston, Iowa), Kooper Schulte (SS, New London, Iowa) and Caleb Wulf (C/UT, West Liberty, Iowa).

Iowa also signed four pitchers: Joey Oakie (RHP, Ankeny, Iowa), Nick Heitman (RHP, Mt. Vernon, Iowa), Liam Roche (LHP, Overland Park, Kansas) and Jaron Bleeker (RHP, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa). Newcomers Alivo, Guerin and Geffre will also pitch for the Hawkeyes.

The infield comes back at full strength, with Raider Tello, Michael Seegers and Sam Hojnar, plus sophomore Gable Mitchell who can fill in almost anywhere. Seegers and Tello both batted over .310 and combined to get on base 230 times.

In the outfield, Iowa should be in pretty good shape with Sam Petersen and Kyle Huckstorf returning. Petersen batted .319 with 11 home runs, despite missing nine games due to injury. Huckstorf was just 11/49 (.224) over his last 14 games, but still racked up 24 extra base hits. He will be on the shortlist for a big season in 2024.

Indian Hills closer Sam Hart is the first of two incoming transfers and had some intriguing numbers with the Braves. Hart racked up 37 strikeouts to 12 walks over 22.2 innings with a 1.19 ERA. Kirkwood RHP Ganon Archer will come to Iowa City after appearing in 11 games with a 6.37 ERA for the Eagles this season. He struck out 34 and walked 24 over 35.1 innings

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