116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Not everyone can do it. Few can do it at the Division I college level.
At least successfully.
Dylan Nedved is one of the few. The junior is a two-way guy for the Iowa baseball team who has found success both ways.
He went 6 for 7 at the plate as the starting left fielder and threw two shutout innings in relief for a save as the Hawkeyes crushed Minnesota in a Big Ten doubleheader Sunday at Banks Field, 7-1 and 18-0.
“He had a really big day,” Iowa Coach Rick Heller said. “We’ve just been waiting for Dylan to break out offensively. He’s probably had the most bad luck of anybody on our team, especially the first eight to 10 games. He had so many line drives that were right at people and didn’t get anything for it. He just stuck with it and kept going, and they finally started falling today.”
Nedved was a stellar infielder-pitcher at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, but this is major college baseball. He went 4 for 4 in the first game, hitting his first home run and went 2 for 3 with a pair of walks in the nightcap.
He relieved starter Drew Irvine in the eighth inning of the opener and picked up his fifth save of the season. He also has a 2-0 record out of the bullpen for Iowa (12-9), a direct hand in over half of its victories.
“It’s definitely a lot more work,” Nedved said. “At practice, I’ll always hit, and then when I need to get my pitching work done, I do my pitching work. In the game, I just do my thing as a hitter. When Coach calls my name to go to the bullpen, I just try my best to get ready for the team.”
Heller said part of the reason Nedved is able to play a position and pitch is that he is able to be successful on the mound without an overabundance of work there.
“Dylan is one of the fortunate few that probably doesn’t have to work at the pitching as much as most (who do it),“ Heller said. ”That, to me, is what it takes. They have to be able to do one of the two so well that they don’t have to put as much time into it, if that makes any sense.
“That’s how it works with Dylan. He gets a bullpen a week, and that’s about all he needs, really, and he’s ready to go for the weekend.”
Iowa definitely has been ready to go these past three weekends. The Hawkeyes have won eight of nine to overcome a slow start to the season.
It destroyed the Big Ten’s worst team (4-17), outscoring Minnesota in the three-game series, 31-2. Iowa had four home runs in the first game (from Nedved, Ben Norman, Zeb Adreon and Brett McCleary) and put the second game away early with a seven-run first inning.
That’s a good sign for a hot team that has not been especially strong offensively.
A three-game series at Rutgers is up next for the Hawks.
“We just stuck with our process and stayed through it,” said Iowa catcher Austin Martin. “I guess ultimately we’ve just found consistency in both pitching and hitting. That has been our biggest step forward.”
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