116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — What he was doing wasn’t getting him anywhere.
Lower your arm slot and basically throw sidearm.
“Right when we had the meeting, I was all for it,” Beutel said. “Something had to change. It was my last year, and if that got me on the mound, to a place I wanted to be, I’d go for it. After we kind of came up with that idea, Robin came up with a good plan, good movement patterns mechanical-wise.
“(It was) just doing that every single day and going out there and doing the best I could do.”
The results have been stunningly successful.
The left-handed senior from Davenport Assumption goes into a weekend series at Michigan State with a 2-0 record, three saves and 1.74 earned run average out of the Hawkeyes bullpen. He has made 22 appearances, allowed just 13 hits and two walks in 20 2/3 innings and struck out 28.
For context, Beutel threw in just six games last season and had a 10.61 ERA. In the COVID-shortened 2020 season, he had an 11.12 ERA in five appearances, including a start.
“Trace Hoffman last year was a good sidearm pitcher for us, so I just changed the motion to give hitters a different look, and that has helped me a lot this year,” Beutel said. “I mean, last year the ERA went to the sky. The year before that, not so well. So I kind of wanted to change things up to get a better result.”
The thing is Beutel is succeeding with decreased velocity. He said his fastball last season normally sat between 88 and 91 miles per hour and is in the middle to upper 80s this season.
But there’s movement and improved command, and that has gotten him outs. Lots of them.
“It’s easy to have confidence now, but there wasn’t a ton when I first started with this,” he said. “Throwing from a new slot, pitches weren’t going where they were supposed to be, they were moving poorly, it was tough. But over time, I kind of perfected those things. It’s been a lot easier on me being able to locate and throw strikes, help the team out.”
It has been a good conclusion to an interesting college baseball career. After he and former Hawkeyes pitcher/current Toronto Blue Jays minor leaguer Trenton Wallace helped Assumption win a state high school championship in 2017, Beutel headed to Bowling Green.
He left after one year and went to Allen Community College in Kansas, where he was primarily a starter in 2019. Then it was back home.
“Across the country. It’s been one heck of a journey,” Beutel said. “Iowa gave me a chance to play baseball here, so just grateful they gave me that opportunity.”
Iowa looks to solidify a spot in the upcoming Big Ten Conference tournament this weekend, as it plays games Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The Hawkeyes are in a third-place tie in the league with Illinois at 12-6.
Second-place Maryland is 13-5, first-place Rutgers 16-5. Iowa is 28-16 overall.
Michigan State is 22-25, 6-12. Iowa has a midweek road game next week at Illinois-Chicago, then concludes the regular season with a home series against Indiana.
Kirkwood baseball begins postseason
Kirkwood is the top seed in its NJCAA Division II regional tournament and plays its first game Friday afternoon at 2 against Southeastern.
The tournament began Thursday and runs through Sunday and is being played at Mount Mercy University. Kirkwood (38-15) and second-seeded NIACC had first-round byes.
The winner of the regional advances to a district playoff next weekend. That winner qualifies for the NJCAA Division II World Series.
Kirkwood won two games at last year’s World Series.
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