116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY – Zeb Adreon must hate that Iowa’s baseball team only has one game left to play until next weekend.
The dude has been lit at the plate and then some.
Adreon went 4-for-4, scored four times and drove in four runs as Iowa lit into Northwestern, 15-4, on Sunday at Banks Field. The hits and runs totals set career highs for the senior right fielder, his RBI total matched his career high.
“Zeb’s prepared every time,” Iowa Coach Rick Heller said. “It doesn’t surprise me. He is one guy on our team that I know is going to be ready to play each and every time he goes out there. He’s going to have a good plan. Like every player, it’s not always going to go in your favor, but I thought he went out today with a really solid plan of attack to drive the ball the other way. He was able to stay on some pitches and had a good day.”
He’s had a good series. Adreon had two hits in a Friday night victory over Maryland and two more in a loss Saturday afternoon to the Terrapins.
Here he did even more damage, and it was all lefty on lefty crime. Northwestern started Quinn Lavelle and brought in fellow southpaw Jack Pagliarini.
Adreon tripled in a run going oppo off the left-field fence in his first at-bat, singled up the middle in his second, drove in two runs with a single to center in his third and went back up the middle with a run-scoring single in his fourth.
He was pinch hit for in the eighth inning, as Iowa (17-11) got in some younger players late in this blowout. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats (12-15) play again Monday afternoon to conclude a four-game, round-robin series for each and Maryland.
“Yeah, it’s been a good weekend so far,” said Adreon, a former Pleasantville prep who played at Southeastern Community College before coming to Iowa City. “Just having a good approach, using the middle (of the field) and not trying to do too much. Really just having a good approach, just working on things during the week.”
Iowa was able to respond from Saturday’s 8-6 loss, finishing with 18 hits, at least one from every starter sans Brendan Sher. And he drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Center fielder Ben Norman continued his outstanding senior season with three doubles and five RBIs. The Hawkeyes scored in every inning but the first.
“The message is to come out and play with the same energy, intent and focus every day, even though the result might not always be what we want,” Adreon said. “I think just playing hard and the right way every day, things tend to go your way more often than not. That makes it easier to bounce back after a bad day.”
Iowa got a much-needed good start from pitcher Cam Baumann. The left-hander gave up just five hits and a run in six innings to improve his record to 4-2.
Baumann came into the weekend ranked third in the Big Ten Conference in earned run average. Iowa got short starts Friday and Saturday and was able to rest all of its key bullpen pieces, with freshmen Ty Langenberg, Tyson James and Will Semb getting an inning of work each.
It has been extremely difficult for freshmen at every position to get playing time this season, considering the Big Ten is playing a conference-only schedule with no midweek games.
“We play the game, (and) some days it’s better than others,” Heller said. “Yesterday, we didn’t necessarily play well, but we still fought and did what we could do. (Just don’t) let the bad day yesterday affect what was a good day today.”
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