IOWA CITY — He’s an oddball in a way.
Nick Allgeyer was a quarterback and wide receiver, not an offensive lineman. He ultimately picked baseball, not football.
At least the Iowa Hawkeyes pitcher had the good sense to choose to go to college in Iowa City. That’s where his dad, Ken, played football from 1986-90.
Ken Allgeyer was a lineman. His brothers, Dan and Kevin, played college football at that position as well.
“I’m the only one in my family not to play offensive line, so I’m kind of the family runt,” Nick Allgeyer said, with a laugh. “I came to football games here since I was 5 years old. I always knew about Iowa, but (his dad playing there) wasn’t the factor. He was going to support me, no matter where I would have gone.”
Allgeyer will be the starting pitcher Friday as Iowa begins a three-game Big Ten Conference series at 25th-ranked Minnesota. The first two games have been moved to Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, because of all the snow the Twin Cities have had in the past week.
The junior left-hander from St. Louis has emerged as Iowa’s unquestioned ace. He’s made seven consecutive quality starts for the Hawkeyes, is fourth in the Big Ten in earned run average (2.05) and was named the league’s pitcher of the week last week.
Considering he missed all last season after having Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in October, 2016, his consistent effectiveness has been somewhat of a surprise. Not to mention Allgeyer was a reliever his first two seasons.
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“I didn’t see having surgery as frustrating. I saw it as an opportunity,” Allgeyer said. “It’s something where I got a year off from pitching, as a way to do work, get stronger and come back better than I was. That’s kind of how I saw it. I saw it as a chance to add a couple of miles per hour on my fastball, if you put the work into it. A lot of people have it, it’s part of the game.”
Iowa Coach Rick Heller has been caught somewhat off guard to Allgeyer’s emergence, but not completely.
“He has always had the mentality of a Friday night starter, from day one when he got here,” Heller said. “As he developed and fought the injury, you don’t project he’s going to be the Friday night guy. He has sort of evolved into that (role) because of his makeup and work ethic and how he believes in himself. He’s a very confident kid, and all of our guys can learn from him. He just goes out there and competes and does not worry about failure.”
Iowa (22-11) goes into the weekend 6-4 in the Big Ten, which places it in sixth place. Minnesota is 23-10 overall and 7-1 in the conference.
The Hawkeyes announced Thursday they have added a home game against Missouri on May 1. An originally scheduled May 1 game against Western Illinois has been pushed back a day to May 2.
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