Adam Mazur leads Iowa baseball to shutout of Michigan State
Adam Mazur was again the story of Iowa baseball’s Friday night in Big Ten Conference play. And an unusual final out completed the Hawkeyes’ 5-0 Game 1 victory at Michigan State.
Mazur, Iowa’s right-handed ace whose amazing season has thrust him into the conversation as a possible first-round MLB Draft pick, pitched seven scoreless innings. He scattered just four hits and struck out seven Spartans to record the Hawkeyes’ eighth straight series-opening win in Big Ten play.
Iowa improved to 29-16 overall and 13-6 in the Big Ten. Game 2 of the three-game series in East Lansing, Michigan, convenes at 3:05 p.m. CT Saturday (BTN+ streaming broadcast).
Mazur’s numbers of late are incredible. Against Big Ten opponents, he is 5-1 with a 1.17 ERA and allowed just 29 hits and 10 walks over 53⅔ innings with 51 strikeouts. It was important to coach Rick Heller to remove him as early as possible Friday, with Iowa turning around to face Indiana on Thursday through Saturday to close the regular season ahead of the Big Ten Tournament.
Mazur exited after throwing just 92 pitches against 26 batters. Left-handed reliever Ben Beutel (two scoreless, hitless innings) needed just 14 against the minimum six batters.
“(Mazur) took the lead and went out and pounded the strike zone. He did a great job,” Heller said. “I tried to get him out a little earlier with the short turnaround next week and was able to do that. Then Ben Beutel came in and was really good to close it down.”
With a 5-0 lead and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Michigan State (22-26, 6-13) had a runner on first base. Beutel, a fifth-year senior from Davenport, picked off Michigan State’s Dillon Kark with a devastating move to first base.
Iowa’s offense had 12 hits and was led by three RBIs from redshirt sophomore Kyle Huckstorf, who connected for his first career home run in the fourth inning.