Brody Brecht tosses five perfect innings in 2023 debut as Iowa baseball rolls by Quinnipiac

Dargan Southard
Des Moines Register

By thrusting Brody Brecht into the opening weekend rotation, Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller made a statement that his flamethrowing sophomore has made the adjustments necessary to have a more consistent second season.

Brecht reciprocated that confidence in a big way Saturday morning, tossing five perfect innings with 10 strikeouts to ignite Iowa’s 7-1 win over Quinnipiac at the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida. Following Friday's season-opening win over Indiana State, the Hawkeyes (2-0) have clinched a winning weekend with one more game left Sunday, also versus Quinnipiac.

Brecht, a wide receiver on Iowa’s football team, was obviously destined for a major role this season — his stuff is too lethal to sit on the sidelines — but the two-way standout needed to show the command and consistency that was lacking during his freshman campaign.

Right away, Brecht didn’t waste this first opportunity. He overmatched Quinnipiac from the first pitch, mixing in his hefty heater with quality off-speed stuff the Bobcats couldn’t touch. The only way Brecht was going to keep Quinnipiac in this one was self-inflicted damage, something that appeared all too often during Brecht’s freshman season when he walked 25 in 22 2/3 innings.

None of that spilled over to Saturday. In addition to the no walks, Brecht reached only three three-ball counts. Avoiding free bases is always crucial, but especially when the opponent is struggling to even put the ball in play. Four groundouts and one flyout is all Quinnipiac mustered off the flamethrowing right-hander.

“Mentally, I think I’m a lot more prepared, just knowing what it takes and what it’s going to be like out there,” Brecht said on media day earlier this month. “I kind of have a whole new mindset this year preaching to myself. I’m excited for this year and excited to do great things.”

Iowa's Brody Brecht poses for a photo during Hawkeyes baseball media day, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa.

Aiding Brecht’s success is he’s finally injury-free. Doubling as an Iowa wide receiver caused Brecht to miss most of the 2021 season with a hand injury, followed up by the wear and tear of this past campaign.

Brecht says he’s fully healthy now, with a greater appreciation for availability.      

“You take it for granted when you are healthy,” Brecht said at media day. “You don’t really think about it unless you have a lot of setbacks and a lot of injuries. So I’m very grateful for being healthy now, and I’m just trying to keep it that way for as long as I can.”

Heller and the Iowa baseball program are hoping for the same. Yes, the challenges will get harder than dominating a team picked seventh in the MAAC. But Saturday’s debut offers plenty of assurance that Brecht has re-discovered his baseball groove.     

Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.