Marcus Morgan shines as Iowa baseball takes series over Nebraska

Dargan Southard
Des Moines Register

IOWA CITY — For as unpredictable as Marcus Morgan has been throughout the early portion of his Iowa baseball career, the rugged right-hander seems ready to be a reliable arm for the Hawkeyes’ postseason push.

Morgan delivered his third straight effective start since re-entering the weekend rotation, tossing six scoreless frames Saturday afternoon to propel Iowa to an 8-0 series-clinching win over Nebraska at Duane Banks Field. Iowa (28-10, 6-5 Big Ten Conference) is back over .500 in the league while taking a pivotal series from the Big Ten leader entering this weekend.

Morgan has now yielded just two runs over his last 16 innings, having mowed down Indiana, Minnesota and now Nebraska (21-13-1, 7-4) to help Iowa’s pitching cause.

Morgan gave the Huskers as many baserunners (2 walks, HBP) as they earned (3 singles) — and that’s a compliment to the former quarterback who’s struggled with control issues to this point. After walking five at Minnesota in five innings, it was noteworthy to see Morgan rebound Saturday with just one free pass while reaching five full counts. He also punched out five while needing just 86 pitches to get through six frames.

Iowa's Marcus Morgan delivers a pitch during a NCAA Big Ten Conference baseball game against Nebraska, Saturday, April 22, 2023, at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa.

The offensive boosts on a cold day helped plenty as well. Ben Wilmes whacked a two-run homer as part of a three-run third. Raider Tello and Kyle Huckstorf teamed up for a pair of two-run doubles in a four-run sixth. Tello added an RBI single as one of three Hawkeyes with multiple hits, joining Michael Seegers (2-for-4, run, RBI) and Brennen Dorighi (2-for-5, run).

With the series now secured in less than 24 hours, Iowa needs to get greedy on Sunday with Ty Langenberg going. A winning weekend was unquestionably needed, but even the smallest boost of turning a series win into a series sweep can make a difference in this final month.

Morgan hopes he can continue to make a difference too. What he’s strung together the last three starts indicates he’s ready to do so.  

Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and Email him at