While we were away

BY CHARLIE GREEN | JUNE 15, 2015 5:00 AM

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Baseball’s run

Iowa baseball is back.

The Hawkeyes powered their way to a 41-18 record in 2015 and on May 29 defeated Oregon, 3-1, to nab its first postseason victory in 43 years.

On May 30, the Hawks were beaten by the regional’s top-seeded Missouri State, 5-3, putting the team in a win-or-go-home scenario for the remainder of its regional action.

Faced with a daunting task of defeating Oregon once more and Missouri State twice after that, the Hawks went to work. Stuck in a bleak situation at the end of the Oregon rematch on May 31, their season looked as though it was nearing the end.

Enter Nick Hibbing, with no outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning. One strikeout and a double play later, the Hawks were magically out of the jam. They went on to win, 2-1, in 11 innings in what was undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments in the program’s history.

Later that night, the Hawkeyes’ run came to an end. The struggling offense, which mustered just 8 runs in 39 innings, was stifled by Missouri State’s pitching.

Jake Mangler, Tyler Peyton, and Kris Goodman — the heart of Iowa’s lineup — collectively failed to record a hit in the contest. The squad finished the year ranked No. 23 by the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

It was a disappointing end to a successful season, but the program appears to be headed in the right direction under the helm of head coach Rick Heller.

Five Hawkeyes drafted

In addition to the successful spring, five Iowa baseball players were selected in the MLB draft.

Junior Blake Hickman was picked by the Chicago White Sox in the seventh round on June 9. With a 9-2 record and 2.99 ERA, prototypical power and size (6-5, 220) made the right-hander an exciting prospect for the pros.

Consistency in late-game velocity and control issues caused Hickman to drop, but the potential is still there. The converted pitcher and Chicago native was also selected by the Cubs in 2012 in the 20th round as a catcher.

The team’s biggest standout at regionals, senior Nick Hibbing, was taken in the 16th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Colorado Rockies took senior Eric Toole in the 22nd round, while the Miami Marlins selected senior Kris Goodman in the 32nd.

Junior Tyler Peyton was picked in the 33rd round by the Cincinnati Reds, but he has since announced he will return to Iowa for his senior season.

Uthoff invited to Nike Basketball Camp

Iowa basketball’s senior forward Jarrod Uthoff earned an invitation to the 2015 Nike Basketball Academy in California on June 26-30, which Aaron White participated in last summer.

After receiving All-Big Ten honors last season, Uthoff will compete in activities partially run by such NBA superstars as Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James.

The 6-9 Cedar Rapids native averaged 12.4 points last season for the Hawks — good for second on the team. Uthoff also helped Iowa to its second NCAA Tournament appearance in a row and its first win in the tournament since 2001.

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