Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller welcomes high expectations. In his first season as coach Heller led the Hawkeyes to a 30-23 record and with seven position player and nine pitchers returning from that team the Hawkeyes look to make more strides this season. “It keeps them motivated, keeps them moving. This group has been fantastic to work with, they’ve done all the things they needed to do in the offseason,” Heller says.
The returning players combined with a highly regarded recruiting class will give the Hawks additional depth. Heller says a lack of depth on the mound last year hurt them, and he says he feels good about the pitching staff as they prepare for this season. Heller says phase two of renovations at Duane Banks Field are complete. The put turf on the infield last year and this year they have turf in the outfield and now have a new video board up in the outfield.
Heller says the artificial surface is already paying dividends. The Hawkeyes had several outdoor practices prior to last week’s snowstorm. He says several of the days they were able to have full practices and that allows them to hit and field in live situations before heading to Florida to play.
The Hawkeyes open the season this week with a trip to Florida and will play Kansas State on Friday.