Baseball emphasizes hitting for upcoming weekend

Emily Hejlik

Coming off a weekend highlighted by a stellar pitching performance has the ISU baseball team searching for their bats.

“The goal for this weekend is to get three conference wins against UNI,” said Aaron Hinnah, ISU Club Baseball president and coach.

The senior in psychology praised his team on their fielding but emphasized the importance of hitting.

“I will continue to stress how important it is for us to get the bats going early,” Hinnah said. “This past weekend we waited until the sixth and seventh innings to start hitting well. That is too late if we want to be successful.”

Curve balls in particular will be an area of interest during practice this week. Not having a batting cage has been a hurdle for the Cyclones, but they will use the field and individual efforts to improve their hitting.

Kyle Tjossem, the club’s shortstop and freshman in kinesiology and health, credits the Hawkeyes to some of the squad’s hitting woes.

“We saw better pitching against Iowa compared to when we played South Dakota,” Tjossem said. “Live hitting situations this week should help us prepare for UNI.”

Even Dillan Dwyer, fresh off a no-hitter, looks to better himself.

“I need to work on my change up and locate my fastball better,” said Dwyer, a freshman in mechanical engineering. I also need to relax and not over throw. Hopefully getting my arm some recovery time will help me bounce back and have another good game.”

Dwyer threw out a number to help describe how significant his no-hitter against the Hawkeyes was.

“One in every 1,500 games someone throws a no hitter,” Dwyer said. “It was an exciting moment for me. … I couldn’t have done it without my catcher and teammates.”

Hinnah was so pleased with Dwyer’s performance he compared it to other well-known athletes at Iowa State.

“Pitching wins games, and I can’t state it enough, how important Dillan is to our team,” Hinnah said. “I’d say that Dillan’s performance on Saturday is one of the premiere player performances of the school year, for an athlete here at Iowa State right up there with [Steele] Jantz, Royce [White] and Chelsea Poppens.”

As hitting and pitching prove to be key to favorable outcomes, the youth on the team have been consistently supporting the team even when they aren’t out on the field.

“I am extremely pleased with the performance and effort that our young guys have provided us with so far this season,” Hinnah said. “Most of them sit for three out of four games during a series, cheering on and supporting our players 110 percent, and then come in and play lights out every time.”