On this episode of the College Baseball Central Podcast, Joe Healy talks some Iowa baseball with Dargan Southard of the Iowa City Press-Citizen and Des Moines Register.
It was a very successful 2017 season for Iowa. They had a solid, if somewhat overlooked, regular season, but really got hot at the right time, as they made their way through the field in Bloomington to win the Big Ten Tournament. Then, once placed as the four seed in the Houston Regional, they kept up their solid form. They won the opening game against the host Cougars before losing two hard-fought games against Texas A&M and UH.
Now, somewhat quietly, over the last several years, the Hawkeyes have established themselves as one of the most successful teams in the midwest. They’ve been to regionals two of the last three seasons, and in the year in which they didn’t go to a regional, 2016, they lost in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament.
With all of that in mind, there was plenty to talk about with Dargan. Among the topics discussed are:
- Whether or not Dargan saw this type of run coming from the team at any point during the regular season
- The feeling among the players and coaches after their elimination in Houston, given how close they had come to starting off 2-0 in the regional
- Trying to put into words how successful Rick Heller has been at Iowa and how he remains something of an underrated coach in the region
- Attrition the team will face heading into 2018 thanks to the draft and graduation
- Breakout candidates from among those who will be on the roster next season
- How the program is supported locally, given their recent level of success