When the Iowa State baseball club took the field this morning, junior Thomas Anderson walked to the pitching mound to take his warmups.
After he was done, Anderson took a quick glance over at the Iowa Hawkeyes dugout and knew it wasn’t just a game, it was a rivalry.
The first inning consisted of a walk and a double to put Hawkeyes on second and third with one out. After a pop fly for the second out, Anderson struck out the last batter of the inning and he was locked in from that moment on leading to a 3-0 win.
“We lost to [Iowa] last year at regionals, so we wanted to make sure we came out strong,” Anderson said. “I had a great defense behind me and once we got those two runs I was confident I could finish.”
Those two runs came in the bottom of the second when sophomore catcher Ben Weiland hit a single and scored two of the Iowa State runners. After those two runs, Anderson was untouchable.
Anderson pitched a complete game shutout with seven strikeouts and continued to show why he’s a Second Team All-Region selection and the team’s MVP.
Iowa State club baseball president Bobby Thompson has been used to these types of outings from Anderson for the last year and a half.
“He’s been a consistent pitcher for us and also gives us an opportunity to win every time he’s on the pitching mound,” Thompson said.
Anderson received an additional run in the bottom of the sixth when senior Cole Henry hit a single, which sent home the third and final run in the game.
“It was nice to get our first win of the fall season,” Weiland said. “Especially against Iowa. Now, we have to get ready for the upcoming games this weekend.”
Iowa State will play Oklahoma State this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. and South Dakota at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. After those two games, there will be a third place and championship games in the afternoon.
The goal for the club this weekend is to win the tournament, but also to look at the upcoming talent for the spring.
Thompson said the team had 24 players at this point last season, but only have 16 on the roster this fall. Since there’s fewer players, he wants to make sure his team is healthy and everyone has an opportunity to play.
This tournament is a chance for Thompson and the cabinet to look at players for tryouts in October. Many of these players had little to no playing time last year during the regular season, so these players are new to the game and new to Thompson’s eyes.
“It’s been fun seeing these players come out and try different positions and batting orders,” Thompson said. “Everyone looked good for [the Iowa] game and I’m excited to see what happens this week.”