Schwartz: 10 Sentences – Hawkeye Baseball Meets A.J. Edition

April 21, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye defensive end A.J. Epenesa took in Saturday’s Iowa baseball game. The Hawkeyes won after a couple of touchdowns and a field goal. Ten sentences to commemorate the occasion:

1. This was going to be a column mostly about Hawkeye baseball – I swear – especially with my daughter and I sporting good seats at Saturday’s game against Nebraska in Iowa City, a game the Hawkeyes won 17-9 (not a misprint).

 2. But then A.J. Epenesa walked by us and it reminded me that we have just 132 days – a shade under 19 weeks – until the Hawkeyes open their 2019 football season against Miami of Ohio (followed by a Week 2 Big Ten opener against Rutgers).

3. And then I remembered that we likely have Epenesa in a Hawkeye uniform for just 13 more games, presuming the Hawkeyes make a bowl, or a best-case scenario of 15 games, because a Hawkeye fan can dream, right?

4. But then I remembered to take a deep breath and stop being so narrow minded all the time – we’ve still got a whole summer ahead of us to enjoy; maybe a vacation; lots of sun; grilling out; a cold drink on a weekend afternoon

5. That’s the thing about being a fan sometimes – at least from a personal perspective: we’re so focused on the end game that the small steps that make up the journey become an afterthought, when sometimes they’re the best part.

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6. So let’s refocus the conversation: We have most of the spring and an entire summer in front of us to enjoy (or if we have kids at home for summer vacation, survive), and when it’s over, we get to watch A.J. Epenesa play his way into Hawkeye lore not once, not twice, but 13 times – and that is going to be something special when the moments finally arrive.

7. Saturday at Duane Banks Field, Epenesa wasn’t Epenesa, he was just another (extremely huge) guy in the stadium watching the Hawkeyes secure a series victory against Nebraska, the Big Ten’s second-place team.

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8. The Huskers were ranked 30th in the country coming into the series, but they have dropped the first two to Iowa, who have won four straight and are up to fourth in the Big Ten.

9. When a baseball team wins by a football score, it can be hard to pick a moment that most stood out, but that wasn’t difficult on Saturday after Iowa City West grad Izaya Fullard homered 400 feet just right of dead center, a display of power so mighty that it became the highlight among a game full of highlights:

10. This fall it will be Epenesa’s turn to do in football whatever the equivalent of a blast to center is – and we’ll have the opportunity to watch every step of it.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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