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There was a point when Brendan Sher thought he wouldn’t receive the chance to play baseball this summer.

The Hawkeye infielder originally planned to play in a summer league in Wisconsin. That was canceled about and a week and a half before Opening Day due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shortly after, a team in Madison, Wisconsin, reached out to him. It also canceled.

Then, Sher, and 10 of his Iowa teammates, found a home for the summer with the Des Moines Peak Prospects.

“I said, ‘OK, well it looks like I’m screwed for the summer,’” Sher said. “That’s when I found out that there was this league [in Des Moines], which couldn’t have happened to be any better for me.”

Now, instead of working on their own, the Hawkeye teammates play live games against a team from Omaha and against each other in intrasquad meetings.

The team booked the Iowa Cubs’ Principal Park to host its games when high school baseball isn’t taking up the field.

The Peak Prospects played 12 seven-inning games from July 6-14 and will be back at it for six more Aug. 5-8.

While the games have been relatively sporadic, the live at bats will certainly help when fall comes around.

“I feel like a big thing of it is just having confidence,” Sher said. “For me, I’m still playing, so I don’t have to be back on my heels like, ‘Oh man, I haven’t done this in a little bit. I need to get back into it.’ I can go in full steam ahead.”

Playing with the Des Moines squad will likely impact Iowa’s team chemistry in a positive way as well.

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While some players have found other summer leagues that didn’t get canceled, 11 Hawkeyes — including Sher, Austin Martin, Zeb Adreon, Peyton Williams, and Drew Irvine, among others —have been in and out of Des Moines to play with each other.

“There are a ton of Iowa guys, and the first couple of games, it’s like you’re walking in and you’re seeing your teammates and playing with your teammates,” Martin said. “It almost feels like we’re in Iowa City playing.”

The Peak Prospects’ roster also includes a number of players the current Hawkeyes battled in high school who also play in college.

The roster includes players from Creighton, South Dakota State, Butler, Grand View, and Kirkwood, along with a slew of other programs.

But in some cases, they’re going into battle against their own teammates instead of those from different schools. That’s when games get intense.

“It’s really fun, especially when you get them on the other team and you get to play against them,” Sher said. “You don’t realize how competitive we all are as a team. So, you’re facing [pitcher] Ben Probst on the mound across from you, and you’re both locked in. It’s a good time.”

Most importantly for Iowa, this team — and the rest of the open summer leagues — will only help its players.

When the college baseball season was canceled in March, players were left to work out on their own, most of them back in their hometowns.

Things were coming together for the Hawkeyes when the season ended. They held a 10-5 record at the time of the season’s cancellation with three wins coming against ranked teams.

Now, the Hawkeyes hope summer ball can help them carry that momentum into the fall.

“At the end of your college season, you’re at your peak,” Martin said. “For most guys, it’s like, ‘OK, I’m seeing the ball well. I’m playing really good baseball.’ Then all of a sudden, the season ends, and you’re sitting there doing nothing. It’s like you go from your best right back to square one. Playing summer baseball allows you to continue that climb or at least maintain what you have.”