Hawkeyes To Face Bears

March 1, 2004

The Iowa Baseball team will travel to Springfield, MO, for a three-game series with Southwest Missouri State at Price Cutter Park in Ozark. The Hawkeyes enter the contest with a 1-2 record after falling in a doubleheader to Centenary on Feb. 28, while the Bears (1-5) are currently on a five-game losing streak. Friday’s contest will begin at 3 p.m., Saturday’s will start at 2 p.m. and the final game begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The Iowa baseball team opened the 2004 season with an 11-5 victory over Centenary on Feb. 27.

Iowa broke the game open in the third inning as they scored three runs off of Gents starting pitcher Kevin Cassidy. L.J. Mims and Jeff Gremley led off the inning with back-to-back singles for the Hawkeyes. Mims scored on a Nate Yoho groundout and Gremley scored on a wild pitch. Jesse Brownell then singled, stole second and scored on a hit by Andy Cox.

Centenary scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but Iowa exploded with five runs in the ninth to shut the door on any comeback. The Hawkeyes batted around in the ninth inning, which was highlighted by a two RBI triple by Brownell and a two RBI single by Kevin Sunderman.

On Feb. 28, Iowa lost both games in the doubleheader. In the opener, Iowa mustered only three hits in the game. Centenary jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over Iowa, but the Hawkeyes rallied to tie the game with a run in the third and two in the fourth.

Centenary scored three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to come away with the 7-3 win.

The second game of the doubleheader was a slug fest. Iowa scored eight runs on 16 hits, while the Gents notched 13 runs on 18 hits.

Both teams put up a four spot in the first inning of the contest. Centenary took the lead in the third inning off of a Blake Adkison long ball and scored three in the fourth after Jared Vincent connected for the Gents second homerun of the day. Iowa scored three in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough as Centenary came away with the 13-8 victory.

Sophomore Kevin Sunderman opened his Hawkeye career with a bang in the three-game series against Centenary. Sunderman, who started all three games at third base, finished the series with a .700 (7-10) batting average and seven RBI. The Iowa Western CC transfer, also recorded three doubles and walked on two occassions.

Sunderman went 2-for-3 with three RBI in the opener. In game two of the series, the sophomore had two of Iowa’s three hits in the game. Sunderman concluded the series batting in the clean-up hole and finished 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Junior Jeff Gremley went 4-for-5 in the rubber game of the three-game series against Centenary. The Hawkeyes shortstop had two doubles and two RBI in the 13-8 loss to the Gents. Gremley was a pest on the base paths in the game as he swiped two bases in the game.

For the season, Gremley is batting .417 with three RBI. He is also a perfect 3-for-3 on the base paths.

The Iowa baseball team batting average is above .300 after three games. The Hawkeyes currently have a .308 (32-104) batting average with seven doubles and two triples.

Iowa has a scored 22 runs this season (7.3 per game). The Hawkeyes have scored five runs in the ninth inning and four runs in the 1st and 8th innings.

Senior Nathan Johnson pitched 4 2/3 innings in the season opener against Centenary, but wasn’t involved in the decision. Johnson allowed one earned run in the game, while striking out three. Johnson had a no hitter through three innings, before surrendering a run after three straight singles in the fourth. Johnson currently has an ERA of 1.93.

Sophomore Tim Gudex picked up the win on Friday night against Centenary after replacing starter Nathan Johnson in the fifth inning. Gudex allowed three hits and walked three in 2 1/3 innings.

Gudex got in some trouble in the sixth and seventh innings, but the southpaw got out of the jams and surrendered only one run. In the sixth, Gudex got out of the inning with some help from CF L.J. Mims. Mims made a diving catch in the right centerfield gap to end the inning and keep the Hawkeyes in the lead.

The Iowa baseball team had four innings where they scored three or more runs last weekend against Centenary. In the opener, the Hawkeyes scored three runs in the fifth inning and exploded for five runs in the ninth on their way to a 11-5 victory.

In game one of the doubleheader, the Hawkeyes were held to just three runs on three hits and failed to figure out the Gents pitching staff.

In the rubber game of the series, Iowa jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning and added three more in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough as they fell 13-8.

In contrast, the Hawkeyes allowed four innings of 3+ runs in the three-game series. In game one, Centenary failed to put up a big inning. In game two, Centenary scored three runs in the sixth to break the game open. In the final game of the series, the Gents put up a 4, 3, and 4 en route to 13 runs.

The opener of the series with SMS will be the 40th game played between the Hawkeyes and the Bears. SMS holds a 26-13 advantage over Iowa. In the last meeting, the Bears won 3-0 in 1998.

SMS opened the season with a win over Arkansas-Little Rock, but since then, the Bears are in the midst of a five-game losing streak.

In six games this season, SMS has six players that are currently batting .300 or better. DH Justin DePriest leads the squad with a .375 average, while C Jud Kindle has a .364 mark. 3B Brooks Colvin has the Bears lone long ball of the season.

SP Derek Drage is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in 12.1 innings this season, while striking out 10. Chris Krawczyk is one of the Bears top relievers. In two appearances and 11.1 innings, the sophomore has allowed one earned run and struck out nine batters.

Last season, the Bears advanced to the College World Series. SMS lost to the eventual champion, Rice and Miami (FL) in Omaha, NE.

The Bears are led by Head Coach Keith Guttin.

Head Coach Jack Dahm and his staff signed his first recruiting class at the University of Iowa. The class, which was dominated by pitching, included 10 players, including the top-four pitching prospects in the state of Iowa. The Hawkeyes earned praise on the national level as Jerry Ford, the National Director of Perfect Game U.S.A, listed the class as “a top-50 and perhaps the top-25 class in the nation.” The class includes players from four states including Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Montana. Included in the class are: Danny Bales (Cedar Rapids, IA), David Conroy (Mount Vernon, IA), Travis Sweet (Cedar Rapids, IA), Josh Wheatley (Pocahontas, IA), Ben Geelan (Algona, IA), Dusty Napoleon (Wilmette, IL), Justin Berg (Antigo, WI), Cody Doonan (Cedar Rapids, IA), T.J. Cataldo (Carlisle, IA) and Kody McManis (Bozeman, MT).

Jack Dahm enters his first season as Iowa’s head baseball coach and has a 283-276 career record. Prior to coming to Iowa, Dahm spent 10 years as the Head Coach at Creighton University, where he is the school’s all-time winningest coach. Dahm also played for four years for the Bluejays under current Chicago Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry.

Assistant Coach Nick Zumsande is in his first season as Iowa’s pitching coach after collecting 14 years of coaching experience throughout the Midwest. Prior to joining the Hawkeyes, Zumsande served as the pitching coach for Indiana State. Before joining the Sycamores, Zumsande coached for one year at Iowa State University where he helped lead the team to their first Big 12 Tournament appearance in school history.

Assistant Coach Ryan Brownlee is in his first season as Iowa’s hitting/fielding instructor and recruiting coordinator. Prior to coming to Iowa, Brownlee was the hitting/fielding coach at James Madison University, where he led the Dukes to school records in fielding percentage. Before going to JMU, Brownlee served as an assistant at his alma mater, Evansville.

Volunteer Assistant Coach Spencer Allen is in his first season with the Hawkeyes. Allen will coach first base during game days and is responsible for outfield instruction. Allen earned his B.A. in 2001 from Iowa State, where he was a three-year starter at second base.

“We played well on Friday night. Nathan (Johnson) threw the ball really well and he had some good defense behind him. On Saturday, we had to many mental breakdowns. We’re really looking forward too getting back on the field this weekend against SMS. We need to continue to make strides foward and get better. The series will be another good indicator of seeing where we are at and what we need to work on.”

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