March 25, 2004
The Iowa baseball team heads to Des Moines, IA, for the Iowa Cubs/Hawkeye Classic at Sec Taylor Stadium. The four-team tournament will feature Iowa, Minnesota, Northern Illinois and Northern Colorado.
Admission is $4 for adults and $2 children (13 and under) and are available for purchase at the Iowa Cubs ticket office or by phone (1-800-GO-ICUBS). Gates will open one hour prior to the first game each day. UI students will be admitted free with a valid student ID and I-Club members will receive $2 off admission with a membership card. The schedule for the weekend is as follows:
Friday, March 26
2 p.m. Minnesota vs. Northern Illinois
5 p.m. Northern Colorado vs. Iowa
Saturday, March 27
11 a.m. Northern Illinois vs. Northern Colorado
2 p.m. Minnesota vs. Iowa
Sunday, March 28
11 a.m. Minnesota vs. Northern Colorado
2 p.m. Northern Illinois vs. Iowa
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES LIVE ON THE INTERNET
Fans can follow the University of Iowa baseball team live via live stats on www.hawkeyesports.com.
ON THE AIR
Fans wanting to listen to the live radio broadcast of Iowa baseball games can tune into KXIC (AM 800). Brent Balbinot will handle the play-by-play action for every game. Former Hawkeyes Brian Bucklin and Kurt Vitense will serve as the color commentators at the Iowa Cubs/Hawkeye Classic.
HAWKEYES LEAVE BASES LOADED IN NINTH; FALL IN HOME OPENER
The Hawkeyes surrendered three solo homeruns and fell 4-2 to Western Illinois Tuesday night in their home opener at Duane Banks Field.
Iowa loaded the bases in the ninth inning off Western Illinois starter Patrick Kohorst. Leatherneck reliever Nick Simmons entered with one out in the inning and struck out Kevin Sunderman and got L.J. Mims to foul out to right field to end the game.
Iowa scored runs in the third and sixth innings. In the third, Jeff Gremley tripled home Mims and in the sixth, Mike Best hit an RBI double to right centerfield to plate Kris Welker.
Kohorst scattered five hits in 8 1/3 inning for the Leathernecks, while allowing two earned runs and striking out five Hawkeye batters.
Nathan Johnson struck out three batters over five innings for the Hawkeyes.
MIMS AVERAGE ON THE RISE
Centerfielder L.J. Mims is currently third on the team with a .304 (17-56) batting average. The sophomore has hit safely in 10-of-15 games for the Hawkeyes this year. Against Western Illinois on March 23, Mims collected two of Iowa’s five hits and scored a run.
Mims has thrived against left-handed pitchers, batting .571 (4-7) against the southpaws. Against righthanded pitchers, Mims has a mark of .265 (13-49).
PLAYING SMALL BALL
The Hawkeyes have hit only two homeruns this season in 15 games, one each by Jesse Brownell and Mike Best. In an effort to put runs on the scoreboard, the Hawkeyes have resorted to playing small ball. Iowa has sacrificed runners 10 times this season and have had four sacrifice flies, while being extremley active on the bases.
The Iowa baseball team has been active on the base paths this season. as they have swiped 28-of-41 (.683) bases. Jeff Gremley leads the team and is third in the conference with seven steals. Three other Hawkeyes have stolen at least four bases; Nate Yoho (5-of-7), Mike Mogard (4-of-4) and L.J. Mims (4-of-7).
IOWA’S “K” MAN
Nathan Johnson leads the Hawkeyes with 22 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings this season. Ten of his 22 strikeouts have been K’s looking. The righthander is seventh in the Big Ten in innings and eighth in strikeouts.
Johnson’s best game of the season came in a 9-3 win over Bucknell when he scattered six hits over seven innings with nine strikeouts.
Mike Best is hitting a staggering .643 (9-for-14) this season with runners in scoring position. Best has enjoyed success against both right and left handed pitchers as he is batting .364 against lefties and .361 against righties.
GUDEX: STOPPER OUT OF THE PEN
Sophomore Tim Gudex has proved to be Iowa’s best reliever out of the pen this season. The southpaw recorded three saves on the Florida trip, which is tied for the conference lead.
In his first two appearances of the trip, Gudex pitched six innings of two hit ball and had four strikeouts to earn his first two saves. Against Dartmouth, he pitched 1 1/3 innings and allowed three hits for save number three.
On the year, Gudex is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings of work. He has struck out eight batters, which is fourth best among Hawkeye hurlers.
Hawkeye catcher Kris Welker tied an Iowa record twice in a matter of three games in Florida. Against Maine on Mar. 13, Welker was hit by Black Bear pitcher Greg Norton on his first two at-bats of the game to tie an Iowa record for HBP in a game. Welker tied the record again two games later in the contest against Stetson.
In his home debut against Western Illinois, Welker got plunked yet again to push his season total to nine. He leads the Big Ten in the category and is more than half way to the season record of 16 HBP, which was set by former Hawkeye Ian Mattice in 2002.
IOWA VS. NORTHERN COLORADO
The meeting with the Bears on Friday will be the first ever meeting between the two schools. This season is Northern Colorado’s first year in Division I baseball.
IOWA VS. MINNESOTA
Minnesota leads the all-time series 151-97 against Iowa. The Hawkeyes split the four-game series with the Golden Gophers in Iowa City last year. The game on Saturday will not be counted towards the Big Ten standings. It will be considered a non-conference game.
IOWA VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Iowa leads the all-time series with the Huskies 15-7. Last season, Northern Illinois defeated the Hawkeyes in Iowa City (15-7).
Kevin Sunderman was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Mar. 2, after opening his Hawkeye career with a bang in the three-game series against Centenary College. Sunderman, who started all three games at third base, finished the series with a .700 (7-10) batting average, seven RBIs, three doubles and two walks.
GAME VERSUS BRADLEY ON MAY 4 CANCELLED
The game that was scheduled on May 4 between Iowa and Bradley in Iowa City has been cancelled. The University of Iowa prohibits all teams from playing schools with a Native American mascot aside from the Illinois Fighting Illini.
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.