Hawkeyes Await Panthers

April 12, 2004

The Iowa baseball team will host Northern Iowa Wednesday at Duane Banks Field (1,000) beginning at 6 p.m. The game is the first of a three games with the Panthers this season. Admission to the contest is $3.

Every Monday night from 6-7 p.m. during the Iowa baseball season Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm will join KXIC’s Brent Balbinot for a call-in show at Flannigans for “Hawk Talk with Jack Dahm”.

Fans can attend the show or call-in and talk Hawkeye baseball with Coach Dahm. Can’t attend? Listen to the broadcast on the radio at KXIC (AM 800).

The Hawkeyes won the opening game of the four-game set with the Wolverines Friday night, but fell in the final three contests to lose the series 3-1.

In the opener, Iowa used a Kevin Sunderman single in the bottom of the 13th inning to come from behind and beat Michigan 6-5. Centerfielder L.J. Mims scored the game-winning run after leading off the inning with a single.

Iowa took a 5-3 after seven innings, but the Wolverines scored two runs in the eighth to even the score. Both teams had scoring opportunities throughout the extra frames, but neither were able to capitalize until Sunderman’s base-hit in the 13th.

On Saturday, Michigan used two stellar outings by its starting pitchers to limit the Hawkeyes to eight hits and zero runs in the 14 innings. The Wolverines recorded two shutouts defeating the Hawkeyes, 6-0 and 4-0.

In Sunday’s finale, Michigan escaped with a 2-1 win after scoring the go-ahead run in the ninth inning.

A two-out single by Kyle Bohm put the winning run on base and clean-up hitter A.J Scheidt hit a fly ball to centerfield that was held up by the wind. Iowa centerfielder Matt Wooldrik, who was replacing the injured L.J. Mims, attempted to dive for the ball, but it hit off his glove and allowed Bohm to cross the plate all the way from first base.

Iowa scored its only run in the bottom of the third after a two-out rally. First baseman Mike Best singled and Cole Grandfield followed with a walk. After a good at-bat, Andy Lytle came through with a single through the right side to drive in Best.

Starter Andrew Hansen pitched well for the Hawkeyes. The senior allowed seven hits and one run in seven innings, while striking out six Wolverine batters.

Iowa junior Kris Welker is still looking to try and break an Iowa record. Last weekend, Welker failed to get hit by a pitch, keeping him at 12 for the season.

Welker has tied an Iowa record of being hit two times in one game three times this season with the last time being against Michigan State in the series opener.

Welker leads the Big Ten with 12 HBP thru 27 games. He needs to be hit four more times this year to tie former Hawkeye Ian Mattice’s record of 16 HBP in a single season that was set in 2002.

Centerfielder L.J. Mims was in the starting line-up in the series finale against Michigan. During his first at-bat of the game, Mims squared to bunt and fouled the ball back into his face.

Mims, who has started every game for Iowa this season, could be out of the line-up against the Panthers on Wednesday, but should see action this weekend against Indiana. Mims is batting .274 with 11 RBIs, one double and one triple. He has also swipped 4-of-7 bases on the season.

Sophomores Aaron Reasland and Tim Gudex combined for 4 2/3 innings of two hit ball in Friday’s win over Michigan.

Gudex struck out four batters in four innings, his longest outing of the season, while allowing only two hits. Reasland entered the game in the 13th with one out. After walking a batter, the righthander struck out two batters to keep the game scoreless. The Hawkeyes scored in the bottom of the inning, therefore, giving Reasland his team-leading third win of the season.

Iowa starter Nathan Johnson tied a career-high with nine strikeouts in Friday’s no-decision against Michigan. Earlier this season, Johnson also struck out nine batters in the win over Bucknell in Florida.

On the year, the senior righthander is 2-2 with a 4.34 ERA. He has struck out 35 batters in 45 2/3 innings pitched.

In Big Ten games only, Johnson is fourth in the conference with 16 1/3 innings pitched. He has punched out 13 batters (T6th) and is seventh with a 1.65 ERA.

The Iowa bats are hitting .282 on the year against southpaws. Six Hawkeyes have a .300 mark against the lefthanders. In contrast, Iowa’s bats are struggling against righthanders as they are batting only .232.

This season, Iowa has come to the plate 18 times with the bases loaded. Over these 18 at-bats, the Hawkeyes have come up with the clutch hit only three times.

The Hawkeyes are 6-4 this season when scoring the game’s first run. In 27 games this season, Iowa has been outscored 35-13 in the opening two frames.

Iowa’s longest hitting streak of the season was halted in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Michigan. Junior Jesse Brownell used a seventh inning single to extend the streak to nine games, but he went hitless in the final two contests against the Wolverines.

Brownell is leading the team with a .295 average (min. 15 at-bats). He has ten RBIs, four doubles, two homeruns and two triples to go along with a team-high 11 walks.

The Hawkeyes hold a 63-16-1 advantage in the all-time series against Northern Iowa. The Panthers have one seven of the last ten meetings in the series. Last season’s meetings were rained out.

The Panthers enter the contest with a 11-16 overall record after dropping three-of-four to Southwest Missouri State in Cedar Falls last weekend. Last Wednesday, the Panthers hosted Minnesota, winning 7-6 over the Golden Gophers.

Northern Iowa is hitting .266 as a team this season, including 12 long balls. Second baseman Pat Moran is leading the team with a .367 average and designated hitter Dan Grant has a .361 mark to go along with team-highs in RBIs (21) and homeruns (5).

The Panther pitching staff has a 4.71 ERA on the season. Taking the hill against the Hawkeyes will either sophomore LHP Jake Hansen or senior LHP Bill Zenk.

Hansen has a 1-3 record and 5.45 ERA in seven starts. He has averaged about one strikeout per inning, striking out 32 batters in 33 innings of work. Zenk is 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA. He has allowed 15 earned runs in 26 2/3 innings of work with 15 strikeouts.

Northern Iowa is led by fifth-year Head Coach Rick Heller.

“I am looking forward to playing UNI. I am very familiar with their program and I am excited to seeing what the rivalry is like between the two schools. This has the making to become a big mid-week game for the years to come starting Wednesday and next Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids. Hopefully, we can get good crowds to come out and watch both contests.”

Complete Release in PDF Format
dot.gifspacer.gifDownload Free Acrobat Reader