I-380 Corridor Classic Next Up For Hawkeyes

April 19, 2004

The Hawkeyes and Panthers will play on Wednesday night in the I-380 Corridor Classic at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids beginning at 6:30 p.m. Gates open one hour before starting time.

Tickets for the event are available thru the Cedar Rapids Kernels Ticket Office. Costs are $8 for reserved seating, $5 for bleacher and lawn seats and $20 for all you can eat and drink in the patio section.

The Iowa and Northern Iowa Spirit Squads will be on hand to entertain fans all night long and following the contest there wil be fireworks.

As a promotion for the American Diabetes Association, fans will be given the opportunity to buy raffle tickets to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

The “Kiss a Pig/Ride a Hog promotion” will give fans the chance to see local celebrities kiss a pig based on donations. Tickets are $1 each or a $5 donation gets you an entry to win the brand new “Hog” that will be given away in the 7th inning.

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 Flannigan’s Bar & Grill 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 first and third games of the weekend series with Indiana at Sembower Field in Bloomington.

In the opener, Iowa got a superb outing from senior starter Nathan Johnson and came away with a 7-3 victory. Johnson gave up three runs on five hits in the opening two frames, but settled down to dominate the Hoosier batters. The senior struck out a career-high 14 batters and allowed no runs and scattered three hits over the final seven innings.

In the fifth inning, Iowa scored three runs to take a 5-3 lead. Freshman Jason White provided the Hawkeyes with some instant offense as he lifted a two-run shot over the right field fence.

On Saturday, Iowa scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 4-2 lead. With two runners on base and the Hawkeyes trailing by one run, White hit a sharp single through the middle to tie the game. After an Andy Lytle single, senior Jim Reid came up with the clutch two-out single to give Iowa the 4-2 advantage.

Indiana put together a late inning rally of its own in the bottom of the inning against Iowa closer Tim Gudex. The Hoosiers got three straight hits to start the inning and Ryan Parker hit a game-winning single to right field to drive in the winning run.

The final two contests of the weekend turned into slug fests. The Hawkeyes scored a season-high 12 runs and came away with the 12-7 victory. Kris Welker went 2-for-3 in the game with a solo home run.

With Iowa looking to win its first series of the season, the Hoosier bats awoke and pounded out 22 hits in the 25-9 victory. Indiana smacked seven homeruns on the day, including a grand slam by Reggie Watson.

Iowa scored a season-high 12 runs in the second game of the doubleheader last Saturday against Indiana. In the game, the Hawkeyes scored five runs in the third inning and four in the fourth.

The five runs is the most the team has scored in one frame since scoring six runs in one inning against Stetson in Florida. The nine runs is the most the squad has scored in back-to-back innings this season.

For the first time in since March 17, 2002, the regular Hawkeye starting shortstop, Jeff Gremley wasn’t in the line-up. In the first two games of the series, freshman Jason White got the nod at short. Gremley had started all but two games in his career.

Andy Lytle, who has hit primarily in the bottom of the order, moved to the lead-off spot all weekend and started two games at second and third base.

Junior Kris Welker was the Hawkeyes’ best hitter in the four-game set with Indiana last weekend. Welker, who was a perfect 4-for-4 in the finale, raised his batting average .61 points after batting .600 (9-15) with five RBIs and four runs scored. The catcher had three extra base hits (2 doubles, 1 HR) with a .933 slugging percentage.

Welker, who batted in the clean-up slot the final three games, is tied for fifth with a .271 average on the season. He has 13 RBIs, four doubles, one home run and is leading Big Ten with 12 HBP.

Fifth-year senior Jim Reid was inserted into the line-up in the fourth inning on Friday night and never relinquished his spot in the order the rest of the weekend.

Reid, who won the Iowa batting title as a sophomore with a .338 average, is leading the team with a .357 average on the season. Reid started the final two games as the DH and finished the weekend going 6-15 (.400). Five of his six hits went for extra bases (three doubles, two triples) and he crossed the plate seven times. The two triples is the most in conference games this season.

The Hawkeyes entered the weekend series at Sembower Field with four long balls thru 28 games, but the short confines and strong winds helped Iowa hit four home runs in four games.

Jesse Brownell hit his team-leading third home run, while Gabe Haugland, Jason White and Kris Welker each tallied thier first career homer in Black and Gold. Haugland’s was the first hit of his career.

Senior Nathan Johnson struck out a career-high 14 batters against the Hoosiers after throwing 146 pitches. Johnson allowed three runs, two unearned, on five hits in the first two frames. After settling down, Johnson scattered three hits over the final seven innings to pick up his third win of the season.

Johnson has been the Hawkeyes’ most reliable starter this season. He has a 49-11 K/BB ratio in 54 2/3 innings pitched with a respectable 3.95 ERA in nine starts.

In conference games, Johnson is second in innings pitched (25 1/3), tied for third in strikeouts (27), fourth in ERA (1.78) and is tied for fifth with seven batters struckout looking. He also is holding opposing hitters to a .229 average.

Northern Iowa dropped two-of-three games to Rockhorst over the weekend after defeating the Hawkeyes last Wednesday (8-6).

On the hill for Northern Iowa will be RHP Kory Kelcher. Kelcher has started five contests and has a 2-3 record with a 5.40 ERA. He has struck out 22 batters and walked 11 batters in 31 2/3 innings.

“We took a step in the right direction last weekend against Indiana as we made progress in all phases of the game. We would like to have won three-of-four, but we are satisfied with the split.

I am looking forward to playing Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids. It is going to be a great event that people from all over Eastern Iowa are going to get excited about in the future years. Hopefully, the contest will get us ready for the Big Ten series this weekend at Penn State.”

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