Iowa To Meet UNI For The Third Time

April 26, 2004

Iowa will conclude its three-game season series with Northern Iowa at Riverfront Stadium in Cedar Falls on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for students.

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 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).

Iowa split the four-game series in Happy Valley last weekend. The Hawkeyes won the opener and the finale at Beaver Field.

Starter Nathan Johnson put together his second solid start in as many outings on Friday. The senior righthander allowed two earned runs and struck out five in the complete game victory. Iowa jumped out to an early 4-0 lead through three and a half innings before the Nittany Lions plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Nate Yoho had two RBIs in the contest and scored three runs.

On Saturday, the Hawkeye bats were silented by the Penn State starters. Sean Stidfole and Aaron Tressler each pitched seven inning complete games and allowed only four hits in the 14 innings.

In game one, three Iowa pitchers limited the Nittany Lions to one hit, but the hit was a solo shot to left field by Aaron Greenfield to give PSU the 2-1 lead.

On Sunday, the Hawkeyes bats emerged in the five-run fifth inning to propel the team to a 6-2 win. The game was a five inning affair due to the team’s travel arrangements back to Iowa City. Three batters, Andy Lytle, Jeff Gremley and Jim Reid tallied two hits apiece in the win.

The Iowa baseball team has 11 wins this season, however, the squad has only won back-to-back contests once (Illinois State and Michigan), but sandwiched in between those wins was an exhibition loss to the Iowa Cubs.

The Hawkeyes have won the series opener in three-of-four Big Ten series this season, but they dropped the second game of the series in all three cases.

Starter Nathan Johnson pitched his second consecutive complete game in the 6-3 victory over Penn State last Friday. Johnson allowed nine hits and three runs (two earned), while striking out five Nittany Lion batters. On April 16, Johnson struck out a career-high 14 Indiana batters, while allowing two runs on eight hits.

Johnson is leading the Hawkeyes in virtually every pitching category. The senior from Oskaloosa, IA, has a 4-2 record with a 3.68 ERA in ten starts. He has a 54-14 K/BB ratio in 63 2/3 innings of work, while holding opposing hitters to a .291 average.

In conference games, Johnson is 2-0 in four starts with a 1.83 ERA, which is third best in the league. He is fourth in the Big Ten with 32 K’s in 34 1/3 innings, while only walking eight batters. He is holding conference batters to .233 average.

Redshirt freshman Scott Brune picked up his first career victory in the 6-2 win over Penn State last Sunday.

Brune entered the game in a tough situation with runners on first and third with one out and the game knotted at one. The righthander induced Nittany Lion catcher Matt Harter to ground into an inning-ending double play to keep the game tied.

In his last six apperances, Brune has struck out 13 batters over 14 1/3 innings. The righthander has allowed only three earned runs on seven hits.

Junior Nate Yoho went 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs in the 6-3 triumph over Penn State on April 16.

Among the four hits were three doubles to tie an Iowa record that hasn’t been matched since 1999. Former Hawkeyes Toby Humes and Brad Carlson accomplished the feat during the 1999 season.

On the season, Yoho is batting .279 with a team-leading 11 doubles and 26 RBIs. He has started every game this season in rightfield for Iowa and leads the team with 12 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI contests.

Junior Kris Welker has caught 31 games for the Hawkeyes behind the plate this season. Over this span, Welker has thrown out 21-32 (.604) of the base runners attempting to steal on him.

At the plate, Welker is batting a staggering .519 (14-27) over the past eight games. He has one double, one home run and eight RBIs in that span.

On the season, Welker has a .283 average and is second on the team with 17 RBIs. He is also leading the Big Ten with 13 HBP.

Senior Jim Reid has seven extra base hits (3 triples, 4 doubles) since being inserted into the starting line-up on April 17 against Indiana. The three triples are tops in Big Ten games.

Reid is leading the team with a .326 average and a .581 slugging percentage. He also has tallied six RBIs on the season.

The Hawkeyes are batting .266 this season against left-handed pitching and .256 against righthanders.

Luis Andrulonis (.400), Kris Welker (.389) and L.J. Mims (.375) are leading the team against the southpaws, while Jim Reid (.341) is tops against righthanders.

The Hawkeyes have swipped 47-74 (.635) bases this season. Jeff Gremley is 10-of-14 to lead the team, while Nate Yoho and Jesse Brownell are tied for second with seven stolen bases apiece.

The Hawkeyes will look to avoid the three-game sweep at the hands of Northern Iowa. On April 14, the Panthers defeated Iowa 8-6 in Iowa City and on April 21, UNI won 8-3 in the I-380 Corridor Classic in Cedar Rapids.

The Panthers enter the game with a 15-21 overall record and a 4-12 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. Last weekend, Northern Iowa lost three-of-four at Indiana State.

Pat Moran continues to lead the team in hitting with a .380 average with 11 doubles and 17 RBIs, while Dan Grant has five long balls to lead the squad.

Two pitchers that could get the nod against the Hawkeyes are Bill Zenk or Jake Hansen. Zenk is 3-1 with a 5.29 ERA this season, while Hansen is 1-3 with a 6.11 ERA.

“We’re excited with way the pitching staff performed last weekend. They gave us four solid outings and gave us an opportunity to win in each game. We played well in all phases of the game on Friday and Sunday, but the bats just weren’t there on Saturday. Anytime you can split on the road in the Big Ten is a positive.

This week we go on the road to Northern Iowa, which should be another hard fought contest. This weekend, we’re looking forward to playing at home against a very good Northwestern ball club.”

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