Hawkeyes Set To Play Northwestern

April 29, 2004

The Hawkeyes will return to Duane Banks Field for the first time since April 14 this weekend for a four-game series against Northwestern. The contests are set to begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Friday and Sunday’s games are nine innings, while Sunday’s doubleheader is seven innings. Admission 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 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).

After a two week absence, live stats will return to www.hawkeyesports.com for the four-game series against Northwestern.

Iowa scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to cut the deficit to 9-8, but Northern Iowa pitcher Spencer Black settled down to retire the next three Hawkeye batters to end the contest.

In the ninth, pinch hitter Gabe Haugland got things rolling with a double down the right field line and Andy Cox followed with a bloop single into shallow left field to put two runners on base for pinch hitter Mike Best. Best tatooed the first pitch he saw deep over the left field fence.

The Hawkeyes scored all eight of their runs on home runs. Kris Welker connected on a three-run shot in the sixth, Yoho hit a two-run shot in the eighth and Best in the ninth.

The Panthers used a consistent offense to jump out to a 6-0 lead. Northern Iowa scored two runs in four separate innings and added a run in the eighth. They pounded out 13 hits off four Iowa pitchers.

The Iowa baseball team has 12 wins this season, however, the squad has only won back-to-back contests once this season (Illinois State and Michigan), but sandwiched in between those wins was an exhibition loss to the Iowa Cubs.

The Hawkeyes 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 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.

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 .284 with two home runs and a team-leading 11 doubles and 28 RBIs. He has started every game this season in rightfield for Iowa and leads the team with 13 multi-hit games and nine 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 .516 (16-31) over the past nine games. He has two home runs, one double and 11 RBIs in that span.

On the season, Welker has a .291 average and is second on the team with 20 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.

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 boast a .333 (10-30) average this season in pinch hitting situations with Jim Reid leading the way with a .667 mark. Iowa got two pinch hits in the ninth inning on Wednesday against UNI. Gabe Haugland doubled and Mike Best hit a three-run home run.

The Hawkeyes are batting .264 this season against left-handed pitching and .256 against righthanders.

Kris Welker (.429), Mike Best (.353), L.J. Mims (.316) are leading the team against the southpaws, while Jim Reid (.341) is tops against righthanders.

The Hawkeyes have swipped 48-75 (.640) 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.

Iowa holds a 118-84-2 advantage over Northwestern. Last season, the Wildcats won three-of-four over Iowa in Evanston.

Northwestern enters the contest with a 17-19-1 overall record and a 6-10 conference mark. On Tuesday, the Wildcats thwarted Wisconsin-Milwaukee 15-4 at home. Last weekend, Northwestern dropped three-of-four home games against Minnesota.

The Wildcats are batting just under .300 as they enter the weekend with a .299 team average. Six players are batting above the .300 mark with first baseman Mark Ori leading the way with a .359 BA. Dan Pohlman provides some pop in the order for the Wildcats as he leads the team with 33 RBIs and seven home runs.

The Wildcats rotation will include two lefties and two right handers. The rotation is as follows:

LHP Dan Brauer (4-3, 3.18 ERA, 72K/62 1/3 innings)
LHP J.A. Happ (3-2, 3.08 ERA, 81K/64 1/3 innings)
RHP Dan Konecny (3-5, 7.25 ERA)
RHP George Kontos (1-3, 6.75 ERA)

The Wildcats are led by 17th year Head Coach Paul Stevens.

“We are excited to come back home for the four-game series with a talented Northwestern ball club. We need to play fundamental baseball and concentrate on execution in order to be successful.”

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