Hawkeyes Host Two Non-Conference Foes

April 11, 2005


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THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will host a pair of midweek non-conference games against Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois. Iowa will battle the Panthers on Tuesday, then take on Northern Illinois Wednesday. Both games are set for 6 p.m. at Banks Field.

HAWKEYES ON THE AIR ? If you can’t make it out to Banks Field, you can still catch all the Hawkeye action on AM 800 KXIC. Both non-conference games will be broadcast this week, with the pregame show beginning a half hour before the game. Voice of the Hawkeyes Brent Balbinot will call the play-by-play, with West High assistant baseball coach Tom Cronk supplying color commentary.

HAWKEYES ON THE NET ? Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes this week, as live stats will be available on www.hawkeyesports.com. Just click on the Gametracker link found on both the front page and the baseball schedule page. Live stats are courtesy of Iowa official scorer Ray Gilmore.

LOOKING BACK ? The University of Iowa baseball team is coming off a huge weekend that saw them take three of four games against the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Iowa won the first game 13-12 and split Saturday’s doubleheader (2-4, 5-3). The Hawkeyes took Sunday’s game by a score of 7-6.

Game one was a thriller, as the Hawkeyes trailed 11-3 heading into the eighth inning but smacked five hits and scored five runs off three Michigan pitchers before they even recorded an out. Kris Welker and Jesse Brownell walked to start off the inning and a Dusty Napoleon single loaded the bases with no outs. Andy Cox then doubled to right field, scoring Welker and Brownell. Jason White, Nathan Price and Skylar Moss each followed with RBI singles to cut the Hawkeye deficit to 11-8.

After Nate Yoho sacrificed in a run with a flyout to center field, Welker hit an RBI single to left and Brownell doubled to right center to score the tying run. Napoleon and Cox each followed with RBI singles to put Iowa up 13-11 before Cox was caught stealing and White struck out to end the inning. The Hawkeyes belted 10 hits, eight of which were singles, and scored 10 runs in the inning. Iowa left only one runner on base.

In Saturday’s doubleheader, the Wolverines rebounded to take a 4-2 win in game one. Iowa trailed 4-0 with one out in the seventh, but loaded the bases and got two runs across before Michigan was able to get the last outs of the game.

Michigan jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second game before Iowa scored one in the fourth inning off a Welker home run. Hawkeye pitchers held Michigan scoreless for the remainder of the game and Iowa plated four runs in the sixth inning to earn the victory.

On Sunday, the Hawkeyes trailed 6-4 before storming back in the top of the sixth, posting three runs to take a 7-6 lead. After Brownell was hit by a pitch, Cox and White came through with back-to-back singles to plate the senior for the second time in the game. Senior Justin Petty then ripped a pinch-hit triple to bring Cox and White home and give Iowa a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

GUDEX HONORED ? Hawkeye closer Tim Gudex was named co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week Monday after a great weekend that saw him earn saves in each of Iowa’s three victories at Michigan.

Gudex struck out four in five innings of work, allowing just three hits. He shared the award with Penn State’s Alan Stidfole.

SCOUTING NORTHERN IOWA ? The Northern Iowa Panthers are currently 13-17 and 1-8 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Tuesday’s game will be the first of two meetings between the teams. Iowa and Northern Iowa will play in the second annual Corridor Classic on April 26 at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.

The Northern Iowa offense is led by catcher Nate Trumm, who is hitting .381 with three home runs and 19 RBIs. Patrick Moran has a team-best 28 RBIs to go with his .340 average.

On the hill, Northern Iowa has a team ERA of 5.95.

The Panthers are coached by Rick Heller, who is in his sixth season.

Iowa leads the all-time series 69-19-1, but UNI holds a current three-game winning streak.

SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS ? The Northern Illinois Huskies come into the week with an 8-19 record and a 0-6 mark in the Midwest Athletic Conference. They play Illinois State Tuesday before traveling to Iowa City on Wednesday.

The Husky offense is led by Eric Sansouci, who is hitting .320 with two home runs, 16 RBIs and seven stolen bases. Jeremy Busch is hitting .317 with six homers and 18 RBIs.

On the hill, Iowa expects to see Matt Jernstad, who is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA on the season. Jernstad has recorded six strikeouts and eight walks in 15 innings pitched. It will be his third start of the year.

Northern Illinois is coached by Ed Mathey, who is in his third season.

Iowa leads the all-time series 16-7, and defeated the Huskies 4-2 last year.

OFF TO A GREAT START ? After two weeks of Big Ten play, the Hawkeyes are tied with Penn State for third place at 5-3. It is the best conference start for Iowa since 1995, when the Hawkeyes also started 5-3.

TRAPPING WOLVERINES ? The Hawkeyes took three of four games against preseason Big Ten favorite Michigan in Ann Arbor last weekend. The last time they won a series with the Wolverines was in 1991, when Iowa won three of four games in Iowa City. Iowa hadn’t won a series in Ann Arbor in 15 years.

WELKER MASHING ? Hawkeye catcher Kris Welker had another big series at the plate, raising his batting average to a team-best .363. He also leads the team in RBIs (20) slugging percentage (.588), on base percentage (.465) and doubles (7). Welker has 11 RBI in league play, good for second in the conference.

PRICE IS RIGHT ? Iowa outfielder Nate Price had a great weekend, hitting .444 against the Wolverines. He laced eight hits and knocked in three runs.

GUDEX DROPS THE HAMMER ? Iowa closer Tim Gudex currently leads the Big Ten with three saves in conference play. He has recorded 22 strikeouts on the year, while walking just 11.

REASLAND SPELLS RELIEF ? Junior Aaron Reasland has been great in middle relief this season, and lowered his ERA another run over the weekend to a team-low 3.00. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last five appearances, while only giving up four hits over nine innings.

O’ROURKE TAKES FIRST LOSS ? Sophomore pitcher Casey O’Rourke picked up his first loss of the season Saturday against the Wolverines. The Williamsburg, IA, native pitched well, allowing just four hits and two runs in five and 1/3 innings pitched.

O’Rourke is now 2-1 with a 3.78 ERA.

NAPOLEON COMING ON ? Hawkeye freshman Dusty Napoleon continues to play well, upping his batting average another 38 points last week. Napoleon is fourth in the Big Ten with a .478 average in conference play. He is also tied for fourth with 16 walks.

MIMS ON THE SHELF ? The Hawkeyes will be without the services of junior L.J. Mims, who suffered a broken arm after being hit by a pitch in Friday’s game with Wichita State. He will be out six to eight weeks.

Mims had started ten games in centerfield, and was the Hawkeye leadoff hitter. He was hitting .273 with seven RBIs and four stolen bases. Freshman Ryan Considine and junior Nate Price will handle the centerfield duties while Mims is out.

WELKER ON BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST ? Iowa catcher Kris Welker has been named to the 2005 Johnny Bench Award watch list. The Johnny Bench Award is given annually to the top collegiate catcher.

Thirty-seven catchers from 16 different conferences were nominated for the award by their coaches. The list will be narrowed down to ten on May 17, and three finalists will be named on June 1 before the winner is announced at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 29.

TRITON CONNECTION ? The Hawkeyes have forged a strong connection with JuCo power Triton Junior College. Nathan Price, Luke O’Loughlin and Brian Furlong all came to Iowa via Triton. First base coach Grady Symonds also played two years at Triton and coached there before joining the Hawkeyes. His father, Bob, is the Titans’ head coach.

HAWKEYE SIGN FOUR FOR 2006 ? After a banner recruiting year in 2004, the Hawkeyes kept the ball rolling by signing four prep standouts to National Letters of Intent this spring. Jordan Auerbach, Wes Freie, Ryan Gryzwa and Kevin Hoef all signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa this fall.

HOMEGROWN HAWKEYES ? Twenty-two of the 41 players on the 2005 Hawkeye team are native Iowans. The next closest state is Illinois, with seven.

THE ASSISTANT COACHES ? Head Coach Jack Dahm will be assisted by batting coach Ryan Brownlee and pitching coach Nick Zumsande, along with volunteer assistant coach Grady Symonds and undergraduate assistant Chris Maliszewski.

Brownlee, who also serves as the teams recruiting coordinator, is in charge of the Hawkeye hitters and infield play. Before coming to Iowa, Brownlee was an assistant at James Madison for four years. His father, James, is the head coach at Illinois State

Zumsande enters his second year as the Iowa pitching coach. Before joining the Black and Gold, he was an assistant at Indiana State and Iowa State, while serving as the head coach at Muscatine Community College.

Symonds is in his first year with the Hawkeyes after working for his father, Bob, at Triton Junior College. He will be Iowa’s first base coach.

Maliszewski will make the transfer to the coaching ranks after pitching for the Hawkeyes for four years. He will serve as the team’s bullpen coach and assist with the pitching staff.

THE NEXT GENERATION ? Hawkeye assistant coaches Ryan Brownlee and Grady Symonds are the sons of extremely successful coaches. Brownlee’s father Jim coached the Evansville Purple Aces for 23 years before taking over the job at Illinois State in 2003. He has won 745 games in his career.

Symonds is the son of Bob Symonds, the head coach at Triton Junior College, where he has been for 33 years. He is a member of the NJCAA Hall of Fame.

KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY ? Hawkeye baseball ties run deep, and it shows in the support staff. Baseball administrator Fred Mims and baseball academic advisor Troy Wulf are both former Iowa baseball players.