Hawkeyes Host Hot-Hitting Hoosiers

April 14, 2005


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THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will host Indiana University in a four-game Big Ten series at Banks Field. Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s game will start at 1 p.m.

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. Saturday’s first game will be broadcast this weekend, 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 Hawkeyes are coming off a pair of thrilling come-from-behind victories over non-conference foes Northern Iowa (9-7) and Northern Illinois (8-7).

On Tuesday against Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes trailed 5-1 before going on a late inning rampage. It started in the bottom of the fifth when Iowa took advantage of a pair of Panther errors to put three runs on the board and cut the lead to one.

Iowa tied the game in the sixth on an RBI from Justin Petty, but UNI came back to re-take the lead in the top of the seventh on a wild pitch.

Nate Price, Andy Lytle and Nate Yoho all drove in runs in the bottom of the seventh to regain the lead for the Hawkeyes. The Panthers closed within one in the top of the eighth with an RBI triple, but Iowa took the run right back in the bottom of the frame when Skylar Moss ripped an RBI double to deep center.

Hawkeye ace Luke O’Loughlin pitched the ninth for his second save of the season.

Trailing 7-6 in the final inning, freshman Travis Sweet came through with a two-run single to give the Hawkeyes the win. Sweet finished the day 2-3 with two RBIs.

Designated hitter Kris Welker led off the inning by getting hit by a Nick Hall pitch, then moved to second when Dusty Napoleon laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached when Tug Gillingham threw the ball into center. Neal Coleman moved them to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Boomer Engel drew a one-out walk to load the bases and set up Sweet’s heroics.

Iowa pounded out 11 hits on the day, with Sweet, Napoleon, Lytle and Petty getting two hits each.

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 INDIANA ? The Indiana Hoosiers come into the weekend series with an 18-12 overall record and a 2-6 mark in the conference.

The Hoosiers are the best hitting team in the Big Ten, with a team batting average of .338. They have scored a league-leading 242 runs on the season, 45 more than second place Illinois.

The Hoosiers’ high-octane attack is led by Jay Brant, who leads the Big Ten with a .432 average. He also paces the conference with 54 hits, 48 runs scored, 13 doubles and 80 total bases. He is second with 16 stolen bases.

Three Hoosiers are listed in the top five in RBIs, with Joe Kemp (37) leading the way. Ryan Parker is fourth with 34, while Zach Boswell is fifth with 31.

Boswell is also second in the conference with a .430 average.

On the hill, the Hawkeyes can expect to see ace Josh Lewis on Friday. Lewis is 5-1 with a 4.03 ERA and 41 strikeouts to just seven walks. On Saturday and Sunday, the Hoosiers will probably throw Brian Lortz (2-2, 4.64), Brad Davidson (3-1, 4.33) and Adam Poole (0-2, 5.90). Indiana is coached by Bob Morgan, who is in his 22nd year at the helm.

The Hawkeyes hold a 62-49 series lead over the Hoosiers.

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.

PRICE IS RIGHT ? Iowa outfielder Nate Price has been swinging a hot stick, and currently has a 17-game hitting streak. He is currently hitting .333 and has been held hitless in just two of the 21 games he has started this season.

GUDEX DROPS THE HAMMER ? Iowa closer Tim Gudex currently leads the Big Ten with three saves in conference play. He has recorded 23 strikeouts on the year, while walking just 12.

THE ACE SHUTS THE DOOR ? Hawkeye ace Luke O’Loughlin is normally the Friday starter for the Hawkeyes, but on Wednesday he assumed the role of closer against UNI. With regular closer Tim Gudex resting his arm after picking up three saves over the weekend, Head Coach Jack Dahm went to his ace to close out the ninth against the Panthers. It was O’Loughlin’s second save of the season.

REASLAND SPELLS RELIEF ? Junior Aaron Reasland has been great in middle relief this season, and lowered his ERA another run over the week to a team-low 2.65. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last six appearances, while only giving up six hits over 11 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 to .286 this 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.