Hawkeyes Host North Dakota State, Penn State

April 18, 2005

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THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will continue its homestand with a midweek game against North Dakota State Wednesday at 6 p.m., then welcome Penn State for a four-game Big Ten series this weekend. Friday’s game will begin at 6 p.m., Saturday’s doubleheader will start at 2 p.m., and Sunday’s finale will begin at 11 a.m.

TIME CHANGE ? Sunday’s game had been scheduled for 1 p.m., but Penn State’s travel plans forced the change to 11 a.m.

WEEKEND PROMOTIONS ? It will be an eventful weekend at Banks Field, with promotions and givaways at every game.

Friday night is “Trucker Night”, where the first 300 students through the gates will receive a free Hawkeye mesh trucker hat.

On Saturday, the first 500 fans will get a four-inch Throwback Herky statue.

Sunday’s game will be “Pack the Park” day at Banks Field. Tickets are one dollar with a coupon from the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, and the Hawkeyes are hoping to set an all-time attendance record.

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. Friday night’s game and Saturday’s second 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 School assistant baseball coach Tom Cronk supplying color commentary.

HAWK TALK WITH Jack Dahm ? Hawkeye fans that want the inside scoop on Iowa baseball can tune in to Hawk Talk with Jack Dahm this Thursday at 6 p.m. on AM-800 KXIC. The hour-long call-in show is hosted by KXIC Sports Director and Iowa play-by-play man Brent Balbinot, and broadcasts from Flannigan’s Bar and Grille in Coralville.

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.

LOOKING BACK ? The Hawkeyes are coming off a successful weekend that saw them take three-of-four games from the Indiana Hoosiers. Iowa won game one 6-0, then swept Saturday’s doubleheader 7-6 and 3-2 (8). Indiana came back to win Sunday’s game 11-7.

Friday night, Hawkeye ace Luke O’Loughlin had his best day in the Black and Gold, throwing eight shutout innings while allowing just five hits and walking two.

Junior Nate Price led the Iowa attack, going 3-of-4 on the night.

In game one on Saturday, the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first when Iowa pounded out six singles before a double play ended the inning.

With Iowa leading 5-2, the Hoosiers tied things up in the fifth with a trio of hits and a sacrifice bunt. The Hawkeyes re-claimed the lead in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double from Andy Cox, only to have Indiana tie things up again in the top of the sixth. Kris Welker gave Iowa a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single to left. Tim Gudex shut down the Hoosiers in the seventh to give Iowa the win.

Game two was tied 2-2 after seven and went into extra innings. In the bottom of the eighth, the Hawkeyes put runners on first and third with one out for Welker, who skied a sacrifice fly to right to end the game.

Iowa missed the sweep Sunday when, the Hoosiers were able to take advantage of a wild Iowa bullpen and post seven runs in the top of the sixth to take a 8-5 lead. After a leadoff single and a flyout to center, Iowa pitchers walked five-straight batters and gave up two doubles.

The Hawkeyes cut the lead to 8-7 with a pair of runs in the seventh, but Indiana came back in the top of the eighth with three runs off two hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly.

SCOUTING NORTH DAKOTA STATE ? The North Dakota State Bison come into Wednesday’s game with a 2-28-1 record.

The Bison’s leading hitter is Kole Zimmerman, who is batting .286 with 13 doubles, a home run and 18 RBIs.

On the hill, Iowa will face Terry Tchida, who is 0-4 with a 22.24 ERA.

The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series 2-0.

North Dakota State is coached by Dr. Mitch McLeod, who is in his 13th season.

SCOUTING PENN STATE ? The Penn State Nittany Lions come into the week with a 19-12 record and a 7-5 mark in the conference.

Their offense is led by Matt Lewis and Scott Gummo. Lewis is hitting .359 with five home runs and 27 RBIs, while Gummo is hitting .321 with six longballs and 24 RBIs. Gummo is third in the Big Ten with a .442 in conference play.

The Nittany Lion weekend rotation sets up with Sean Stidfoel (5-2. 3.86) throwing Friday, followed by Steve Cline (3-1, 2.56), Craig Clark (3-2, 3.15) and his twin brother Alan (4-2, 3.81). The Stidfoel brothers each strike out about a batter an inning.

Penn State leads the all-time series 22-13 and are coached by first-year coach Robbie Wine.

OFF TO A GREAT START ? After three weeks of Big Ten play, the Hawkeyes are 8-4 and off to their best conference start since 1990, when Iowa started 13-2 and went on to win the Big Ten Championship.

The Hawkeyes are just one game out of first place.

MAITLAND RETURNS ? Senior southpaw Jeff Maitland returns to the hill Wednesday night after missing the last season and half with an elbow injury. The Palatine, IL, native was poised to be one of the top Hawkeye starters this season before suffering a setback during fall practice.

His last action was in 2003, when he was 2-3 with a 8.12 ERA in 28 2/3 innings pitched. He has a 3-5 career record.

NAPOLEON ROLLING ? Freshman Dusty Napoleon raised his average another 20 points this weekend and is now hitting .310. He is riding a 14-game hitting streak.

In Big Ten play, Napoleon is second in the conference with a .459 batting average.

STREAK SNAPPED ? Iowa outfielder Nate Price had his team-best 19-game hitting streak snapped in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, but it wasn’t for lack of good contact. In his final two at bats, Price was robbed of base hits by Indiana first baseman Ryan Parker, who snared a pair of hot line drives that seemed destined for right field.

GUDEX PULLS DOUBLE DUTY ? Iowa closer Tim Gudex earned his scholarship on Saturday, picking up the win in both games of the doubleheader with Indiana. He now leads the team with five victories on the year.

O’LOUGHLIN DEALS ? Hawkeye ace Luke O’Loughlin had his best outing of the season last Friday, throwing eight shutout innings against the best-hitting team in the Big Ten. The junior allowed just five hits on the night.

TAKING IT FOR THE TEAM ? Senior Kris Welker leads the Big Ten Conference in hit by pitch with 12. He is well on his way to breaking the single-season school record he set last year, getting nailed 16 times.

HAWKEYES IN THE BIG TEN ? In conference play, the Hawkeyes are tied for the lead with 18 stolen bases. Nate Yoho leads the way with six.

Iowa has also scored 73 runs in conference play, just four behind Michigan State. Only Illinois (39) has struck out less than Iowa (47) in Big Ten play.

BIG TEN HONORS ? A pair of Hawkeyes have had two players earn Big Ten weekly honors this season. Andy Cox was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week on March 15, while Tim Gudex was named co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on April 11.

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 against Wichita State. He will be out six to eight weeks.

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.

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.