Hawkeyes Ready For Corridor Classic

April 25, 2005


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THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will play a pair of non-conference games this week. First, Iowa will battle Northern Iowa in the second annual Corridor Classic Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. On Wednesday, Iowa will host Western Illinois at 6 p.m.

HAWKEYES ON THE AIR ? If you can’t make it out to the ballpark this week, you can still catch all the Hawkeye action on AM 800 KXIC. The Corridor Classic and Wednesday’s game with Western Illinois will both be broadcast. The pregame show will begin 30 minutes before first pitch. 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.

LOOKING BACK ? The Hawkeyes won three of four games against Penn State last weekend, taking Friday’s game 6-5, splitting Saturday’s doubleheader (4-5 and 13-3) before winning Sunday’s game 10-3.

Friday’s game was suspended by rain in the top of the seventh with Iowa leading 5-4, then finished Saturday. The Nittany Lions tied things up Saturday in the top of the eighth, only to have Iowa re-gain the lead in the bottom of the inning off a pinch-hit, RBI double from Justin Petty.

During the doubleheader, Penn State bounced back and won the game with three runs in the top of the sixth.

The Iowa bats came alive in game two of the doubleheader, where the Hawkeyes pounded out 13 runs on 12 hits. Senior Andy Cox led the way by going 3-of-4 with three RBIs.

The bats kept rolling on Sunday, with Iowa posting another ten runs. Senior catcher Kris Welker led the way going 4-of-4 with three RBIs.

OFF TO A GREAT START ? After four weeks of Big Ten play, the Hawkeyes are 11-5 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, behind conference leaders Minnesota and Illinois.

BETTER THAN 50-50 ? Iowa’s series win over Penn State last weekend puts them at 18-17. It is the first time the Hawkeyes have been over .500 this late in the season since 1996. That was also the last team to finish over .500, going 25-22.

THREE IN A ROW ? Iowa’s series win over Penn State was also its third-straight in Big Ten play. The last time Iowa did that was in 1990, when the Hawkeyes won five consecutive Big Ten series en-route to winning the Big Ten Championship.

SCOUTING NORTHERN IOWA ? The Northern Iowa Panthers are 16-22 on the season with a 2-10 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference.

UNI is led by Nate Trumm, who is hitting a team-best .368 with three home runs and 25 RBIs. Patrick Moran is hitting .328 with two homers and a team-leading 34 RBIs.

The Panthers are planning on starting Aaron Jenkins, who is 1-3 with a 4.54 ERA. Jenkins started the first meeting between these two teams this season, allowing one run over three innings of work. He gave up two hits and walked four.

Iowa leads the all-time series 64-19-1.

Northern Iowa is coached by Rick Heller, who is in his sixth season at the helm.

MAITLAND TO START CORRIDOR CLASSIC ? Senior southpaw Jeff Maitland will get his second start of the season at the Corridor Classic.

The Palatine, IL, native allowed one hit and no runs over three innings in his first start against North Dakota State, picking up the win.

He had missed the last year and a half with an elbow injury.

EARLIER THIS SEASON ? Iowa defeated Northern Iowa 9-7 on April 12 at Banks Field.

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 Skyler Moss ripped an RBI double to deep center. Luke O’Loughlin threw a scoreless ninth to get the save.

SCOUTING WESTERN ILLINOIS ? The Western Illinois Leathernecks are 15-23 with a 6-2 conference record.

Kyle Malan paces the offense with a .352 average to go with three home runs and 35 RBIs. Joe Pacyga has swatted a team-best five home runs.

Iowa leads the all-time series 55-21-2.

Western Illinois is coached by Stan Hyman, who is in his fifth year.

NAPOLEON’S STREAK SNAPPED ? Freshman Dusty Napoleon had his 16-game hitting streak snapped Saturday in game one of the doubleheader with Penn State. He was 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Nate Price had the season’s longest hitting streak when he hit safely in 19 games.

GUDEX STRIKES AGAIN ? Iowa closer Tim Gudex picked up his team-best sixth win Saturday afternoon while closing out Iowa’s 6-5 win, which had been suspended the night before. His record is now 6-3 with four saves.

In Big Ten play, the junior has been nothing short of dominant, going 4-0 with a 0.61 ERA and four saves. He leads the conference in both wins (4) and saves (4) in Big Ten play.

TRIPLE PLAY ? Hawkeye senior Andy Cox ripped a pair of triples over the weekend. The senior’s extra base hits seem to come in bunches, as his four home runs also came in one weekend.

STEALING HOME ? The Hawkeyes pulled off a double steal against Penn State Sunday, during which senior Justin Petty became the first Hawkeye to steal home this season.

MIMS IMPROVING ? The Hawkeyes anxiously await the return of centerfielder L.J. Mims, who has been on the shelf since having his arm broken by a pitched ball March 25 against Wichita State.

Mims hopes to be cleared for pinch running duty soon and be back to full strength in one or two weeks.

BRINGING `EM HOME ? Kris Welker is second in the Big Ten with 20 RBIs in conference play. A good reason is the fact that he is hitting .500 (11 for 22) with runners in scoring position. Welker also leads the conference in hit by pitch with 12. He is just five shy of the single-season record, which he set last year.

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.

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.