Hawkeyes Return Home

May. 2, 2005

2005 National I-Club Spring Banquet Tour
Big Ten baseball standings
This weekend’s promotions at Banks Field

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THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes return home for a midweek doubleheader against Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wednesday at 4 p.m., then host Minnesota in a pivotal four-game homestand over the weekend. Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 2 p.m. and first pitch Sunday is set for 1 p.m.

HAWKEYES ON THE AIR ? If you can’t make it out to the park this week, you can still catch all the Hawkeye action on AM 800 KXIC. Friday’s game, along with game two of Saturday’s doubleheader 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 dropped three-of-four games at Northwestern this weekend. Iowa lost game one 6-5, then was swept in Saturday’s doubleheader 8-4 and 7-6. The Black and Gold avoided the sweep Sunday by taking a 6-5 win in 11 innings.

The Hawkeyes took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning of Friday’s game, but Northwestern responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Iowa chipped away at the lead, plating one run in the second on a Jason White RBI single through the right side.

Northwestern added to their lead in the fifth, plating three runs off Hawkeye starter Luke O’Loughlin. Iowa scored one run in the seventh on another RBI single from White, and two in the ninth on a Nate Price double to right center, but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 6-5.

On Saturday, the Hawkeye bats struggled in game one. Iowa didn’t get its first hit until the fourth inning, after Northwestern had built a 6-0 lead.

The Hawkeyes attempted a late comeback, scoring three runs in the final two innings, but it wasn’t enough.

In game two, the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, only to have the Wildcats storm back and take a 6-4 lead in the fourth. Iowa managed to tie things up in the sixth, but Northwestern came back with a run in the bottom of the inning to take the 7-6 lead.

On Sunday, Kris Welker provided the late-inning heroics by hitting a game-tying home run in the top of the eighth. The game went into extras, when Iowa scratched across a run in the top of the 11th. Tim Gudex shut Northwestern down in the bottom of the inning for his seventh win.

SCOUTING WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE ? The Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers are 17-20 this season with a 8-4 mark in the Horizon League.

The Panther offense is paced by Mike Goetz, who is hitting a team-best .368 with a home run, 17 RBIs and nine stolen bases. Joe Nowicki is the power source, slugging seven home runs and picking up 26 RBIs.

On the hill, the Hawkeyes will see Rick Caviani in game one and Rick Rauwedrink in game two. Caviani is 2-5 on the year and has a team-best 4.78 ERA. Rauwedrink is 0-3 with a 6.48 ERA.

The Panthers lead the all-time series with Iowa 6-2. They are coached by Jerry Augustine, who is in his ninth season.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA ? The Minnesota Golden Gophers come into the week with a 22-20 overall record and are tied with the Hawkeyes for second in the Big Ten with a 12-8 record.

Minnesota’s leading hitter is David Hrncirik, who is hitting .350 with 27 runs scored and 21 stolen bases. Two other batters to watch are Mike Mee, who has a team-high six home runs to go with his .265 average and 30 RBIs, and Matt Fornasiere, who is hitting .325 with two homers and 31 RBIs.

On the hill, the Hawkeyes can expect to see Matt Loberg (5-4, 3.82), Cole DeVries (2-3, 5.47), Brian Bull (3-2, 4.50) and Dustin Brabender (1-0, 5.72).

Minnesota leads the all-time series 155-98. The Gophers are coached by John Anderson, who is in his 24th season.

BIG SERIES ? The Hawkeyes are tied with weekend foe Minnesota for second place in the Big Ten, just two games back of conference leader Illinois.

GUDEX STRIKES AGAIN ? Iowa closer Tim Gudex has been dominating this season, and leads the Big Ten in both wins (5) and saves (4) during conference play, where he is sporting a 0.46 ERA.

Overall, Gudex is 7-3 with a 2.74 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings.

WORKING ON THE WEEKEND ? Hawkeye senior Jeff Maitland made his first Big Ten start last weekend and was solid, allowing just two hits and striking out six in three and a third innings of work. Maitland missed all of last year and the first half of this season with an elbow injury.

400 CLUB ? Freshman Dusty Napoleon is enjoying a great rookie season and is currently fourth in the Big Ten with a .404 batting average in conference play.

Overall, Napoleon is hitting .307 with a .444 on base percentage.

MIMS BACK ? The Hawkeyes re-gained the services of centerfielder L.J. Mims last Wednesday night, when the junior entered the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the sixth. He stayed in to play centerfield and ended up going 1-for-2. He saw action as a pinch runner twice over the weekend.

Mims, who had his arm broken by a pitch March 25 against Wichita State, wasn’t expected to be back for another week or so. It is unknown when he will re-join the lineup on a full-time basis.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT ? Hawkeye junior Nate Price has really come on strong during the Big Ten season. The Iowa leadoff hitter is batting .382 in conference play and is third in the league with 29 hits in Big Ten action. He is also a perfect 7-of-7 in stolen bases.

Overall, Price is hitting .333 with 47 hits and 10 stolen bases.

RUN PRODUCTION ? Hawkeye catcher Kris Welker is currently tied for first in the Big Ten with 23 RBIs in league play. A big reason is the fact that he is hitting .500 with runners in scoring position.

Welker leads the Hawkeyes in overall RBIs with 34 and is tied with Andy Cox for the lead in home runs with four.

DON’T STRAY TOO FAR ? The Hawkeyes have picked off 16 baserunners so far this season, tops in the Big Ten. The next closest team is Penn State, who has caught 14 runners napping. Illinois is third with ten.

LOOKING FOR A SPARK ? Iowa freshman Andrew Sparks made his debut on the mound Wednesday night when he came in to pitch the sixth inning. The Kirksville, MO, native looked solid, not giving up a hit and surrendering just one run on a sacrifice fly.

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.