Hawkeyes Head Into Home Stretch

May 10, 2005

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THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will travel to West Lafayette, IN, this weekend to play a four-game series against the Purdue Boilermakers. Friday’s game will start at 3 p.m., while Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s single game will start at 1 p.m.

HAWKEYES ON THE AIR ? If you can’t make the road trip to Purdue this weekend, you can catch all the Hawkeye action on AM 800 KXIC. Friday’s game, along with Saturday’s doubleheader will be broadcast. The pregame show will begin 30 minutes before the first pitch. Voice of the Hawkeyes Brent Balbinot will call the play-by-play, with Iowa City 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 took three-of-four games against Minnesota last weekend, dropping Friday’s game 3-2, then coming back to win three straight (3-1, 10-9, 7-3).

Game one was a classic Big Ten pitcher’s dual between Luke O’Loughlin and Matt Loberg. With the scored tied 1-1 in the top of the sixth, the Gophers took the lead with a two-out rally. After issuing a leadoff walk, O’Loughlin retired the next two batters before another walk, a wild pitch and passed ball put runners at second and third. Jake Elder then squirted a ground ball through the left side to score two and take a 3-1 lead.

On Saturday, Iowa struck back with a doubleheader sweep. Like the first game of the series, game one on Saturday was a pitcher’s dual, with each starter working deep into the game. Jeff Maitland threw five strong innings for Iowa and allowed just five hits, while Minnesota counterpart Cole DeVries allowed six hits over six innings in taking the loss.

Game two was a wild one, with each team trading the lead seemingly every inning. Iowa ended up on top when Andy Cox ripped a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth to give the Hawkeyes a 10-9 lead.

On Sunday, Austin Seward threw a solid game for the Hawkeyes, going eight innings while allowing just five hits and striking out seven.

The game served as Senior Day for the Hawkeyes, and senior’s Nate Yoho and Kris Welker came up big to lead the offense. Yoho was 2-of-4 with a two-run home run, while Welker was 2-of-4 with three RBIs.

GUDEX NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK ? Iowa closer Tim Gudex was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week. The Junior picked up the win in both games Saturday against Minnesota, raising his record to 9-3. In Big Ten Conference play, Gudex leads the league with a 7-0 record, 0.38 ERA and a .190 opponent’s batting average. He is second with four saves.

This is Gudex’s second Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award this season. He was also honored on April 11. Senior teammate Andy Cox was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week on March 15.

SCOUTING PURDUE ? The Purdue Boilermakers come into the week with a 18-23 record and a 11-8 mark in the Big Ten. Purdue will play at Valparaiso Wednesday night before hosting the Hawkeyes.

The Purdue offense is led by sophomore Mitch Hilligoss, who is hitting .394 with 21 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. The big bat in the middle of the order is Neal Gorka, who is hitting .336 with a team-best seven home runs and 22 RBIs.

The Purdue starting rotation is expected to be Scott Byrnes, Mitch Pruemer, Brent Coudron and Dan Sattler. Byrnes is the staff ace, and is 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 45 strikeouts.

The Boilermaker’s closer is Chris Toneguzzi, who has four saves and 30 strikeouts in 28 innings.

Iowa leads the all-time series with Purdue 74-50-1. Last season the teams split a four-game series.

Purdue is coached by Doug Schreiber, who is in his seventh season.

BIG WEEKEND ? It’s a big weekend for teams in the Big Ten Title race, with the top four playing each other. The second-place Hawkeyes will travel to No. 3 Purdue for a four-game set, while fourth-place Minnesota hosts conference leader Illinois.

GUDEX PULLS DOUBLE-DUTY ? Iowa closer Tim Gudex picked up the win in both games Saturday. It is the second time this season Gudex has won both games of a doubleheader, also pulling the feat against Indiana on April 16.

GOING OUT WITH A BANG ? Hawkeye senior Nate Yoho made his last Big Ten weekend at Banks Field count, going 4-of-11 and blasting a pair of home runs. Yoho also knocked in four RBIs.

300 CLUB ? As a team, the Hawkeyes are hitting .305 in Big Ten play while holding opposing batters to a .277 average. Overall, Iowa is hitting .291 as a team.

PRICE UPDATE ? Hawkeye outfielder Nate Price was forced to leave Sunday’s game when he injured himself sliding into third trying to stretch a double into a triple. Price’s head appeared to collide with the Minnesota third baseman’s knee.

He is expected to be back to full strength this weekend at Purdue. Price is hitting .316 with 13 stolen bases.

ANDRULONIS HEATING UP ? Hawkeye senior Luis Andrulonis has been hitting well lately, getting eight hits in his last 11 at bats. He was a combined 5-for-6 in last week’s doubleheader with Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

In 22 games this season, Andrulonis is hitting .353 in 34 at bats.

RUN PRODUCTION ? Hawkeye catcher Kris Welker is second in the Big Ten with 26 RBIs in league play. A big reason is the fact that he is hitting .452 with runners in scoring position.

Welker leads the Hawkeyes in overall RBIs with 37.

EXTRA BASES ? Senior infielder Andy Cox has a higher percentage of extra base hits than anyone on the team, with 46% (17 of 37) of his hits going for extra bases.

DON’T STRAY TOO FAR ? Iowa has picked off 17 baserunners so far this season, tops in the Big Ten.

BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE ? Sophomore Jeff “Boomer” Engel got his first two starts in Big Ten play last weekend against Minnesota, and delivered against his home state. The Minnetonka, MN, native picked up a pair of hits, including a beautiful drag bunt Saturday.

BIG TEN HONORS ? The 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. Tim Gudex was named co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on April 11 and Big Ten Pitcher of the Week May 10.

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 to ten on May 17. Three finalists will be named on June 1 before the winner is announced at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet 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 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 academic advisor Troy Wulf are both former Iowa baseball players.