Hawkeyes Set For Home Debut

March 22, 2006

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THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will open their 2006 home schedule with a three-game series against IPFW this weekend. Iowa will make its debut at Banks Field Saturday in a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. The Hawkeyes will also play a single game Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for 18-under (5 and under are free). UI Students are given free admission with their student ID.

HAWKEYES ON THE NET ? Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes this weekend, 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.

LAST TIME OUT ? Iowa won three-of-four games at the Notre Dame tournament, which was held in San Antonio, TX, last week. The Hawkeyes beat Southern Illinois 4-3 on Wednesday, then split a pair of games Thursday, losing to Notre Dame 7-5 and topping the Salukis 15-9 in a rematch. Iowa beat Notre Dame 10-8 in the final game of the tournament.

Sophomore Travis Sweet ripped a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth to give the win over Southern Illinois Wednesday.

With two down in the bottom of the ninth, freshman Kevin Hoef kicked off the rally with a single. Sweet then stepped up to the plate and ended the game with a double to right-centerfield.

Sweet, who didn’t start after getting hit by a line drive against Notre Dame Monday, ended up 2-for-2 on the day.

With the scored tied 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth of their first game Thursday, Notre Dame got a one-out single from Craig Cooper. Danny Dressman followed that up with an RBI triple, then scored on a sacrifice squeeze to give the Irish a 7-5 lead.

The Hawkeyes went 1-2-3 in the ninth, giving Notre Dame the win. Mike Dury picked up the win for the Irish, while Kevin Sunderman took the loss for Iowa.

The Hawkeyes bounced back against Southern Illinois, getting a nine-run eighth inning for the win. Trailing 8-6, the Hawkeyes exploded. With one out, Brian Burmester ripped a single through the right side that plated Sweet. A Skyler Moss single loaded the bases for Dusty Napoleon, who reached on a error by the second baseman that allowed Wes Freie to come home with the tying run. Matt Wooldrik drew a walk that brought home the go-ahead run, and Jason White got a tough RBI by getting hit by a pitch. A wild pitch brought Moss home, then Sweet cleared the bases with a three-run double. Sweet and Freie traded places when the freshman hit a double of his own, giving Iowa the 15-8 lead.

Southern Illinois got a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth, but freshman Justin Toole finished out the game to give Iowa the win.

In the finale against Notre Dame, Iowa took the lead in the top of the eighth when Sweet drove home Ryan Considine and White scored on a wild pitch.

ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS ? The Hawkeyes had five players named to the all-tournament team last week. Seniors Tim Gudex and Nate Price, sophomore Travis Sweet, along with freshmen Kevin Hoef and Ryan Gryzwa were all honored.

GUDEX PITCHER OF THE WEEK ? Hawkeye closer Tim Gudex was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week for his efforts last week in Texas.

Gudex picked up two wins and a save last week, while allowing just three base runners (one hit, one walk and one hit batsman) in four games.

For the week, opposing hitters had a .033 batting average against the relief pitcher.

CORRIDOR CLASSIC PRESS CONFERENCE ? Iowa baseball coach Jack Dahm will speak at a press conference about the third annual Corridor Classic between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Northern Iowa Panthers Monday, March 27th at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids. The press conference will be staged in the third floor conference room and begin at 11:30 p.m. Media can enter through the Administrative Office doors. A light luncheon will follow the press conference.

Also available at the press conference will be UNI Head Coach Rick Heller, Cedar Rapids Kernels General Manager Jack Roder and Rex Eno of the American Diabetes Association.

The third annual Corridor Classic will be held Wednesday, April 26th at Veterans Memorial Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

Tickets to the Corridor Classic are available by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS or on-line at hawkeyesports.com.

SCOUTING IPFW ? The IPFW Mastodons are currently 7-8 on the season. They have a game with Valparaiso Wednesday before coming to Iowa City.

On offense, IPFW is led by Nick Millspaugh, who is hitting .405 with a team-best 14 RBIs. On the basepaths, look out for Ryan Keena, who is 13-of-15 in stolen bases. He also has a .371 batting average.

On the hill, Iowa will most likely see starters Cole Uebelhor (0-2, 3.72 ERA), Eric Lambert (1-2, 5.00) and Andrew Porter (1-2, 5.29). The Mastodon closer is Travis Johnson, who has two saves and a 1.59 ERA.

This will be the first meeting between Iowa and IPFW.

The Mastodons are coached by Billy Gernon, who is in his seventh season at IPFW.

STARTING STRONG ? The Hawkeyes stand at 8-6 after their preseason tournament schedule. That is the team’s best start since the 2001 season, when Iowa also started 8-6.

HOME DEBUTS ? In the last five years, the Hawkeyes have won their home opener just once, a 9-5 win over Michigan in 2003.

GUDEX DEALING ? Hawkeye closer Tim Gudex has been dominant all season, and sports a perfect 0.00 ERA in nine appearances. He has 13 strikeouts and just two walks in 10 1/3 innings pitched, and opponents are hitting just .100 off him.

In eight Iowa wins this year, Gudex has recorded a win or a save in seven contests (three wins, four saves). He currently leads the Big Ten in saves and is tied for the lead in wins.

CLUTCH PERFORMER ? Hawkeye sophomore Travis Sweet came up huge for Iowa last week, getting a pair of game-winning RBIs. He hit a walk-off double against Southern Illinios Wednesday, then drove in the game-winning run against Notre Dame on Friday.

On the season, Sweet his hitting .550 with runners in scoring position and .316 with two outs.

O’LOUGHLIN FINDING HIS GROOVE ? After a rough start to the season, senior Luke O’Loughlin had his best outing last Friday against Notre Dame. The Chicago native picked up his first win after throwing four solid innings for relief. He allowed just three hits, one run and struck out three.

TRIPLE LEADER ? Hawkeye leadoff hitter Nate Price is tied for the Big Ten lead with two triples. The senior centerfielder is hitting .328 on the year with a .426 slugging percentage.

SOLID DEBUT ? Freshman Ryan Gryzwa impressed in his first collegiate action last week, going 4-of-5 (.800) with a pair of walks in two games. He had a pair of RBIs and a runs scored, and earned all-tournament honors.

FIRST ONE’S THE HARDEST ? Hawkeye hitters are still looking for their first home run of the season. Iowa’s top returning home run hitter is Nate Price, who hit two last year. The only other hitters on the roster with a collegiate home run on their resume are Sklyer Moss, Jeff Engel, Dusty Napoleon and Ben Geelan – each with one.

O’ROURKE OUT ? Junior pitcher Casey O’Rourke has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He will sit out the 2006 season and hopefully return to the team in 2007.

O’Rourke was Iowa’s No. 2 starter last season and finished with a 2-5 record. Over the summer, he was an all-star in the Northwoods League and led the league in wins.

I-CUB TICKETS ON SALE ? Tickets are now on sale for the University of Iowa baseball team’s exhibition against the Iowa Cubs, the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The game, which takes place on Tuesday, April 4, will be the first played in the newly renovated Principal Park in Des Moines. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at the I-Cubs Box Office or by phone, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fans also may purchase tickets online at www.iowacubs.com. Adult tickets are $10 for club box seats, $8 for field box seats and reserved grandstand seats, and $6 for general admission. Ticket prices for children (13-under) are $10 for club box seats, $8 for field box seats, $6 for reserved grandstand seats and $4 for general admission. University of Iowa students can attend the game for free by showing a valid student ID at the ticket window. For more information, contact the Iowa Cubs at 1-800-464-2827.

HAWKEYE SIGN FIVE FOR 2007 ? The University of Iowa Baseball team signed five new recruits this spring. Brock Alberts, Tyson Blaser, Kyle Heim, Michael Jacobs and George Rasiarmos all signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa in the fall of 2006.

HOMEGROWN HAWKEYES ? Twenty of the 41 players on the 2006 Hawkeye team are native Iowans. The next closest state is Illinois, with ten.

THE ASSISTANT COACHES ? Head Coach Jack Dahm is assisted by batting coach Ryan Brownlee and pitching coach Nick Zumsande, along with volunteer assistant coach 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 third 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.

Maliszewski will serve as the team’s bullpen coach and assist with the pitching staff.

STAFF ADDITION ? The Hawkeye coaching staff has a new addition this year in Director of Baseball Operations Matt Haddy. He will assist the coaching staff with the day-to-day operations and administrative areas of the program. Haddy will also serve as the co-director of Hawkeye Baseball Camps.

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.