Hawkeyes Host Huskers, Golden Gophers

April 10, 2006

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THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will host some tough competition this weekend, with fourth-ranked Nebraska and Big Ten powerhouse Minnesota coming to town. Iowa will battle the Cornhuskers Tuesday at 6 p.m., then take on the Golden Gophers in a four-game weekend series. Game one is Friday at 6 p.m., followed by a Saturday doubleheader at 2 p.m. The series will wrap Sunday at 1 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. Voice of the Hawkeyes Brent Balbinot will call the play-by-play, with former Hawkeyes Troy Wulf and Kurt Vitense 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.

LAST WEEK ? The Hawkeyes won a four-game series at Penn State, three games to one, last weekend. Iowa won the first three games of the series, 6-1, 11-3 and 2-1, then lost the finale 11-10 in a game that was only six innings long due to time considerations.

Luke O’Loughlin threw a gem in game one for the Hawkeyes, allowing one run on four hits in seven plus innings of work.

Jason White was 1-3 with one RBI, which came in the fifth when he hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Ben Geelan. Iowa scored two more runs in the fifth when Nate Price singled to right field to score Kevin Hoef and Wes Freie.

Freie was 2-3 with an RBI in the sixth when he doubled to left to score Geelan. In the eighth, Dusty Napoleon and Freie scored on throwing errors.

The Hawkeyes got another strong performance from Jeff Maitland in game one on Saturday. The senior went the distance, allowing three runs on seven hits with no walks.

Iowa came out strong in the first, scoring three runs. Price scored on a throwing error and Napoleon doubled to right to score Travis Sweet and Jeff Engel. In the sixth, Iowa scored four runs after Freie, Jason and L.J. Mims singled.

In game two, the Hawkeyes struck first when Freie doubled down the left field line and scored on Mims’ single through the left side. Penn State tied it in the fourth, but Iowa re-gained the lead in the fifth when White reached on an error and scored on a Price single

The finale was a wild one. Despite building a 9-3 lead, the Hawkeyes could not hold off the Lions. Penn State scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth. Iowa walked in the first run, then gave up a grand slam to Lance Thompson. The Lions tied it, 9-9, when Cory Wine hit an RBI single to right center.

Iowa scored again in the fifth after Jason White tripled and was driven in by Mims to regain the lead. In the bottom of the sixth, with the game tied 10-10, Penn State’s Brian Ernst doubled to center to score Rick Marlin for the lead. The game was stopped after six innings due to a time limit that was agreed upon before the game so Iowa could catch a flight home.

SCOUTING NEBRASKA ? The Nebraska Cornhuskers are currently 24-5 on the year and 7-2 in the Big XII Conference. The Huskers are ranked sixth in the nation.

The Husker offense is led by junior college transfer Luke Gorsett, who is hitting a team-best .407 with 14 home runs and 36 RBIs. He was a first team NJCAA All-American last year at Garden City CC. There are four other Huskers hitting better than .340 – Ryan Wehrle (.386, 12 2B, 24 RBIs), Brandon Buckman (.364, 9 HR, 27 RBIs), Bryce Nummo (.354, 13 SB) and Nick Jaros (.346, 22 RBIs).

On the hill, Iowa will see freshman righthander Tim Radmacher, who is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in seven and 2/3 innings pitched. He has two starts on the year.

The Huskers lead the all-time series 7-8, and won a 6-1 game last year in Lincoln.

Nebraska is coached by Mike Anderson, who is in his fourth season.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA ? The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 14-13 on the year and 3-5 in the Big Ten Conference. This will be their first Big Ten road trip this season.

The offense is paced by three-time all-Big Ten first baseman Andy Hunter. The senior is hitting .303 with a home run and 14 RBIs on the year. Second-team all-Big Ten designated hitter Mike Mee has a team-best two home runs and 19 RBIs to go with his .284 batting average. Mee also has 10 doubles on the year.

On the mound, Minnesota will open with southpaw Brian Bull (2-3, 2.84 ERA) Friday night, then throw Dustin Brabender (2-4, 4.62 ERA) in game one Saturday. Game two will probably go to Josh Olsin (0-0, 2.38) with Cole DeVries (3-2, 2.28) throwing on Sunday.

Another possible starter for Minnesota is former closer John Gaub, who has started three games for the Golden Gophers this season.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 156-111. Iowa took three-of-four games during the regular season last year, but Minnesota won its first-round matchup in the Big Ten Tournament.

The Golden Gophers are coached by John Anderson, who is in his 25th season at the helm.

HE’S HUMAN AFTER ALL ? Hawkeye closer Tim Gudex has been dominant all season, but he gave up his first run of the year last weekend in Iowa’s 11-10 loss to Penn State. Gudex’s ERA now stands at 0.56, and his record falls to 3-1.

MIMS ON A TEAR ? Senior L.J. Mims is making a case for regular playing time in the outfield. Mims started all four games in left over the weekend, and hit .455 last week with five RBIs.

MAYBE HE SHOULD PLAY AAA BALL ? Hawkeye reserve T.J. Cataldo is hitless in nine career at bats with Iowa, but the redshirt freshman went 1-for-1 against the AAA Iowa Cubs Wednesday. Cataldo ripped a single in the top of the ninth.

MAITLAND ROLLING ? Senior Jeff Maitland threw is second complete game of the season Saturday in Iowa’s 11-3 win over Penn State. Maitland previously went the distance in a 7-1 Hawkeye win over Ohio State. The southpaw from Palatine, IL, is 4-0 on the year with a 2.40 ERA.

O’LOUGHLIN COMES BACK STRONG ? After a rough outing in his first Big Ten start of the year, senior Luke O’Loughlin came back strong last weekend by throwing a great game against Penn State on Friday. O’Loughlin allowed just four hits and one run in seven and 2/3 innings against the Nittany Lions, striking out four.

GOING DEEP ? Hawkeyes Nate Price and Dusty Napoleon each hit home runs in Sunday’s loss to Penn State. It was the first time this season that the Hawkeyes have had two home runs in a game.

ROUGH LUCK ? Hawkeye junior Scott Brune has been a lot better out of the bullpen this season than his 0-2 record suggests. Brune has been on the wrong end of some tough-luck decisions this year, but has a team-best ERA of 0.55. He has allowed just three runs (one unearned).

SELFLESS PLAYER ? Junior Jason White has done a good job moving runners over this season, and leads the Big Ten with 10 sacrifice bunts.

HAWK TALK WITH Jack Dahm ? Hawkeye coach Jack Dahm will be back on the airwaves this year with his call-in show, Hawk Talk with Jack Dahm. The show, hosted by the Voice of Iowa Baseball Brent Balbinot, will run from 6-7 p.m. and is broadcast on AM-800 KXIC from Flannigan’s Sports Bar & Grill in Coralville.

Hawk Talk with Jack Dahm will air on the following dates: April 10, 17, 27, May 2, 8, 15 and 29.

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.

CORRIDOR CLASSIC TICKETS ON SALE ? Tickets for the Corridor Classic are available at the University of Iowa (1-800 IA HAWKS) and Cedar Rapids Kernels (1-319 896-7560) ticket offices. Prices are $25 for mezzanine and pavilion, $9 for premier, $8 for club, $7 for plaza and $6 for lawn seating. Groups of 25 or more will receive a $2 per ticket discount on plaza and club level seats.

First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26. The game should be thrilling on the field, as each school will be hosting promotions and giveaways throughout the night – making the Corridor Classic a must-attend spring event.

OVER 50 FREE ? Men and women ages 50 and older will receive free admission to all softball and baseball games (not post-season events) played at Pearl Field and Banks Field during the month of May. This is part of an agreement with the Johnson County Chapter of AARP.

Individuals simply need to show proof of their age (AARP card or driver’s license) upon arrival at the ticket gate.

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.