May 9, 2006
THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will play its final home games of 2006 with a four-game series against the Purdue Boilermakers. Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m., followed by a Saturday doubleheader at 2 p.m. and a Sunday game at 1 p.m.
SENIOR DAY ? Sunday’s series finale will serve as Senior Day for the Hawkeyes, when they honor thier departing seniors. Jack Dahm and the Hawkeyes will celebrate the careers of Tim Gudex, Jeff Maitland, LJ Mims, Skyler Moss, Luke O’Loughlin, Nate Price, Aaron Reasland, Austin Seward and Kevin Sunderman.
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 WEEKEND ? The Hawkeyes had a great weekend in Indiana, taking three-of-four games from the Hoosiers in Bloomington. Iowa won the first three games of the series (3-2, 4-3, 6-0) before dropping Sunday’s finale 10-5.
The Hoosiers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in Friday’s game, but Iowa starter Luke O’Loughlin settled in after that, keeping Indiana off the board until the seventh. The senior righthander scattered seven hits over six 2/3 innings.
Indiana came back with a run in the seventh on an RBI single from Keith Haas, but the Hawkeyes came right back in the top of the eighth, tying things up when Kevin Hoef scored on a costly Hoosier error.
Iowa took the lead in the top of the ninth when Ben Geelan delivered a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
All-Big Ten closer Tim Gudex sent the Hoosiers packing with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, picking up his seventh save of the year.
Kevin Sunderman picked up the win in relief, sitting down all four batters he faced before giving way to Gudex.
In Saturday’s first game, the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Sophomore catcher Dusty Napoleon put Iowa on the board with a two-run double.
The Hoosiers tied the game in the bottom of the second with a pair of unearned runs off Iowa starter Jeff Maitland, then took the lead on a solo home run by Ben Greenspan. Maitland scattered five hits over six innings in the win.
Gudex pitched a perfect seventh to get his eighth save.
In game two, Hawkeye righthander Austin Seward threw his second-straight gem in Big Ten play, tossing a seven-hit shutout.
Iowa took a 1-0 lead in the first, then added four in the third to stake Seward to a 5-0 lead. The Hawkeyes added an insurance run in the sixth, while the junior pitcher cruised through the Hoosier lineup.
On Sunday, Iowa was unable to get the sweep. While the Hawkeyes never gave up a big inning, the Hoosiers took an early lead and responded every time Iowa tried to claw back in the game. Errors plagued Iowa throughout the game, as three miscues led to four unearned runs.
SCOUTING PURDUE ? The Purdue University Boilermakers come into the weekend with a 25-20 overall record and an 11-13 mark in the Big Ten. The are coming of a series split with Penn State.
The Boilermakers are led by all-American shortstop Mitch Hilligoss, who is third in the Big Ten with a .400 batting average. Hilligoss also has 14 doubles, four triples, five RBIs, 31 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.
Ryne White is hitting .354 with five home runs and 30 RBIs, while Eric Wolfe is hitting .329 with four home runs and 37 RBIs. Neal Gorka leads the team with six home runs and 40 RBIs.
On the hill, the Hawkeyes will most likely see Dan Sattler (4-6, 3.67 ERA), Jay Buente (4-3, 3.65) and Ricky Heines (4-2, 3.33). Purdue’s fourth starter has yet to be determined.
In the bullpen, Boilermaker closer Chris Toneguzzi is enjoying a good year with a 4-0 record and three saves. He has 33 strikeouts and just eight walks in 25 1/3 innings pitched.
Iowa leads the all-time series with Purdue 75-53-1, but dropped three-of-four games in West Lafayette last year.
Purdue is coached by Doug Schreiber, who is in his eighth season with the Boilermakers.
500 CLUB ? Three Hawkeyes hit over .500 last weekend at Indiana. Jeff Engel hit a team-best .571 (4-of-7) in two games, Dusty Napoleon hit .500 (4-of-8) in three games, while L.J. Mims hit .500 in four games (5-of-10).
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT PICTURE ? Heading into the last two weeks of conference play, the field is still wide open. Six teams qualify for the postseason tournament, and there are six teams (Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota, Penn State, Michigan State and Iowa) within two games of each other in the standings.
SEWARD SHINES ? Senior Austin Seward had his best start of the year Saturday, throwing a seven-hit shutout against Indiana. It was his second-consecutive complete game in Big Ten play.
The righthander scattered eight hits and took a shutout into the final inning last weekend against Northwestern.
SWEET IN THE CLUTCH ? Sophomore Travis Sweet is hitting .389 with runners in scoring position and .405 with runners on base.
WHITE IN THE BIG TEN ? All-Big Ten shortstop Jason White is once again torching Big Ten pitching. The junior is second on the team with a .354 average in conference play. He also has 12 RBIs and nine stolen bases against Big Ten foes.
TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM ? Freshman Kevin Hoef would be excused if he is a bit sore, as he leads the team and is second in the Big Ten with 14 hit-by-pitch.
The Iowa thirdbaseman is enjoying a solid rookie campaign, hitting .296 with eight doubles and 10 stolen bases.
UNSELFISH PLAYER ? Junior shortstop Jason White is willing to lay down his at bat for a teammate, as evidenced by his Big Ten-leading 13 sacrifice bunts.
MAITLAND WITH THE WHIFF ? Senior starter Jeff Maitland had not previously been known as a strikeout pitcher, but this season he is leading the team with 42 whiffs.
HAWK TALK WITH Jack Dahm ? Hawkeye coach Jack Dahm is 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: May 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.
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.
WHISTLIN’ RAY ? Of all the members of the Hawkeye baseball program, the longest tenured is “Whistlin'” Ray Gilmore, who serves as Iowa’s official scorekeeper. Gilmore started as a batboy in 1978, and has since served as manager, public address announcer and unofficial mascot for Iowa Baseball. Iowa record since Gilmore joined the program is 801-739-4 (.519).