March 7, 2007
THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will head West for their Spring Break trip in Fresno, CA, next week and play six games in five days. Iowa will play Fresno State Monday and Tuesday at 8:05 p.m., then take on the Bulldogs and Dallas Baptist in the Pepsi Johnny Quick Classic. The Hawkeyes will open the Classic with Fresno State Wednesday at 8:05 p.m., then play a pair of games on Friday against Dallas Baptist (4:05 p.m.) and Fresno State (6:05 p.m.). Iowa then finishes up with Dallas Baptist at 4:05 p.m. on Saturday. All times are Central.
HAWKEYES ON THE NET ? Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes every week, as live stats will be available on www.hawkeyesports.com. Just click on the Gametracker link found on the baseball schedule page.
HAWKEYES ON THE AIR ? If you can’t make it out to the ballpark this season, you can still catch all the Hawkeye action on AM 800 KXIC. Starting with Iowa’s home opener on March 23, Voice of the Hawkeyes Brent Balbinot will call the play-by-play with former Hawkeyes Troy Wulf and Kurt Vitense supplying color commentary.
You can also listen to the broadcast and on the internet at www.hawkeyesports.com. It is available for free in the Hawkeye All-Access section.
LAST WEEK’S ACTION ? The Hawkeyes won the Stetson Tournament in DeLand, FL, last weekend. Iowa opened with an 8-1 win over Notre Dame, then toppled No. 7 Nebraska 12-8 on Sunday. The team’s game with Stetson was rained out.
With the Hawkeyes coasting towards victory against Notre Dame Saturday, heavy rains halted play during the seventh inning. The teams waited four and a half hours for the skies to clear, but the rains persisted and the game was eventually called.
The Hawkeyes got a gem from sophomore pitcher Steve Turnbull, who held the Fighting Irish hitless through the first four and two-thirds innings. Turnbull picked up the win after allowing just one run off two hits and striking out six in five and a third innings pitched.
Travis Sweet paced the offense, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Rightfielder Kyle Riffel went 2-of-4 with a run scored, while leadoff hitter Jason White was 1-of-3 with a home run.
After falling in an early 8-0 hole on Sunday against Nebraska, the Hawkeyes stormed back with 12 unanswered runs in the late innings to take a 12-8 win over the Cornhuskers. The game was called after eight innings so the Hawkeyes could make their flight home. Before the game, both teams had agreed that no inning would be started after 1 p.m. (ET).
Down eight runs, Iowa began to chip away with an RBI single from Justin Toole (2-for-2) in the fifth and a solo home run from Sweet in the sixth. Sweet ended the day 3-of-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored.
With the time-limit deadline looming, the Hawkeyes were able to hold Nebraska to a quick inning in the top of the eighth, assuring them a chance to bat for the win. Andrew Porter started the inning in relief and got two quick foul outs against the top of the Husker order before allowing a double. The coaching staff then brought in closer Mike Schurz, who struck out Andrew Brown to end the inning.
Caleb Curry opened the bottom of the eighth with a single through the left side, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Ryan Gryzwa. White followed with a walk, and Sweet ripped a single up the middle to tie the game. After an intentional walk of Kevin Hoef, Dusty Napoleon ripped a three-run double to give Iowa its first lead of the day. Freie then plated Napoleon with a single down the line to give Iowa a 12-8 lead. The Nebraska bullpen got the next two outs to end the inning, but the time limit had expired and the game ended.
SWEET NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK ? Hawkeye junior centerfielder Travis Sweet was named Big Ten Player of the Week after his performance last weekend at the Stetston Tournament.
Sweet led the Hawkeye offense last weekend as they won the Stetson Tournament with wins over Notre Dame and No. 7 Nebraska. He hit .750 (6-of-8) on the weekend with four RBIs and five runs scored. He also added two stolen bases and an outfield assist.
SCOUTING FRESNO STATE ? The Fresno State Bulldogs are 7-11 on the year.
The offense is led by Steve Susdorf, who is hitting a team-best .349 with two home runs and 19 RBIs. Erik Wetzel is second on the team with a .344 average.
On the hill, Iowa will most likely see Clayton Allison (2-1, 4.15 ERA), Brandon Burke (2-2, 4.30), Justin Wilson (2-2, 4.05) and Tanner Scheppers (0-3, 4.29).
In the bullpen, the Bulldogs have a strong closer in Jason Breckley, who has two saves and a 0.77 ERA.
Fresno State is coached by Matt Batesole, who is in his fifth year. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.
SCOUTING DALLAS-BAPTIST ? The Dallas-Baptist Patriots are 8-6 on the year entering this week. They will play six games before taking on the Hawkeyes – Toledo (2), Missouri, Texas-San Antonio, Mississippi State and Fresno State.
The Patriots are led by preseason All-Independant selection Austin Krum. He is currently hitting .321 with a home run and nine RBIs. He also has four stolen bases.
Dallas-Baptist’s top pitcher is Victor Black, who is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA. He has a team-best 29 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings.
The Patriots are coached by Eric Newman, who is in his third year. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.
POWER SURGE ? In their first four games, the Hawkeyes have hit three home runs (Travis Sweet, Jason White and Wes Freie). Last season, Iowa didn’t hit its first home run until April 2 (Ben Geelan vs. Ohio State).
RASIARMOS SHINES IN DEBUT ? Hawkeye junior George Rasiarmos threw well in his first appearance in Black and Gold last Sunday against Nebraska. With Iowa down 8-0 and the Cornhuskers threatening to run away with the game, Rasiarmos came out of the bullpen and shut Nebraska’s offense down for two innings. He allowed just two baserunners (one hit, one walk) while striking out three.
Rasiarmos played two years at Wabash Valley CC before transferring to Iowa.
WHITE STARTS HOT ? Senior shortstop Jason White is enjoying a fast start to the season. The Denver native is hitting .385 with a home run and six runs scored. He has been an on base machine, with a team-best .579 on base percentage.
TURNBULL IMPRESSES ? Hawkeye sophomore Steve Turnbull had a great outing against Notre Dame, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
So far this season, Turnbull is 1-0 in two starts with a 2.89 ERA. He has a team-high 10 strikeouts and just two walks in nine and a third innings pitched.
DRIVIN’ EM IN ? Hawkeye junior Dusty Napoleon and sophomore Wes Freie are tied for the team lead with six RBIs.
SCHURZ THE STOPPER ? Closer Mike Schurz retired one batter against Nebraska and picked up the win. So far, the junior has a win and a save in his two appearances for Iowa.
Schurz transferred from Radford University.
SPEED KILLS ? The Hawkeyes have been doing well on the basepaths this season, going 8-of-9 in stolen bases so far. Travis Sweet leads the way with three.
HAWKEYE SIGN FIVE FOR 2008 ? The University of Iowa Baseball team has signed five players for the 2008 season. Nic Jensen, Zach Kenyon, Phil Keppler, Kevin Lee and Tony Manville all signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa.
HOMEGROWN HAWKEYES ? Eighteen of the 39 players on the 2006 Hawkeye team are native Iowans. The next closest state is Illinois, with nine.
THE ASSISTANT COACHES ? Head Coach Jack Dahm is assisted by batting coach Ryan Brownlee and pitching coach Nick Zumsande.
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 fourth 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.
WELCOME BACK ? The Hawkeyes welcome back former catcher Kris Welker, who will serve as the team’s volunteer assistant. Welker will work with the Hawkeye catchers and outfielders, prepare scouting reports and coach first base.
As a player, Welker was a key member of the Hawkeyes in 2004 and 2005. As a senior, Welker earned third team all-Big Ten honors and the team with a .354 batting average, 46 RBIs and 16 doubles.
During his junior campaign, Welker set an Iowa record with 16 hit by pitch. He also led the team with 35 runs scored.
A catcher, Welker was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 41st round of the 2005 MLB Draft.
OPERATIONS MASTER ? The Hawkeye coaching staff will once again rely on the efforts 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.
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 803-743-4 (.519).