April 2, 2007
THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes return home this week and host a pair of opponents. Iowa will play a doubleheader with Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wednesday at 3 p.m., then host Penn State in a four-game conference series this weekend. Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m., followed by a Saturday doubleheader at 2 p.m. The two teams will wrap up with a single game Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
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 Friday, 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 dropped three-of-four games in their Big Ten opening series last weekend against Ohio State. Iowa lost 12-7 Friday, then split a Saturday doubleheader – losing 6-2 and winning 8-0. The Hawkeyes then dropped Sunday’s game 16-7.
On Friday, the Hawkeyes took a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth after Ben Geelan hit a bases clearing double. The Buckeyes responded with a seven-run sixth inning and never lost the lead. Iowa was unable to recover from five errors.
In game one Saturday, starting pitcher Scott Brune struck out one and gave up six runs through 4 2/3 innings. Mike Jacobs pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs and two hits.
Iowa’s only runs came in the fourth inning. Brian Burmester hit an RBI double in the fourth to give the Hawkeyes the lead. He then scored on a Caleb Curry sacrifice fly. The Iowa lead did not last long, as the Buckeyes took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning. Ohio State strengthened its lead, adding three more runs in the fifth.
The game was scoreless through four innings, but Iowa opened the fifth with a home run from Jason White. Dusty Napoleon scored on a Kevin Hoef single. With two outs in the sixth, White doubled and scored on a Travis Sweet single. Sweet stole second and then scored on a Napolean RBI, making the lead 4-0.
The Hawkeyes added four more insurance runs in the seventh. Hoef scored when Curry singled and Matt Wooldrick scored on a sacrifice fly to left by White. Curry came home on Sweet’s single to right, making the score 7-0. Iowa’s last run came when Napoleon singled to left for an RBI.
In Sunday’s finale, Ohio State started off hot, scoring four runs in the home half of the first. The Hawkeyes battled back with three runs in the top of the second when Justin Toole hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot to left.
Iowa cut the lead to 7-5 in the sixth, before the Buckeyes exploded for four runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game away. They also added five insurance runs in the eighth.
SCOUTING WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE ? The Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers come into Wednesday’s doubleheader with a record of 5-16 (4-2).
The Panthers’ top hitter is Jesse Hart, who is hitting a team-best .333 with 29 hits. Another bat to watch is Grant Berkovitz, who is hitting .308 with a home run and team-high 10 RBIs.
On the hill, the Hawkeyes will see Jordan Herbert (1-0, 10.64 ERA, 12 K) in game one and Matt Holzheuter (0-0, 15.00, 10 K) in the second game.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee is led by Scott Doffek, who is in his first season at the helm.
The Panthers lead the all-time series 6-4.
O’ROURKE RETURNS ? Junior pitcher Casey O’Rourke will make his first start of the season in game two Wednesday against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It will also be his first action at Banks Field since 2005.
O’Rourke sat out all of last season after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.
BALES TO START ? Sophomore pitcher Danny Bales will make his first start in a Hawkeye uniform in game one Wednesday. He missed his first two years with an arm injury suffered in high school.
SCOUTING PENN STATE ? The Penn State Nittany Lions come into the week with a 5-15 mark and a 1-2 record in Big Ten play. They will take on Bucknell Tuesday and Kent State Wednesday before coming to Iowa City.
Leading the Penn State offense is Matt Cavagnaro, who is hitting a team-best .342. He has a .391 on base percentage and six stolen bases.
With two mid-week games before the four-game series this weekend, the Penn State rotation is up in the air. Iowa will probably see southpaw Craig Clark (1-2, 2.61 ERA, 33 K) on Friday night and Scott Gaffney (1-2, 3.16, 23 K) on Sunday.
Penn State is led by head coach Robbie Wine, who is in his third year at the helm.
The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series 24-19, but Iowa took 3-of-4 games last season in State College, PA.
KNOCKING THEM IN ? Junior catcher Dusty Napoleon leads the Big Ten with 31 RBIs. He is seven ahead of Purdue’s Ryne White, who is in second place with 24.
Napoleon has been on fire lately, raising his batting average to .403. He is hitting a blistering .515 with runners in scoring position.
POWER SURGE ? In just 19 games, the Hawkeyes have hit 14 home runs and already eclipsed last year’s total of 11.
SCHURZ THE STOPPER ? Closer Mike Schurz is doing well in his new role as the Iowa closer. So far, he is 3-0 with four saves. He has 16 strikeouts and just two walks.
He gave up his first runs of the season this weekend after holding opponents scoreless his first eight appearances.
TOOLE GOES DEEP ? Hawkeye sophomore Justin Toole has been raking this season, and is tied for the team lead with a .415 batting average.
This past Sunday against Ohio State, Toole hit his first-career home run, a three-run shot.
WHITE WALKS ? Senior shortstop Jason White has been demonstrating a keen eye this season, and leads the Big Ten with 24 base on balls.
WOOLDRIK STEPS UP ? Hawkeye rightfielder Matt Wookdrik had a huge weekend in Columbus. In three games, the senior hit .455 (5-of-11) and raised his batting average to .415 – tied for the team lead.
SWEET ON THE BASEPATHS ? Hawkeye junior Travis Sweet has been a terror for opponents on the basepaths, leading the team with 15 swipes. That total is good for second in the Big Ten.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK ? The Hawkeyes have had two players honored by the Big Ten so far this season. Travis Sweet was named Big Ten Player of the Week on March 6, while closer Mike Schurz was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week March 26.
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