Hawkeyes Take On Nebraska, Minnesota

April 10, 2007

THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes hit the road this week and face a pair of tough opponents. Iowa will travel to Lincoln, NE, for a game with the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Tuesday at 6 p.m., then head to Minneapolis for a four-game series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Game one will be Friday at 3:05 p.m., followed by a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 1:05 p.m. The two conference rivals will wrap up the series Sunday at 1:05 p.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. 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 braved frigid temperatures over the weekend to take two-of-three games from the visiting Penn State Nittany Lions. Iowa fell 6-1 on Friday night, then came back to win 1-0 Saturday and 6-2 Sunday.

Saturday’s game was originally scheduled as a doubleheader, but the cold weather forced the cancellation of game two.

On Friday, Iowa got on the board first with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Kevin Hoef hit an RBI groundout.

The Nittany Lions tied things up with a run in the second, then took a 2-1 lead when Matt Cavagnaro led off the third with a solo home run.

Penn State added a run in the sixth on an RBI groundout, then added a pair in the seventh, highlighted by back-to-back triples from Cavagnaro and Scott Gaffney. The Nittany Lions added an insurance run in the ninth and were looking for more before the Hawkeyes turned a slick 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

On Saturday, Jason White scored the only Hawkeye run in the home half of the third. White walked to lead off the inning and would come around on a Penn State wild pitch.

The rest of the game played out as a pitchers dual, with Hawkeye starter Casey O’Rourke getting his second win of the year. O’Rourke went 4 2/3 innings, scattered five hits, struck-out five and allowed a walk. Mike Schurz pitched the final two innings for his fifth save, allowing one hit and striking out three. Craig Clark pitched a complete game for Penn State, scattering four hits, allowing one run, striking out five but walking four.

The Hawkeyes got on the board early on Sunday, scoring two in the bottom half of the second. Caleb Curry led off the inning with a single and scored on a Brian Burmester double. Burmester then came around to score on a Hoef groundout. Penn State narrowed the gap in the top of the third, but the Hawkeyes would add four runs in the home half of the third. Again, the Nittany Lions added a run in the top of the fourth.

Steve Turnbull took the mound for the Hawkeyes and went 3 1/3, striking out two, allowing four hits, two runs but walking four. Scott Brune came in relief for 2 2/3 giving up only a walk and striking out two. Gaffney started for Penn State, going three innings, allowing five hits, six runs – three of which were unearned – two walks and a strikeout.

SCOUTING NEBRASKA ? The Nebraska Cornhuskers are 19-12 on the year and 5-7 in the Big XII Conference.

The Nebraska offense is led by Jeff Tezak, who is hitting a team-best .383 with two home runs and 27 RBIs. Craig Corriston is hitting .318 with four home runs and 26 RBIs.

On the hill, the Hawkeyes will face southpaw Drew Bowman, who is 4-1 on the year with a 3.82 ERA. Bowman has 26 strikeouts and eight walks in 33 innings pitched so far this season.

Nebraska is coached by Mike Anderson, who is in his fifth year at the helm.

Nebraska leads the all-time series 9-8. Earlier this season, the Hawkeyes topped the Cornhuskers 12-8 en route to winning the Stetson Tournament.

BALES TO START ? Sophomore pitcher Danny Bales will make his first start in a Hawkeye uniform Tuesday against Nebraska. He had been scheduled to start against Wisconsin-Milwaukee last week, but the doubleheader was rained out.

Bales missed his first two years with an arm injury suffered in high school.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA ? The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 17-6 on the year and 2-1 in the Big Ten. Minnesota has had its last seven games cancelled due to inclement weather. The Golden Gophers hope to play Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls Wednesday before hosting the Hawkeyes this weekend.

The Golden Gopher offense is led by Mike Mee, who leads the Big Ten with a .476 batting average. He also has a home run and 17 RBIs. Other hitters to watch are Matt Nohelty (.388, 11 RBIs, 12 SB) and Derek McCallum (.375, 14 RBIs).

On the hill, the Hawkeyes can expect to see Ethan Vogt (2-1, 1.91 ERA) Friday, Gary Perinar (0-3, 4.06) and Marcus McKenzie (4-0, 3.86) in Saturday’s doubleheader, and Dustin Brabender (2-1, 4.21) on Sunday.

Minnesota is coached by John Anderson, who is in his 26th year with the Gophers. Minnesota leads the all-time series 160-102, and took three-of-four last season.

O’ROURKE SHINES IN RETURN ? Junior pitcher Casey O’Rourke impressed in his first start of the season after sitting out all last year with testicular cancer.

The junior threw four 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just five hits and one walk while striking out five. He earned his second win of the year.

GOOD WITH THE GLOVES ? The Hawkeyes are tied for second in the Big Ten in team defense with a .969 fielding percentage. The mark ties them with this weekend’s opponent, Minnesota.

BIG TEN LEADERS ? The Hawkeyes have a number of Hawkeyes amongst the league leaders in the Big Ten.

Junior catcher Dusty Napoleon leads the Big Ten with 31 RBIs. He is five ahead of Ohio State’s Eric Fryer and Lars Davis of Illinois.

Senior shortstop Jason White leads the conference with 26 walks, eight ahead of second-place Nate Recknagel of Michigan.

Junior centerfielder Travis Sweet tops the Big Ten with 10 sacrifice bunts. He is three ahead of Jacob Howell from Ohio State.

SCHURZ THE STOPPER ? Closer Mike Schurz continued his success over the weekend, picking up his fifth save of the year by pitching two innings of one-hit ball Saturday.

CLUTCH PLAYER ? Hawkeye junior Caleb Curry has been anything but a rally-killer this season. The outfielder is hitting a team-best .550 with two outs.

Overall, Curry is hitting .328 with a home run and 13 RBIs in his first year at Iowa.

BRUNE BACK TO THE PEN ? Senior pitcher Scott Brune returned to the bullpen over the weekend, making a pair of relief appearances against Penn State.

The week before, Brune had been pressed into starting duty for the first time in two years. Now he is back in a relief role, where he was one of the best in the bullpen for Iowa last season.

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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