Hawkeyes Head to Purdue

May 9, 2007

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THIS WEEK ? The Hawkeyes will hit the road for West Lafayette, IN, and a four-game series with the Purdue Boilermakers.

This weekend’s series with Purdue will be played Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday (DH) at Noon and Sunday at Noon. 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. 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 University of Iowa baseball team won three games against the Indiana Hoosiers this last weekend. The Hawkeyes won 3-2 Friday, then swept Saturday’s doubleheader 10-2 and 9-0. Sunday’s game was rained out.

Friday’s game was a thriller. With the score tied 2-2 and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, T.J. Cataldo kept the Hawkeyes alive with a single to left field. Caleb Curry then followed that with a hit through the left side to keep the rally going and bring senior Matt Wooldrik to the plate. Kody McManis entered the game as a pinch runner for Cataldo, and came home when Wooldrik ripped a single to right field to win the game.

Curry and Kyle Riffel each had a pair of hits for Iowa.

In game one Saturday, the Hoosiers started quick, getting on the board in the top of the first. The Hawkeyes responded in the home half of the inning when Travis Sweet singled and scored on a Curry single through the right side.

Iowa added three runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-1 lead. Kevin Hoef reached on a bunt single and would score on a Jason White infield single. Sweet singled to center driving in Wes Freie. Dusty Napoleon hit a drive to the fence in left field, allowing Justin Toole to score. Indiana added a run in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 4-2.

Curry led off the fifth with a walk and scored on a Freie infield single. Toole singled to right and drove in Cataldo, who also reached on a walk. White doubled down the left field line, advancing Toole to third and driving Justin Brauer, who pinch ran for Freie. White and Toole both scored on a Sweet single to center, stretching the Hawkeye lead to 9-2. Four of the Iowa runs came with two outs on four hits and a walk.

The Hawkeyes extended their lead to 10-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Cataldo reached on a walk and scored when a Toole ground ball rolled through the legs of the Hoosier shortstop.

In game two, sophomore starting pitcher Nick Erdman threw a gem for the Hawkeyes, allowing just four hits over seven innings for his first-career shutout. He struck out four and didn’t allow a walk.

White gave the Hawkeyes a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first by blasting a leadoff home run over the leftfield fence.

Iowa added three more in the second, using singles by Riffel, Toole and Sweet, and a Hoosier error, then added one in the third to stretch the lead to 5-0.

With two outs in the bottom of fourth, Sweet gave the Hawkeyes a trio of insurance runs with a towering home run over the leftfield fence. The junior then drove in another run in the sixth with a sacrifice fly to the wall in left that just missed being his second home run of the game.

DIRTY DOZEN ? The Hawkeyes have won 12 games in a row, which is the second-longest winning streak in Iowa baseball history. The Iowa record is 20 in a row, set in 1979.

THE TEN SPOT ? Iowa has also won a school-record ten Big Ten games in a row. The Hawkeyes won the final three games against Illinois, swept four-games against Northwestern, then won the first three games against Indiana before being rained out with a 1-0, first-inning lead Sunday.

SCOUTING PURDUE ? The Purdue Boilermakers come into the week with a 19-24 record and a 9-14 mark in the Big Ten.

The Boilermaker offense is led by all-Big Ten first baseman Ryne White, who is hitting a Big Ten leading .433 with five home runs and 35 RBIs. Jordan Comadena is another bat to watch, hitting .343 with five home runs and 20 RBIs.

On the hill, Purdue will throw Matt Bischoff (2-1, 1.71 ERA, 49 K) on Friday, Tony Sedlmeyer (6-3, 3.94) and Matt Jansen (0-3, 2.79) on Saturday, and Rickey Heines (6-5, 4.13) on Sunday.

The Boilermakers are coached by Doug Schrieber, who is in his ninth year.

Iowa leads the all-time series 77-55-1, and the two teams split a four-game series last year.

TOOLE MASHES ? Over the last 12 games, the Hawkeyes have gotten amazing production out of their nine-hole hitter, Justin Toole. The sophomore second baseman is hitting .524 with six doubles, two triples and 15 RBIs over that span.

For the season, Toole is second on the team with a .404 batting average.

DOUBLE TROUBLE ? The Hawkeyes have posted double-digits runs in nine of their last 12 games and at least nine in 11-of-12.

Iowa is ranked 10th in the nation in scoring, averaging 8.2 runs per game.

WHITE SCORES ? Shortstop Jason White currently leads the Big Ten with 59 runs scored and is fifth nationally with 1.4 runs per game.

White also leads the league with 29 runs scored, seven home runs, three sacrifice flies, 92 at bats and 63 total base in conference play.

HOW SWEET IT IS ? Centerfielder Travis Sweet has been clubbing the ball all over the field this season, and is currently third in the Big Ten and 15th nationally with a .422 batting average.

During Iowa’s current 12-game winning streak, Sweet has been on fire. He’s hitting .500 (23-of-46) with four home runs, 20 RBIs and 22 runs scored in that span.

THE RIFFELMAN ? Hawkeye outfielder Kyle Riffel has been hitting his way into the lineup on a consistent basis lately. Over his last eight games (including five starts), he is hitting .619. That raises his average to .390 on the season.

NAPOLEON DRIVES THEM IN ? Hawkeye junior Dusty Napoleon knocked in just one run last weekend, but remains on top of the Big Ten. Napoleon now has 52 RBIs. Nationally, he is 15th with 1.27 RBIs per game and 0.9 walks per game.

Napoleon is also leading the Big Ten in on base percentage (.516) and is second in walks (37).

SLUGGING IT OUT ? The Hawkeyes the top two players in slugging percentage in conference games. It also happens to be the first two hitters in their lineup.

Travis Sweet, Iowa’s No. 2 hitter, leads the way at .711, while the team’s leadoff hitter Jason White is second at .685.

CURRY CLEANS UP ? Hawkeye junior Caleb Curry has been hitting well since moving into the cleanup spot last month. Since making the move to the No. 4 hole, Curry is hitting .425 with 21 RBIs.

Overall, Curry is having a great debut season for Iowa, hitting .383 with five doubles, three triples, two home runs and 33 RBIs.

ERDMAN DEALS ? Sophomore Nick Erdman had a career-best outing last Saturday against Indiana. The Cedar Rapids native threw a seven-inning shutout, allowing just four hits, striking out four and walking none. He upped his record to 5-2 with his first-career shutout.

SCHURZ THE STOPPER ? Replacing two-time all-Big Ten closer Tim Gudex is a tall task, but junior Mike Schurz has been doing a great job as the team’s stopper this season.

The Virginia native is 5-1 with seven saves and a 3.12 ERA so far this season. He has struck out 31 in 26 innings.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK ? The Hawkeyes have had three players honored by the Big Ten so far this season. Travis Sweet was named Big Ten Player of the Week on March 6 and again on April 30, while Jason White was earned the award April 23. Closer Mike Schurz was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week March 26.

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