Hawkeyes ink top Iowa baseball recruit

Aug. 4, 2007

IOWA CITY — Zach Kenyon had a professional baseball contract in front of him. In his words, it equaled free college and a fair amount of money. But in the end, Kenyon decided that he needed to mature before playing professional baseball and the Iowa Hawkeyes and Coach Jack Dahm were the fit he was looking for.

Kenyon, a ninth-round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals (276th overall player selected), is believed to be the highest draft selection to bypass the pros and attend the UI. He is a 6-foot-5, 190-pound right-handed pitcher from Davenport (Iowa) Central High School.

“That’s a nice step for us to get one of the top two or three players in the state of Iowa and then to get him when he had a tremendous opportunity to play pro ball,” Dahm said. “That shows the progress of our program. We’re a good fit for Zach because we have our entire pitching staff back and that will take the pressure off him. We have a lot of other good players around him and he will be another nice addition for us.”

“We want to keep the top players from the state of Iowa right here.”
UI Coach Jack Dahm

Kenyon led Davenport Central to the Class 4A state championship game by blanking Indianola 2-0 with a three-hitter in the semifinals. He came back on two days rest in the title game, but the Blue Devils were clipped by Urbandale, 4-2. For the season Kenyon was 8-2 with a 1.46 ERA and he was named first team all-state. His career pitching record was 22-5.

Not only did Kenyon spurn the Royals, but he also chose Iowa over Creighton, Northern Iowa and Kentucky.

“Iowa’s baseball program is going in the right direction and I have a lot of maturing to do before I take on pro ball,” Kenyon said. “I think the Iowa coaches can help me with that.”

Last season the Hawkeyes finished 31-23 overall, 17-13 in the Big Ten. In four seasons with the UI, Dahm has compiled a record of 102-120. A stellar recruiting class, that just became stronger with the signing of Kenyon, will join the Hawkeyes in 2008.

“We want to keep the top players from the state of Iowa right here,” Dahm said.

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