Hawkeyes to Host Purdue Boilermakers in Home Series

April 3, 2008

SERIES INFORMATION ? The Hawkeyes will host the Purdue Boilermakers in a Big Ten home opening four-game series in Iowa City.

HAWKEYES THIS WEEKEND ? The Hawkeyes will try to get their first Big Ten win during their four-game series against the 10-13 Boilermakers this weekend. Purdue is 3-1 in the Big Ten after hosting Northwestern last weekend. When on the road this season, the Boilermakers are a mere 2-12 after dropping one Wednesday to Louisville, 7-4.

HAWKEYES ON THE AIR ? Hawkeye fans can catch every Iowa game at AM-800 KXIC. The Voice of the Hawkeyes, Brent Balbinot, will call the play-by-play.

HAWKEYES ON THE NET ? Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes this week, as live stats will be available on www.hawkeyesports.com. Just click on the Gametracker link found on both the front page and the baseball schedule page.

SCOUTING PURDUE: Purdue has compiled a 10-13 record this season, and is 2-12 on the road. The Boilermakers were swept by every ranked opponent they have faced. They dropped three to No. 15 Baylor in February and were also swept in the three game series against No. 4 Kentucky in March. However, Purdue is 3-1 in Big Ten action. The Boilermakers are led, offensively, by power hitters Dave Black and Ryne White. The duo accounted for six of Purdue’s ten home runs, 40 of the Boilermaker’s 119 RBI and have started every game. As a team, Purdue is first in the Big Ten in doubles (48). Leading Purdue on the hill is reliever Andy Loomis with a 1.46 ERA in 10 appearances. He has pitched 12.1 innings and only allowed one extra-base hit. Starter Matt Bischoff is also someone to watch out for, in six starts he has compiled a 1-2 record. He has struck out 36 so far this season and opponents are hitting a mere .164 off. In the all-time series between the two teams Iowa leads, 79-57-1.

TEAM COMPARISONS: The Hawkeyes and Boilermakers are a pretty even match in several offensive categories. In team batting average, the teams are nearly deadlocked, however Purdue has the slight advantage with a .286 average to Iowa’s .283. The Hawkeyes get on base more, with a .382 on-base percentage, to the Boilermakers’ .375. Purdue has 10 more walks then the Black and Gold, having walked 93 times to Iowa’s 83. The Black and Gold are more aggressive on the base path, with 49 stolen bases, to Purdue’s mere 22. Iowa also utilizes the sacrifice bunt more, laying down 21 so far this season, compared to Purdue’s 14. Purdue leads the league in doubles with 48, which is 11 more than Iowa has hit.

I-CUB SUMMARY: The Hawkeyes took on the I-Cubs in a seven-inning exhibition at Principal Park. The Hawkeyes played the Cubs tough, but dropped the exhibition 3-1. It was the third time in six years the Hawkeyes played an exhibition against the I-Cubs. Iowa recorded four hits in the exhibition. Junior Kevin Hoef recorded an infield single to leadoff the game and senior Caleb Curry singled to right to leadoff the second, both hits yielded no runs. The Black and Gold scored its lone run in the top of the seventh on consecutive doubles. Junior Ryan Gryzwa lead off the inning with a two-bagger down the left field line and then scored on a freshman Kurtis Muller double down the right field line to score Gryzwa. Hawkeye Lefthander Michael Jacobs started the game on the mound, throwing one inning. Other pitchers included: Steve Turnbull, George Raisarmos, Jason Belk. Joe Singer, Kevin Lee and Patrick Schatz.

ILLINOIS STATE SUMMARY: Iowa lost a heartbreaker Wednesday afternoon to Illinois State, 7-6, at Duane Banks Field. The Redbirds scored four unanswered runs the last three innings to overtake the Black and Gold. The Hawkeyes were aggressive on the base path and took advantage of base runners, only leaving six on base. The game featured eight Iowa hits, five stolen bases and seven Iowa pitchers.

Iowa led 6-5 heading into the top of the ninth. In the final frame, Illinois State’s first three players reached base off Hawkeye closer Matt Mossey. The senior got the next two batters to strike out and was one out away from securing a Hawkeye victory. Unfortunately, the Redbirds took the lead on a Mike Stalowy grounder that got past Caleb Curry near the second base bag, as the error scored two unearned runs to make it 7-6.

On the afternoon, Curry led the Hawkeyes on the base paths with three stolen bases. Justin Toole was red hot, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI, scoring two runs, with a walk and a stolen base. Kurtis Muller was 2-for-3 and drove in two RBI.

IOWA OFFENSE IS STREAKING: Kevin Hoef is currently on a four- game hitting streak, having picked up at least one hit in three of the four games in Ann Arbor. It ties his longest streak of the season. Caleb Curry, Justin Toole and Hoef lead the team with nine multi-hit games. Toole leads the team in multi-RBI games (7).

SUCCESSFUL WITH RUNNERS : Several Hawkeyes have taken advantage of baserunners this season. Caleb Curry is hitting .457 with runners on to lead the Black and Gold. Kevin Hoef is hitting .500 with two outs, while Justin Toole is hitting .500 with the bases loaded and Kurtis Muller is 24-of-39 in advancing runners. Kyle Riffel has only left nine Hawkeyes on base in 75 at bats.

UTILIZING THE SAC BUNT: The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in sacrifice bunts this season with 21. Leading the Black and Gold is Kurtis Muller with five, and Justin Toole with four.

DIAMOND THIEVES: This season the Hawkeyes have out-run their opponents, going 49-for-61. Leading Iowa in steals is Caleb Curry with 16. Kevin Hoef and Justin Toole with seven, and Kyle Riffel and Kurtis Muller have six.

BY THE NUMBERS IN THE BIG TEN: Caleb Curry has taken the Big Ten by storm, when compared with the league’s players he ranks in the top ten in: batting average (.400), on base percentage (.478), runs batted in (23) and stolen bases (16).

Other Hawkeyes who rank well in the conference include: Justin Toole is second in runs batted in (25), is fourth in doubles (6) and second in sac bunts (4), Kevin Hoef leads the league in hit-by-pitches (10) and is tied for second in runs scored. Kyle Riffel is second in the league in hit-by-pitches (6) and Matt Mossey is in fifth in doubles (7). Kurtis Muller leads the league in sac bunts (5). Andrew Porter is tied for first in appearances (11) and Kyle Heim is tied for seventh (10).

ON DECK FOR THE HAWKEYES: Nebraska – Apr. 8 Iowa City, IA – Duane Banks Field

The Hawkeyes will take on the No. 9 Nebraska Huskers at Duane Banks Field on April 8. Nebraska is currently 21-4-1 and are led by Jake Opitz, who is hitting .354 on the year with seven doubles, 24 RBI and .537 slugging percentage. The contest will be the Hawkeyes’ first Big Ten Network broadcast of the season. Nebraska will be competing against Texas Tech in a home Big 12 series this weekend.

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