Hawkeyes to Host No. 6 Nebraska

April 7, 2008

SERIES INFORMATION ? The Hawkeyes will host the No. 6 Nebraska.

HAWKEYES THIS WEEK ? After getting their first Big Ten win this past weekend against Purdue, Iowa will conclude its six-game homestand against No. 6 Nebraska Huskers Tuesday. This will be the second time this season that Iowa has faced a top ten team (Vanderbilt). The last time the Hawkeyes took on the Huskers was Mar. 4, 2007. Nebraska was ranked No. 7 at the time and Iowa came out with a 12-8 win. Under coach Jack Dahm, the Hawkeyes are 1-3 against Nebraska.

HAWKEYES ON TELEVISION ? Big Ten and Hawkeye fans can catch this midwest matchup on the Big Ten Network (HD). It is one of four Iowa games the network will be covering this season. Tuesday’s broadcast will feature play-by-play by Brent Stover and analyzing by Iowa’s own Danan Hughes.

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 NEBRASKA: No. 6 Nebraska has a 24-4-1 record coming into Tuesday’s game and are 6-3 when traveling. The Huskers swept Texas Tech this past weekend in Big 12 play. In the series, Nick Sullivan led the offensive attack, going 5-for-11 with eight RBI and three runs scored.

Other Husker hitters to watch for are leadoff D.J. Belfonte and cleanup hitter Mitch Abeita. Belfonte leads the team in runs scored (27), doubles (9) and stolen bases (8). Abeita is hitting .360 on the year. He leads the team in home runs (6), walks (22), slugging percentage (.628) and is second in RBI (24). As a team the Huskers are hitting .287 and have hit 19 home runs.

Pitching for Nebraska is Erik Bird. The righthander has a 1.62 ERA with seven appearances and three starts. He has thrown 16 and two-third innings for a 1-1 record. Opponents are hitting .220 off him. Iowa currently trails the all-time series between the schools, 10-8.

HAWKEYES ON THE TUBE: Tuesday’s match up will mark the first time Iowa baseball has been broadcasted on the Big Ten Network. The network will broadcast four Hawkeye games this season. The Iowa doubleheader at Indiana on April 12 will be shown and the Iowa vs. Minnesota game on May 2 at Duane Banks Field will also air later this season.

HUGHES RETURNS: Danan Hughes will be the Big Ten analyst during the broadcast Tuesday. Hughes was one of Iowa’s most successful multi-sport athletes, having excelled in both football and baseball. Hughes was a wide receiver in football and an outfielder in baseball. He was an all-Big Ten honoree in both sports. He played in the Milwaukee Brewers organization before starting a lengthy professional football career with the Kansas City Chiefs.

SUCCESSFUL WITH RUNNERS: Several Hawkeyes have taken advantage of baserunners this season. Caleb Curry is hitting .453 with runners on to lead the Black and Gold. Kurtis Muller is hitting .800 and Tyson Blaser is hitting .667 when runners are on third, while Justin Toole is 42-for-65 in advancing runners.

IOWA OFFENSE IS STREAKING: Caleb Curry is currently on a six-game hitting streak, which ties his season high, which was the first six games of the season. Justin Brauer also has been swinging the bat well, having gone the last five games with a hit. Justin Toole leads the team in multi-RBI games with eight, followed by Curry who has seven. Kevin Hoef has had 11 multi-hit games this season to lead Iowa, followed by Curry and Toole, who each have nine.

HAWKEYES GO YARD: The Hawkeyes ended a 20-game drought this past weekend against Purdue, hitting three bombs in two games. Iowa now has five homers on the year. The last two hit by the Hawkeyes were in Florida during opening week (Freie and Geelan). Freshman Kurtis Muller and junior Kevin Hoef, hit the Black and Gold’s two homers in their lone win Saturday against Purdue. Caleb Curry also hit a shot to left field in Iowa’s loss against Purdue Sunday.

SUCCESSFUL WITH RUNNERS: Several Hawkeyes have taken advantage of baserunners this season. Caleb Curry is hitting .453 with runners on to lead the Black and Gold.Kurtis Muller is hitting .800 and Tyson Blaser is hitting .667 when runners are on third, while Justin Toole is 42-for-65 in advancing runners.

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 61-for-74. Leading Iowa in steals is Caleb Curry with 19. Kevin Hoef, Justin Toole and Kyle Riffel with nine. Iowa ranks first in the Big Ten and 14th nationally in thefts.

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 (.382), on base percentage (.462), runs batted in (27) and stolen bases (19). Other Hawkeyes who rank well in the conference include: Justin Toole is second in runs batted in (26) and sixth in doubles (6) Kevin Hoef leads the league in hit-by-pitches (11) and is tied for third in runs scored (27). 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 (15).

PURDUE SUMMARY: The Hawkeyes got their first Big Ten victory over the Boilermakers on Saturday, 7-6. However lost the series 3-1 to bring them to 1-7 in conference play.

On the weekend, Tyson Blaser swung the bat well for Iowa, going 5-for-12 (.417) with an on base percentage of .462.

Kevin Hoef also led the Hawkeyes offensively, going 5-for-15 with his first career home run and a .533 slugging percentage.

The Black and Gold ruled the base path during the four-game series, going 12-for-13 in stolen bases. To lead the Iowa effort, Caleb Curry and Kyle Riffel each went 3-for-3 (Purdue only went 3-for-5 as a team).

Iowa’s defense played with a purpose against Purdue. In the four games, the Hawkeyes only committed two errors.

Brock Alberts got the lone Iowa win, after going five innings and allowing five earned runs on six hits.


Indiana – April 11-13

Bloomington, IN – Sembower Field

The Hawkeyes will take on Indiana this weekend in Bloomington, IN. The Hoosiers are 3-5 in the Big Ten after going 1-3 against Illinois this past weekend. The Hoosiers are led by Josh Phegley who is hitting a Big Ten-best .436 on the year. He has 10 doubles, 26 RBI and a .660 slugging percentage. The doubleheader on Saturday will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network (HD). Iowa leads the all-time series between the schools, 71-51.

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