Iowa Concludes its Season Hosting Ohio State

May 12, 2008

SERIES INFORMATION: The Iowa Hawkeyes will conclude their season at Duane Banks Field in a four-game series against Ohio State.

HAWKEYES THIS WEEKEND: The Black and Gold will host a four-game series against the Ohio State Buckeyes starting Thursday at Duane Banks Field. Ohio State is 27-22 on the year, 13-13 in the Big Ten and 6-7 away. The Buckeyes hope to maintain their fifth place standing in the conference this weekend for a bid to the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa looks to increase its conference win total to double digits. “Senior Day” will be held Saturday. Each Hawkeye senior will be honored for their hard work and dedication to the Iowa baseball program. Iowa leads the all-time series between the two schools, 70-62-1.

ON THE AIR: Hawkeye fans can catch every Iowa game at AM-800 KXIC. The Voice of the Hawkeyes, Brent Balbinot, will call the action. The radio broadcast will also be available free online.

ON THE TUBE: Iowa’s Saturday season finale against the Buckeyes will be televised live on the Big Ten Network (HD). Bryan Dolgin and former Hawkeye Troy Wulf will call the action. Saturday’s contest will be the Hawkeyes’ third game televised on the network this season.

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

SCOUTING OHIO STATE: Iowa will host a four-game series with the Ohio State starting Thursday. The Buckeyes will host Buffalo Tuesday before traveling to Iowa. Ohio State is 27-22 on the year, 13-13 in the Big Ten and 6-7 away. As a team, they are hitting .325. The Buckeyes are led, offensively, by Justin Miller who is hitting .394 with 14 doubles and 52 RBI. Miller is also walking more often then striking out (15-13). Dean Wolosianksy is a starter to watch out for. Wolosiansky has posted a 7-2 record in 10 starts with a 3.82 ERA. Jake Hale is the Buckeye’s go-to man in the bullpen having accumulated seven saves. Iowa leads the all-time series between the two schools, 70-62-1.

DIAMOND THIEVES TAKE RECORD: This season Iowa has out-run its opponents, 128 thefts to 74. As a team, the Hawkeyes captured the school record when in University Park, the previous record was 127 thefts set in 1981. Leading Iowa in steals is Caleb Curry (38), followed by Justin Toole (22) and Kyle Riffel (20). Furthermore, Curry ranks seventh in the country in thefts and is currently second in single-season stolen bases. Iowa ranks first in the Big Ten and fourth nationally in thefts per game and fifth as a team. Last weekend, Iowa out-ran the Nittany Lions, 15-6.

JT’S STREAKIN’:Justin Toole has caught fire since the coaching staff moved him to shortstop. Balls have been exploding off his bat, having recorded at least one hit in every game since switching sides of the infield. He currently has a 25-game hitting streak, which is believed to be a school record and is the fifth-longest in the country by any collegiate player this season (32 is the longest). During the streak, Toole is batting .491 (53-108) and has posted 23 RBI, seven doubles, nine walks, a .593 slugging percentage and a .533 on base percentage. He is the only Hawkeye to walk more then strikeout this season (18-12). Toole was 7-for-15 (.467) with three walks and three stolen bases last weekend at Penn State.

SUCCESSFUL WITH RUNNERS: Several Hawkeyes have taken advantage of base runners this year. Caleb Curry is hitting .461 (53-115) with runners on, to lead the Black and Gold. Justin Toole is hitting .828 (24-29) when runners are on third and less than two outs, while Kurtis Muller is 65-for-109 (.596) in advancing runners. Kevin Hoef is hitting .476 (39-82) when leading off.

IOWA IS SWEPT BY PENN STATE: Iowa was swept last weekend in University Park, PA, despite hitting .350 as a team in the four-game series and outhitting the Nittany Lions in two of the four contests. As a team, Iowa lined 49 hits, powered six doubles and two triples and scored 27 runs. On top of that, the aggressive base running of the Hawkeye resulted in 15 stolen bases. Kyle Riffel caught fire in the series going 9-for-16 (.563) with seven RBI and four stolen bases. Justin Toole continued to be white hot offensively, going 7-for-15 (.467) with a .667 slugging percentage. Zach McCool went 5-for-11 (.455) with a walk and hit-by-pitch. Kevin Hoef went 8-for-18 (.444). Andrew Porter threw four and two-thirds solid inning if relief for the Hawkeyes allowing only two hits. Freshmen Kevin Lee and Jeff Pacha had solid outtings only allowing two hits between them in three innings of work.

TAKING A RECORD: Kevin Hoef took one for the team and broke a record in the process May 3, getting hit by two pitches to take the single-season record away from Kris Welker with 19 so far this season.

GETTING A FIRST INNING JUMP: The Hawkeyes have scored at least one run in the first inning in 10 of the last 19 games, that includes a seven-run first inning against the Northern Iowa Panthers, April 30, in the Corridor Classic.

IOWA OFFENSE IS STREAKING: Justin Toole continued his hit streak to 25 consecutive games with a hit, which is a Hawkeye best. Toole leads Iowa in 10 offensive categories. Curry leads the team in multi-RBI games (18), followed by Toole (14). Toole also leads the team with 26 multi-hit games to lead Iowa, while Curry has 22 multi-hit contests this year.

TOOLE TIME:: Justin Toole is ranked first in the Big Ten in runs scored (57) and in hits (85). He ranks second plate appearances (235) and in batting average (.415), third in doubles (15), sixth in stolen bases (22) and seventh in RBI (49). His 85 hits rank 32nd nationally, while his .415 batting average ranks 40th in the country.

UTILIZING THE SAC BUNT: The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in sacrifice bunts in the conference (41). Leading the Black and Gold is Kyle Riffel with nine, followed by Kurtis Muller with seven.

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: slugging percentage (.565), hits (71), doubles (14), RBI (60), hit-by-pitches (10), sac flies (8) and stolen bases (38). Other Hawkeyes who rank well in the conference include: Kevin Hoef leads the league in hit-by-pitches (19) and sixth in runs scored (50). Kyle Riffel is fourth in the league in sac bunts (9) and is seventh in stolen bases (20). Kurtis Muller is fifth in sac flies (5). Andrew Porter is first in appearances (30) and seventh in saves (4) and Kyle Heim is fourth (25) in appearances.

WEARING PITCHES: Iowa has no problem taking one for the team. The Hawkeyes have 82 hit-by-pitches on the year, which is more than any other team in the Big Ten and enough to rank them 12th in the country in the category. The Hawkeyes’ 82 hit-by-pitch are only one away from equaling the school single-season mark of 83, which was established last season. To lead the Black and Gold is Kevin Hoef with 19 who has the ninth most in the country, followed by Kurtis Muller (14). SUPER FRESHMAN: Kurtis Muller has played a huge role in the Hawkeye offense this year with 42 RBI. Muller is only one RBI from matching John Knapp’s school record of 43 RBI by a true freshman, which was established in 1984. Muller also ranks second all-time in freshman season hit-by-pitches, he has 14 and is one away from tying the 15 Kevin Hoef posted as a freshman. Muller also ranks sixth in Iowa true freshman hits (50) and runs (33).

DAHM CAPTURES MILESTONE: Head Coach Jack Dahm captured his 400th career victory on April 23 against UNI. Dahm recorded 283 victories at Creighton and has won 122 at Iowa. He is only one victory from matching Scott Broghamer’s six-year total of 123 (1998-03) for fourth-place in Iowa coaching history. Dahm started in 1994 with his alma mater, Creighton University, and moved on to coach the Hawkeyes in 2003.

HAWKEYES HIT THE CLASSROOM: In October, the Iowa baseball team was awarded the 2007 NCAA Public Recognition Award for being in the 90% percentile of Academic Progress Report (APR) for baseball.

HAWKEYES GO YARD: Kurtis Muller registered his third big fly of the season last week vs. Valparaiso. Fourteen of Iowa’s 19 homers this season have been in Big Ten play (five at Indiana, three vs. Purdue and Northwestern, one at Michigan State and two vs. Minnesota).

RECRUITS GET RECOGNIZED: The Hawkeye’s 2008 recruiting class was ranked 49th nationally and first in the Big Ten by Perfect Game Cross Checker.

STAT OF THE WEEK: In the past 25 games, Iowa has hit .353 as a team and collecting 52 of its 97 doubles, 14 of its 19 home runs, 16 of its 29 sacrifice flies and 62 of its128 stolen bases during the stretch.