March 10, 2009
HAWKEYES THIS WEEKEND ? The Iowa Hawkeyes’ spring break will consist of five games in three cities. First, the Black and Gold will travel to Louisville, KY, to take on the No. 25 Cardinals on their home field Saturday, Sunday and Monday. After the three-game series in Louisville (the first ever meeting between the two schools) the team will take St. Patrick’s Day off to relax and travel to Martin, TN, to take on the Skyhawks of Tennessee-Martin March 18. The Hawkeyes will then head to Clarksville, TN, to take on Austin Peay on March 19 one last time before heading home.
FROM THE COACHES BOX: “I am really looking forward to playing a lot of games this coming week. The more we play the more I think our confidence will come back. Playing five games in a week will be a good thing for us, we will get into a rhythm, finally. It is so tough to play three days of competition then have four off. I hope our spring trip gets us back to playing some solid baseball, because right now, we are just beating ourselves out that. Although, I did think we made some progress, offensively, in Clarksville. We were struggling but our bats came alive.”
THREE THINGS TO WATCH THIS WEEK: 1. Wes Freie is currently on a five-game hit steak — having gone 7-for-13 in Clarksville. His weekend included four extra base hits and seven RBI.
2. Chett Zeise leads the team in batting average (.368) and went 3-for-4 in Iowa’s third game against Austin Peay.
3. The current leader in career hit-by-pitches, Kevin Hoef, has been hit by nine pitches this season — averaging one per game. (Last season Hoef was hit by six in the first 10 games.)
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS: SATURDAY, 1 P.M. IA – Wes Freie (RHP, SR, 6-3, 215) LU – Justin Marks (LHP) NOTING: Freie has pitched the most of any Iowa pitcher this season with 13.1 innings under his belt. SUNDAY, 1 P.M. IA – Michael Jacobs (LHP, JR, 6-1, 185) LU – Tyler Mathis (RHP) NOTING: Jacobs is making his fourth start for the Black and Gold.
MONDAY, 1 P.M. IA – Nick Brown (RHP, FR, 6-4, 208) LU – Dean Keikhefer (LHP) NOTING: The Hawkeye righty will take the mound in his second career start — his last, against Austin Peay, was a no decision.
SCOUTING LOUISVILLE: Iowa will take on Louisville in a three-game series this weekend. The No. 25 Cardinals started rocky after getting swept by the No. 11 Florida Gators in three games. However, since then, Louisville has won eight of its last nine contests and is 8-4 overall. The Cardinals are 8-0 at home this season in their best start in 10 years. Louisville’s second baseman, Adam Duvall, leads the team with a .381 batting average and four stolen bases. Cleanup hitter Chris Dominguez also with five homeruns and 22 RBI. Five Louisville starters are hitting above .300 and seven have recorded at least one homerun. The team is hitting .310 on the year. Louisville’s pitching is solid. The Cardinals have struck out 91 opponents, allowing only 30 walks. Starter Justin Marks leads the team in strikeouts with 18 in 16 innings pitched. This is the first meeting between the two schools.
SCOUTING TENNESSEE-MARTIN: After playing Louisville in three games, Iowa will hit the road to Martin, TN, to play the Skyhawks. Tennessee-Martin is 4-3 on the year and 3-0 at home. The Skyhawks are led by three-spot hitter Mark Hartsfield, who has a .533 batting average and an outrageous .933 slugging percentage. He has not recorded a strikeout all year. Starting pitchers, Coty Green and Brendan Lozupone, have pitched the most innings (29.1 combined) of any Skyhawk having started five contests. This is the first meeting between the two schools.
AUSTIN PEAY SERIES SUMMARY: The Black and Gold came out on top over Austin Peay, 15-9 in the series opener last Friday. The Hawkeyes got their offense going early in the second and never looked back. The Hawkeye win featured four Iowa homeruns and five stolen bases. The Black and Gold bullpen threw well. Patrick Schatz, Kyle Heim, Steve Turnbull and Mike Schurz threw five and two-third innings allowing no earned runs and only one Governor hit. The Hawkeyes fell to Austin Peay, 10-4, Saturday. The Governors scored four in the first inning and never looked back. Iowa dropped its final game of three, 20-9, Sunday. The Governors scored eight runs in the fourth and five in the fifth to overcome the Hawkeyes. The game featured 29 hits, 14 of which were for extra bases. On the weekend, Kevin Hoef ended his hitting drough and went 7-for-12 with a homerun and three hit-by-pitches. Wes Freie went 9-for-13 with two homeruns, one of which was a grand slam. T.J. Cataldo went 7-for-15. Iowa will finish up its spring break trip in Clarksville, TN, to take on Austin Peay one more time on Thursday, March 19th.
OFFENSE HITS OVER THE FENCES: Seven Hawkeye bombs were hit in Clarksville, TN, over the weekend — from five different Hawkeyes. With a strong wind creating a hitters dream, TJ Cataldo, Kevin Hoef, Zach McCool each hit one homer and Wes Freie and Trevor Willis hit two. Freie hit a grand slam and Willis with two homeruns in Iowa’s victory.
MULLER UPDATE: Sophomore Kurtis Muller has missed the past two weekend’s games due to an injury. The status of Muller according to Coach Dahm for this weekend: “Kurtis will be day-to-day but I want to be smart with him because it is a long season and we do not want this to linger all year long.”
HOEF TURNS IT ON: Despite starting the season with a six-game hitting drought, senior Kevin Hoef turned it around in Clarksville, TN. The Troy, IL, native went 7-for-12 with two doubles, a homerun and three hit-by-pitches.
ZEISE CONTINUES TO SHINE: Chett Zeise made his first career start as a Hawkeye against Georgetown and has played in every game since. The versatile freshman (who can play infield and outfield) is leading the team with a .368 batting average.
HOEF REMAINS IOWA’S “HUMAN PINATA”: The senior career hit-by-pitch leader continued to take a beating from opposing pitchers last week in Clarksville, TN. Kevin Hoef was hit by three in just one game, increasing his season total to nine.
SCHATZ PICKS UP WIN: Right-handed pitcher Patrick Schatz picked up his first colligiate win against Austin Peay, 15-9. The sophomore is second on the team in ERA (2.35) and has thrown for 7.2 innings as a long reliever.
HIPPEN MAKES IMPACT: Freshman southpaw Jarred Hippen has been throwing well for the Hawkeyes on the mound. The Iowa reliever has appeared in four games for 10.1 innings and is third on the team with a 4.35 ERA.
TRANSFER SWINGS THE BAT: Iowa Central Community College junior transfer, Ryan Durant, has made a difference in the Iowa batting lineup– with the second-best batting average on the team (.345).
ITS TOOLE TIME: Justin Toole caught fire in DeLand, FL. Despite a rocky start, the pre-season all-American went 10-for-14 with four RBI and only one strikeout. Toole took over the three-spot that weekend due to a Kurtis Muller injury and drove in two runs. At Austin Peay, Toole cooled off a bit going 2-for-12 with a double and two walks.