Hawkeyes Take on Michigan in Big Ten Home Opener

March 25, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

HAWKEYES THIS WEEKEND: The Iowa Hawkeyes will take on Michigan in their Big Ten home opener at 4 p.m. at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City. Last season the Wolverines swept Iowa at Ann Arbor.

FROM THE COACHES BOX: “We have the utmost respect for Michigan and what coach Maloney has done with the program there. They have lost a lot of last year’s team but still have a solid group. We are excited for the opportunity to play at home. We can’t worry about who we are playing, we just need to come out with the right approach on the field and play some baseball, game in and game out.”

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

HAWKEYES ON THE AIR: Hawkeye fans can catch most Hawkeye games on AM-800 KXIC. The Voice of the Hawkeyes, Brent Balbinot, will call the play-by-play. KXIC will broadcast this weekend’s series against Michigan.

IA – Nick Brown (RHP, FR, 6-4, 208)
MICH – Chris Fetter (RHP)
NOTING: Brown recorded his first career win as a Hawkeye last weekend in the home opener.

IA – Jarred Hippen (LHP, FR, 6-3, 190)
MICH – Eric Katzman (LHP)
NOTING: This is Hippen’s first career start as a Hawkeye.

IA – Wes Freie (RHP, SR, 6-3, 215)
MICH – Mike Wilson (LHP)
NOTING: The Hawkeye righty picked up his second win against Western Illinois last weekend.

SCOUTING MICHIGAN: Michigan is going strong after losing several players, such as Zach Puttnam, to the draft last season. Currently, the Wolverines have a 14-6 record but are struggling on the road with a 3-4 record as visitors. Leading the Michigan offense is Ryan LaMarre with a .662 slugging percentage and 28 RBI. Another offensive threat is Kevin Cislo, who leads the team in walks (16) and is hitting a solid .361. The Wolverine pitching staff is led by righty Chris Fetter. Fetter has a 2.30 ERA on the year with a 3-1 record. He leads the team with 31 strikeouts. In the all-time series between the two schools, Iowa trails 40-96.

COE COLLEGE SUMMARY: Iowa defeated Coe College, 8-2, tonight at Duane Banks Field. In the win, the pitching staff threw a solid three-hit game, Iowa’s base runners stole six bases and eight Hawkeyes picked up a hit. Starter Zach Robertson picked up his second win of the year, allowing only one run on two hits and striking out six Kohawks. The Hawkeye bullpen included Phil Schreiber, Kevin Lee and Mike Schurz. To lead the Hawkeye offense, T.J. Cataldo went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a double. Wes Freie, Phil Keppler and Kurtis Muller all went 2-for-3 on the day. Mike McQuillan went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Trevor Willis stole two bases.

IOWA GETS THE WIN OVER NO. 25: Iowa finished a three-game series against No. 25 Louisville, 1-2. Iowa upset the Cardinals on March 15 with a 2-1 score in Louisville, KY. The Hawkeye pitching staff held Louisville to its lowest scoring output since April 20, 2008, against Villanova in a 3-1 loss. Starter Michael Jacobs earned the win with a solid outing, going six innings and allowing just one run. Jacobs also earned Iowa’s last win against a ranked opponent (6-3 win at No. 5 Vanderbilt last season). Patrick Schatz pitched one and two-third solid innings of relief — forcing four Cardinal ground outs. Mike Schurz recorded the save going one and one-third innings with two strikeouts. OFFENSE GETS HOT AT SKYHAWK: Iowa crushed Tennessee-Martin at Skyhawk Field March 18, 25-6. In the win, Iowa’s bats came alive recording 25 hits, two from the school record (27 in 1986). Five Hawkeyes recorded home runs (the record is eight in a game) and nine had multi-hit games. It was the highest scoring Iowa game since 1989 (W, 32-0 vs. Quincy College).

DAHM TAKES OVER #3: Head Coach Jack Dahm surpassed Dick Schultz for the third-most victorious coach in Iowa history Saturday in the 9-4 win over Western Illinois. Dahm currently has 131 wins at Iowa. Last season, Dahm captured his 400th career victory on April 23 against UNI. Dahm recorded 283 victories at Creighton and has won 122 at Iowa. Dahm started in 1994 with his alma mater, Creighton University, and moved on to coach the Hawkeyes in 2003.

CATALDO PUTS 17 CARDINALS OUT: T.J. Cataldo recorded 17 putouts in the win against Louisville March 15. That is the most a Hawkeye has recorded since Dusty Napoleon putout 15 in the loss against Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament in 2007. (The record is 20 set in 1975 by Steve Stumpff.)

TOOLE NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Justin Toole scored nine runs while driving in six and raising his batting average 51 points to .353 mark. The senior tallied four multi-hit games in six contests and racked up four extra-base hits. For the week, Toole batted .440 with a .680 slugging percentage and a .533 on-base percentage to combine for an OPS of 1.213. He is currently on a seven-game hitting streak.

SCHATZ EXCELS ON THE MOUND: After seeing limited time on the mound a year ago, Patrick Schatz has made himself into one of Iowa’s go-to guys in the long reliever role. Schatz has a team-best 2.25 ERA in 16 innings pitched and has allowed only four earned runs all year — which is saying something, considering Schatz has come into the game in some sticky situations. OFFENSE HITS OVER THE FENCES: Iowa currently has 17 home runs on the year, four shy of the season total in 2008. Wes Freie and T.J. Cataldo lead the Black and Gold with four bombs, respectively. (Freie had a total of four last season.) Nine Hawkeyes have recorded a round-tripper.

HAWKEYES ARE STREAKIN’: Nine Hawkeyes are currently on a hitting streak. Leading Iowa is Justin Toole with a seven-game string. Followed by Phil Keppler and T.J. Cataldo with a six-game hitting streak.

OFFENSE HITS OVER THE FENCES: Iowa currently has 17 home runs on the year, four shy of the season total in 2008. Wes Freie and T.J. Cataldo lead the Black and Gold with four bombs, respectively. (Freie had a total of four last season.) Nine Hawkeyes have recorded a round-tripper.

HOEF REMAINS IOWA’S “HUMAN PINATA”: The senior career hit-by-pitch leader has consistently been beamed by pitches all season. Kevin Hoef leads the Big Ten with 14 hit-by-pitches this season, tying his season total as a sophomore.

TOOLE LEADS OFF: Since taking the leadoff spot in the lineup against Tennessee-Martin, Justin Toole has gone11-for-24 with nine runs scored to lead Iowa. On top of that, the Hawkeyes are 5-1 with Toole starting the battery off.

HIPPEN MAKES IMPACT: Freshman southpaw Jarred Hippen has been consistent for the Hawkeyes on the mound. The Iowa reliever has appeared in seven games for 18 innings, the most of any reliever. Hippen is third on the team with a 3.0 ERA.

KEPPLER CRUSHES THE BALL: Phil Keppler got his chance to play against Louisville last week and hit in the two runs that propelled Iowa to its win against No. 25 Louisville. He’s gone red-hot since, having gone 11-for-23 with 10 RBI and .615 slugging percentage since.

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 hitting .375 on the year to lead all freshman on the team.

BURKE COMES THROUGH: With starter Tyson Blaser injured during the Louisville series, freshman Dallas Burke was asked to step up — and he did. Burke has gone 6-for-21 since Blaser’s injury, with two doubles and five walks.

TRANSFER SWINGS THE BAT: Iowa Central Community College junior transfer, Ryan Durant, has made a difference in the Iowa batting lineup– with a .322 batting average and five doubles.

MULLER RETURNS: Sophomore Kurtis Muller returned to action in the win against No. 25 Louisville March 15, after a two-week hiatus with an injury. Muller went 4-for-11 against Western Illinois this past weekend — with four RBI.