April 6, 2009
THIS WEEK’S INFORMATION: Iowa vs. Kansas
HAWKEYES IN THE MIDWEEK:The Iowa Hawkeyes will compete in two mid-week non-conference games this week, both against the Kansas Jayhawks at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City. Kansas is 18-12 on the year with a 1-7 road record.
COACH DAHM ON KANSAS: “We are looking forward to playing the Jayhawks. Coach Price has a done a great job with the program and has put together a very talented team. Sweeping No.1 Texas earlier this year definitely says something about his young team. We are very similar teams and I look for the games to be close.” 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 both games — however, they may be cut short due to Chicago Cubs baseball.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH THIS WEEK: 1. Junior Ryan Durant is white-hot, going 9-for-17 (.529) this past week with seven RBI to lead Iowa. Look for him to continue his four-game hit streak.
2. Justin Toole is streaking, with a 15-game hitting streak, look for him to continue it after hitting .421 last week.
3. Look for Kevin Hoef to continue his comeback. The senior third basemen took a three-game break after taking a nasty slide into first in game two against Michigan but got some action at Purdue and hit .385 with three doubles.
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SCOUTING KANSAS: The Jayhawks are 18-12 on the year with a 1-7 road record. Kansas lost a home series to Baylor, 2-1 last weekend. The Jayhawks are led by sophomore Tony Thompson with a .696 slugging percentage and team-high 36 RBI. The team is known for manufacturing runs, having laid down a sacrifice bunt 23 times this season, led by Robby Price with eight. The Kansas pitching staff is solid, throwing a 3.96 ERA, as a team. Seeing action against the Hawkeyes will be Brett Bollman and Cameron Selik. Bollman has a 1.80 ERA with a 3-0 record. He has pitched 15 innings, year striking out 16 and only walking three. Selik has a 5.47 ERA and a 1-1 record. He has struck out 28 and allowed only five walks. Kansas leads the series between the two schools, 9-7.
SECOND INNING RALLY: The Hawkeye offense gets their bats going in the second frame, out scoring opponents a whopping 38-17, so far this season. The ninth inning is also a Black and Gold battery favorite, outscoring opponents 24-14 in last inning rallies.
DURANT’S BAT IS HOT: Ryan Durant went 9-for-17 (.529) with a .824 slugging percentage to lead Iowa last week. With four runs scored, a triple, home run and seven RBI Durant led the team offensively.
T.J. WALKS HIS WAY INTO RECORDBOOK: T.J. Cataldo walked a career-high four times in Iowa’s 15-7 victory over Purdue. His four walks puts him in the record books for a game high, the last time a Hawkeye did so was 2007 (Jason White). Cataldo now has eight on the year. As a team, Iowa is being more patient at the plate drawing 15 walks this past weekend against the Boilermakers.
HAWKEYE OFFENSE BY THE NUMBERS: The Hawkeye offense is hitting .294 on the year and each individual has done its part in different situations. Chett Zeise is hitting .400 with two outs and Ryan Durant is hitting .400 with runners in scoring position — having 12 RBI in two-out situations. Andrew Ewing is the Hawkeyes’ pinch hitter of choice, hitting .429 in the situation.
PURDUE SUMMARY: The Hawkeyes dropped a series to Purude at Lamebert Field last weekend, 2-1. The Black and Gold lost the rubber match, 10-9, Saturday. In the loss, Iowa dropped its second Big Ten series of the year, 2-1. The Hawkeyes were down as many as nine runs in the game, but battled back in the eighth and ninth innings, plating seven on seven hits and taking advantage of three Purdue errors. The Hawkeyes lost game one of a doubleheader, 5-3, Saturday. Purdue scored two in both the third and fourth innings and never looked back. The Hawkeye defense played solid in the loss; however Iowa’s offense struggled against lefty Matt Jansen, only scattering four hits. Iowa has a 2-8 record when a southpaw starts the game. Iowa slugged past the Purdue Boilermakers, 15-7, Friday. Iowa plated 15 runs, five each in the second and ninth innings, on 18 hits en route to its 11th overall and second Big Ten triumph. Six Hawkeyes registered multiple hits and Iowa’s 1-4 hitters combined for 10-20 (.500) with two walks, six RBI and five runs scored. In total, Iowa hitters pounded out a season-high eight doubles. Despite losing the series, Iowa’s offense hit well– hitting .319 as a whole. Ryan Durant led the way going 6-for-13. Justin Toole extended his hit-streak to 15 games. T.J. Cataldo tied the single-game school record drawing four walks in game one. Pitcher Nick Brown picked up his first Big Ten win.
TOOLE GETS HOT IN BIG TEN PLAY: Justin Toole leads Iowa in Big Ten play going 10-for-25 (.400) in Iowa’s six games. He leads the team in runs (six) and total bases (12).
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 2.01 ERA in 22.1 innings pitched and has allowed only five earned runs all year. Big Ten opponents are only hitting .091 against him — which is saying something, considering Schatz has come into the game in some sticky situations.
IMPROVING PITCHING: The Hawkeye pitching staff has gotten noticeably better each game throughout the season, improving the staff’s overall ERA to 6.15 in the past few weeks. Lefty swinging opponents are hitting .167 against Phil Schreiber, whereas right-handed hitters have yet to get a hit on Kevin Lee and are hitting only .113 on Patrick Schatz. Freshman starter Nick Brown’s bread and butter is getting opponents to ground out, having 33 of them doing so. Michael Jacobs has had six opponents hit into double plays against him, leading the team. Hawkeye closer, Mike Schurz is averaging four strikeouts per walk.
LEE GETS OUTS: Kevin Lee was recruited as a catching prospect made a switch in the bullpen last season — going from bullpen catcher, to reliever. While Lee has seen limited action this year, only going six innings — he has had eight appearances (the third most on the team). Lee still has a perfect 0.0 ERA allowing only two hits on the year, both of which were from a lefty’s bat.
DAHM PRAISES BULLPEN: Head Coach Jack Dahm likes what his relief pitchers are doing. “Our bullpen has done a great job closing the door for us when we are ahead,” he said. “But besides that, when we are down, they do a great job holding the game and giving us a chance to come back.” Nick Erdman, Kyle Heim, Kevin Lee, Michael Jacobs, Patrick Schatz, Mike Schurz and Steve Turnbull have all had action out of the bullpen on Big Ten weekends, they combine for a 20.5 innings pitched, allowing seven earned runs and striking out 18.
JT IS STREAKIN’: Senior Justin Toole leads the Hawkeyes with a current 15-game hitting streak. Toole also leads the team in multi-hit games with 12.
OFFENSE HITS OVER THE FENCES: Iowa currently has 22 home runs on the year, which is one more than all of last year. Wes Freie leads the way with six and T.J. Cataldo has five bombs to lead the squad. (Freie had a total of four last season.) Ten Hawkeyes have recorded a round-tripper.
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 tied with the team-best batting average (.358).
BLASER IS OUT FOR THE COUNT: Tyson Blaser, who was plauged with injuries last season, had surgery last week and will sit most, if not the remainder of the season.