April 8, 2009
THIS WEEK’S INFORMATION: Iowa vs. Indiana
HAWKEYES THIS WEEKEND: The Iowa Hawkeyes will host Indiana at Duane Banks Field in a three-game series this weekend. Indiana is 13-16 on the year, after a rough start that included a nine-game losing streak. However, the Hoosiers have pulled it together and won six of their last eight contests.
COACH DAHM ON INDIANA: “Indiana is one of the most talented programs in the Big ten this year, despite getting off to a slow start. They took two-of-three from Illinois last weekend which is saying something. On top of that, they have all-American Josh Phegley in their lineup, who is a tremendous player. This weekend will be a good challenge for our club and I expect some close games to be played.”
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 games.
HAWKEYES ON THE TUBE: Iowa’s two weekend games against the Hoosiers will be televised live on the Big Ten Network (HD). Randy Rhinehart and former Hawkeye Troy Wulf will call the action. Saturday and Sunday’s contests will be the Hawkeyes’ first and second games televised on the network this season, they are scheduled for five.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH: 1. Junior Ryan Durant is red-hot, going 10-for-20 this past week with seven RBI to lead Iowa. Look for him to continue his five-game hit streak.
2. After a stellar midweek series, look for Nick Brown to contribute offensively this weekend, whether it be at DH or pinch hitting.
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 after a great weekend at Purdue, Hoef went 4-for-8 against Kansas.
PROBABLE STARTERS: FRIDAY, 6 P.M. IA – Nick Brown (RHP, FR, 6-4, 208) IN – Blake Monar (LHP) NOTING: Brown picked up his first career Big Ten win over Matt Bischoff last weekend at Purdue.
SATURDAY, 1 P.M. IA – Jarred Hippen (LHP, FR, 6-3, 190) IN – Eric Arnett (RHP) NOTING: In nine appearances, Hippen leads the team in strikeouts with 27.
SUNDAY, 1 P.M. IA – Phil Schreiber (RHP, FR, 6-0, 190) IN – Matt Bashore (LHP) NOTING: Schreiber went a solid five and two-third innings against Kansas Tuesday, walking no Jayhawks in a no-decision performance.
SCOUTING INDIANA: Indiana is 13-16 on the year, after a rough start that included a nine-game losing streak. However, the Hoosiers have pulled it together and won six of their last eight contests. Leading the Indiana offense is Josh Phegley and Alex Dickerson. Combined, the two hitters have 17 home runs and 71 RBI between them and over a .700 slugging percentage. The Hoosier starting rotation is solid. Eric Arnett leads the team in ERA (2.17), record (6-1), innings pitched (54) and strikeouts (51). Iowa leads the all-time series between the two schools, 74-52.
SECOND INNING BATS: 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 is 10-for-20 to lead Iowa in the last week. With four runs scored, a triple, home run and seven RBI Durant led the team offensively in Purdue last weekend.
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.
BURKE BRINGS HIST BAT: With the untimely injury to Tyson Blaser, freshman Dallas Burke has been called into action. Despite his inexperience the catcher has done extremely well, offensively, for the Hawkeyes. Burke is hitting .667 in the Big Ten with a .750 on base percentage.
HAWKEYE OFFENSE BY THE NUMBERS: The Hawkeye offense is hitting .294 on the year and each individual has done its part in different situations. Justin Toole is hitting .425 when leading off an inning. Nick Brown is leading Iowa with runners in socring position with a .500 average. The team’s RBI leader, T.J. Cataldo, has 13 two-out RBI. Andrew Ewing is the Hawkeyes’ pinch hitter of choice, hitting .429 in the situation. KANSAS SUMMARY: The Hawkeyes dropped a two-game series to Kansas at Duane Banks Field Wednesday night. Iowa lost the final game of a two-game series to Kansas, 9-3. Kansas jumped to an early lead and never looked back, utilizing the short game to manufacture runs throughout the game. On Tuesday, the Black and Gold’s ninth inning rally came up short against Kansas in a 5-4 loss. The Hawkeye offense scattered nine hits, however left 10 runners on base, seven in scoring position, in the loss. Four costly Hawkeye errors resulted in two unearned runs. The loss was the third-straight game the Hawkeyes had the tying runs on base, in a loss. Iowa’s ninth inning rally came up short–leaving the tying run on third, and the winning run on second. In the series, Nick Brown got his first two starts at DH, going 6-for-9 with three RBI. Kevin Hoef continued to swing the bat well, going 4-for-8. T.J. Cataldo went 3-for-6 with two RBI.
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).
IMPROVING PITCHING: The Hawkeye pitching staff has gotten noticeably better each game throughout the season, improving the staff’s overall ERA to 6.10 in the past few weeks. Right-handed hitters are hitting only .125 on Patrick Schatz. Set-up man Steve Turnbull has been successful when entering the game with runners on, opponents are hitting .206 against the power pitcher. 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.
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 2.31 ERA in 23.1 innings pitched and has allowed only six 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.
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.
HEROES DAY AT DUANE BANKS: Saturday’s contest has been designated as “Heroes Day” at the ball park and will feature several special events throughout the game to honor the men and women who serve and protect our local communities, the state of Iowa, and the United States of America. Pre-game activities include a police car, fire truck, #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. car, crime scene van and military vehicle tour displays, a rock climbing wall, and much more! Sergeant Bob Cox from District #11 Iowa State Patrol will be there to sing the National Anthem with the University of Iowa ROTC Color Guard. Additionally, a helicopter fly-over will also take place and several local community heroes will be throwing out the first pitch. Heroes receive free admission with their “Hero” profession ID or if they wear their uniform, and friends and family members will receive the $2 group rate.
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.
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 (.339).
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.
TROY WULF GETS COLORFUL: Former Hawkeye pitcher, Troy Wulf, will provide color for this weekend’s two games on the Big Ten Network. Wulf is a former Hawkeye hurler and currently works as a Academic Advisor at Iowa.