April 20, 2009
HAWKEYES THIS MIDWEEK: The Iowa Hawkeyes will travel to Davenport, IA on Tuesday to take on the Western Illinois Leathernecks for the fourth time this year. The game will be played at Modern Woodmen Park. The Black and Gold will then host the Northern Iowa Panthers at Duane Banks Field on Wednesday. It will be the first of two games played between the two intrastate rivals.
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 Wednesday’s game this week, while Tuesday’s will be an internet only broadcast.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH THIS MIDWEEK: 1. Junior Ryan Durant is streakin’ with an 11-game hitting streak. Look for him to continue it. He leads the team with a .349 batting average.
2. After not starting against Northwestern due to a rain out, look for Phil Schreiber to pitch against Western Illinois. Schreiber is averaging two strikeouts per walk and leads Iowa’s starters with a .365 ERA.
3. Look for Patrick Schatz to continue throwing well out of the Hawkeye bullpen. The redshirt sophomore had a tremendous outing against Nebraska Tuesday, going three and two-third innings of relief and facing the minimum 11 batters. He allowed only one hit and struck out three.
SCOUTING WESTERN ILLINOIS: The Leathernecks are 8-21 and recently broke a seven-game losing streak with a win against Southern Utah last weekend. Western Illinois is hitting .300 as a team and is led by Cooper Stewart and Drew Laidig. Stewart leads the team with eight doubles, 18 walks and a .490 slugging percentage. Laidig leads with 23 RBI. The Leatherneck’s pitching staff has a 9.70 ERA and are led by Eric Eden. Eden has a 2-4 record in six starts. He leads the team with 40 innings pitched and 32 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .304 against him. Iowa is 2-1 so far this season against the Leathernecks.
SCOUTING NORTHERN IOWA: Northern Iowa comes into the game with a 15-19 record after being swept by Illinois State at home last weekend. The Panthers are led by Travis Bennet with a .346 batting average and a team-high 13 doubles, 33 RBI and .526 slugging percentage. Deric Manrique is putting together a solid senior campaign with 22 of UNI’s 56 stolen bases. The Northern Iowa pitching staff has a 5.39 ERA and is led by starter Nick Kirk, he has struck out 63 in 62.1 innings pitched. Reliever Zach Zirbel leads the team with a 1.96 ERA in 14 appearances with one save and a 1-0 record. Iowa leads the all-time series between the two schools, 63-27-1. This will be the last time the Panthers will play at Duane Banks Field.
Kevin Lee SHINES: Former catcher, Kevin Lee, was converted into a pitcher after signing with the Hawkeyes a year ago. This year, Lee has been a solid relief pitcher for the Hawkeyes. Lee has made 10 appearances this season and has a 2.45 ERA. He has six strikeouts in seven and one-third innings
HITS, HITS, HITS!: Fourteen Hawkeyes have recorded at least one multi-hit game this season. Leading the team is Justin Toole with 15, followed by Ryan Durant with 12 and T.J. Cataldo with 11. Eight players are hitting above .300 so far this season, five of which are freshman who have capitalized on their chances to play.
NORTHWESTERN SUMMARY: The Hawkeyes split a two-game series at Northwestern. Game three was cancelled due to weather. Iowa ended a nine-game skid with a win against Northwestern Saturday, 10-1. In the win, Iowa’s offense took an early first inning lead and never looked back. Iowa starter, Jarred Hippen, tossed a solid seven innings. Hippen picked up a win, allowing only one run on four hits and striking out four. The Iowa bullpen featured Nick Erdman and Kevin Lee. In two innings, they allowed only one Wildcat hit. Iowa’s offense scattered 17 hits, one shy of its conference season-high (18 at Purdue). Nine Hawkeyes recorded a hit, six had multi-hit games and five recorded two RBI. Northwestern scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh Friday to clip the Iowa baseball team, 4-3, Pacing the Hawkeyes this weekend was Ryan Durant. He extended his hit streak to 11 games and went 4-for-6 this weekend in the cleanup spot.
NEBRASKA SUMMARY: Iowa fell to Nebraska Tuesday, 8-5, at Hawks Field. The Husker offense got started early and never faltered — scoring in four different frames. Kody McManis led Iowa offensively, going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Justin Toole went 2-for-5 with a run scored and double and Ryan Durant extended his hit-streak to nine games.
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 2.12 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched and has allowed only seven earned runs all year. Big Ten opponents are only hitting .100 against him — which is saying something, considering Schatz has come into the game in some sticky situations.
DURANT’S STREAKIN’: Ryan Durant is currently riding an 11-game hitting streak and leads the team with a .349 batting average.
IOWA OFFENSE GETS GOING IN 2ND:The Hawkeyes have out scored opponents 40-18 in the second inning. The Iowa bullpen is able to seal the deal and get the win if the team is winning after the sixth inning, Iowa is 12-0 in that situation.