June 19, 2009
Highlights of the week 6/8-6/10:
>Zach Robertson picked up two wins for the Rochester Honkers last week. Robertson is now 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA. He picked up a 1-0 win going 7 innings against the LaCrosse Loggers allowing no runs on four hits with seven strikeouts. Robertson went six innings and allowed no runs on three hits with three strikeouts in a 3-0 victory over the St. Cloud River Bats
>Ryan Durant was red hot last weekend. He went 3-for-4 with a run scored in a 5-0 victory over the Waterloo Bucks on Saturday and went a perfect 3-for-3 with a run scored, a walk and an RBI Sunday in a 8-2 victory over the Alexandria Beetles. >Zach Kenyon threw a complete game in a 10-2 victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks. He allowed two runs on six hits with nine strikeouts. Kenyon is 2-2 on the year with a 3.0 ERA.
>Jarred Hippen picked up two wins for the Quincy Gems last week. Hippen is now 2-0 with a .44 ERA. He went six innings and allowed no runs on two hits with eight strikeouts in a 8-1 win over the Hannibal Cavemen. Hippen threw a complete shutout Sunday allowing only five hits with 11 strikeouts against the North Coast Knights.
>Kevin Lee is throwing solid relief for the Quincy Gems. Lee has thrown 10.1 innings and allowed only one walk with 20 strikeouts.
Feature Story: Tyson Blaser – Madison Mallards:
Redshirt junior Tyson Blaser was plagued with injuries his sophomore season and just when he started to get hot in 2009, he was down for the count again — this time taking a medical redshirt.
“The ligament that stabilizes your thumb was completely tore away from the bone,” Blaser said. “It happened when I hit a single against Louisville during the first game and was sliding back into the bag after a pickoff attempt.”
After watching a majority of the Hawkeyes season from the bench Blaser is finally back playing for the Madison Mallards.
“My hand is still pretty week so I am working on strengthening it,” he said. “I still tape it up every game and would say I am still only 85%”
Despite not being completely healthy Blaser is hitting .265 currently for the Mallards with nine walks and a .468 on base percentage.
“Swinging the bat felt great,” Blaser said. “Some pitches gave me trouble and still sting my hand a bit, but it was great to get out there and actually play again.”
While there is a lot of work to be done this summer for Blaser, who missed last summer season due to injuries, his sights are still on this coming spring.
“We need to take ownership in the program, and turn this thing around,” Blaser said. “I want to still accomplish some big things at Iowa. My goals are to be on the field everyday and be a leader. I have been around the program for three years and know the ins and outs. I want to share them with the younger guys and mentor them.”
Until then, Blaser is taking things one at a time — having fun in Madison, WI and just trying to get better.
“One thing being injured has taught me is not to take this game for granted,” he said. “It is too much fun to play and I have found out that a season or career can be over with a single play.”