Wrapping Up the Summer

Sept. 2, 2009

FROM THE NORTHWOODS: Senior pitcher Zach Robertson had a tremendous summer in the Northwoods League. The Rochester Honker ace not only won the league championship in a 7-4 triumph over the LaCrosse Loggers but he set two league records. Robertson finished the season with a league-best career strikeouts record to 266 following the win. Also, the championship start extended his record-breaking total to 37 starts. He was also an all star selection and received post season all-star honors. The Des Moines native ended the summer season with a 7-3 record and compiled a 2.57 ERA with 95 strikeouts.

Junior outfielder Kurtis Muller received several honors in the NWL as well. Muller was named the NWL All-Star Game MVP after going 3-for-5 with a run scored and two stolen bases batting leadoff for the South division in a 4-2 win over the North. Muller finished the summer season being named to the post season all-star team. He ranked in the top ten in batting average (.335), on base percentage (.409), stolen bases (19) and runs (40).

Robertson and Muller made the PG Crosschecker Northwoods League Top 30. Iowa’s junior outfielder was ranked 23rd in the league and the senior southpaw made number 28 on the list.

Senior outfielder Ryan Durant followed his first team all-Big Ten season with a standout summer season, as well. Durant was named to the post season NWL All-Star list, finishing the season in the top ten in batting average (.324), games played (66) and hits (79).

FROM THE PROSPECT LEAGUE: In the Prospect League, pitcher Jarred Hippen had a good season with the Quincy Gems. He finished up with a 7-3 record in 12 starts, striking out 81 in 82.2 innings pitched and accumulating a 3.05 ERA. Hippen’s seven wins ranked the second-most of any pitcher in the league, his 81 strikeouts were the third most in the league (81) and his 82.2 innings pitched rated first.

Phil Schreiber went a perfect 6-0 with a 1.30 ERA with the Springfield Sliders. He struck out 51 in 48.1 innings. Schreiber’s winning percentage was the highest in the league, and his ERA ranked second amongst other pitchers in the Prospect League. He ranked 29th in the league according to PG Crosschecker.

Kevin Lee went 2-2 with a league-high 10 saves for the Quincy Gems. He appeared in 29 games and finished with a 1.89 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 38 innings. Batters were hitting a mear .127 against him. He got the save in championship win for the Quincy Gems, winning the Prospect League.

Hippen, Schreiber and Lee all made the Prospect League All-Star game. All three Hawkeyes represented the West, which won 7-4 in front of over 3,100 fans at Robin Roberts Stadium on July 15th.

FROM THE NEW YORK COLLEGIATE LEAGUE: Southpaw Michael Jacobs finished up with a 2.18 ERA and a 2-2 record. He struck out 26 batters in 33 innings for the Albany Dutchmen. Jacobs had great command, allowing only eight extra bases in 33 innings pitched. Despite being hit in the eye by a foul ball that ricocheted off the dugout wall, Jacobs has recovered and threw well the remainder of the season.

KEEPING UP WITH FORMER HAWKEYES: Former Hawkeye hurler Steve Turnbull was chosen by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 17th round (520th pick). Turnbull , a native of White Bear Lake, MN, was a key component of the Hawkeye bullpen the past two years. The right-handed fire baller, who stands 6-3, had the highest velocity on the Hawkeye pitching staff last season. This past year, Turnbull posted a 5.34 ERA in 19 appearances with 39 strikeouts in 28.2 innings pitched. In 2007, he served as Iowa’s Friday starter with 13 starts and team-best 44 strikeouts. In his four years, Steve amassed 136 strikeouts. Turbull is playing for the Auburn Doubledays in the New York Penn league. He has a 2-2 record in 29 innings pitched, compiling 23 strikeouts with a 2.79 ERA.

Junior pitcher Kyle Heim was selected in the 44th round of the Major League Baseball’s 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Heim was chosen by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 1,329th pick. Heim, a native of St. Joseph, MO, competed in 13 games last season and was mainly utilized as a situational pitcher. He recorded eight and two-third innings of relief, compiling an 8.31 ERA. Heim had two appearances in Big Ten play, boasting a perfect 0.0 ERA in one and two-third innings of relief. He did not allow a home run all season. In 2008, he appeared in 26 games, collecting 18 strikeouts in 37.1 innings of relief. Heim is currently pitching for the Johnson City Cardinals in the Rookie Appalachain League. He has thrown 17 innings, striking out 19 and compiling an 8.47 ERA.

Graduating senior Mike Schurz was selected by the Houston Astros in the 44th round (1,331st pick). Schurz, a native of Poquoson, VA, transferred from Radford University to become Iowa’s closer. After undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2007 and redshirting in 2008, Schurz came back strong as Iowa’s ninth inning go-to-guy. He posted a 4.15 ERA with three saves and one win in 21 appearances this year and amassed 33 strikeouts in 28 innings of work. In 2007, as the closer, he had six wins and nine saves in 24 appearances. Since being drafted, Schurz was called up to the New York Penn league from the Gulf Coast League. In the GCL Schurz was 2-0 with six saves and a 2.25 ERA. He struck out 22 in 16 innings pitched. So far for the Tri-City Valley Cats he has thrown five and two-third innings striking out 10 and compiling a 1-0 record with a 0.00 ERA.

University of Iowa graduating senior Justin Toole has signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Indians. Despite missing the last quarter of the season due to injury, Toole posted a solid .346 batting average with 31 runs scored, 13 doubles and 15 stolen bases. He was named to the 2009 pre-season third all-America team by Ping!, as well as to the Brooks Wallace Watch List. Toole is currently playing for the AZL Indians in the Rookie Arizona League. He is hitting 273 in eight games with a .636 on base percentage. Under Dahm, 17 Hawkeyes have been drafted. Eleven players have been drafted in the past three years.

Former Hawkeye Jason White was selected by the Orioles in the 17th round (519th overall) in 2007. Recently, he has moved up to AA ball with the Bowie Baysox. With the Baysox, he is hitting .245 and seen action in 17 games.

Iowa standout Caleb Curry is finishing up his second season with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in the Class A Short-Season Norwest League. He is hitting .210 in 34 games with a .576 on base percentage. Curry was selected by San Francisco Giants in 14th Round (417th overall) in 2008.

Iowa graduate Dusty Napoleon was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 19th round (600th overall) in 2007. The designated hitter is hitting .224 for the Kane County Cougars in the Class A Midwest League. He has a whopping .658 on base percentage, a .224 batting average and walks more than he strikes out.

2009 RECRUITS: Matthew Dermody was selected in the 26th round (775th pick) by the Pittsburgh Pirates, while Dan Sheppard was picked by the Chicago Cubs in the 30th round (920th pick). This August, both decided to turn down their offers and become Hawkeyes.

Dermody, a Norwalk, IA, native graduated from Norwalk High School. Dermody is the third-ranked pitcher in Iowa and 486th-ranked player in the country by Perfect Game Crosschecker. The left-handed pitcher threw a perfect 6-inning game in a 10-0 win earlier this summer. Not only was it a perfect game, but Dermody struck out all 18 batters he faced, a first for an Iowa high school athlete. His efforts made ESPNs “SportsCenter”, among other national publications. Besides that, Dermody carried his Norwalk team to a 3A state championship title and was named to the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star team.

Sheppard a Downers Grove, IL, native attends Downers Grove North High School. He is an athletic catcher who can also play outfield. He won the Kernels Classic home run derby in Cedar Rapids in 2008. Sheppard is the top-ranked catcher in the state of Illinois by Perfect Game Cross Checker and Prep Baseball Report. He is also the sixth-ranked player in the state of Illinois by Prep Baseball Report and the 417th-ranked player in the country by PG Crosschecker.

Ricky Sandquist a Fort Dodge, IA, native graduated from Fort Dodge High School. He will be used as a right-handed pitcher. He is rated 665th in country, the fourth-best pitcher in state of Iowa by Perfect Game Crosschecker. This August he led his fifth ranked and defending champion team to the Iowa 4A Sub State game, however, got his first loss of the season–ending 10-1. Sandquist also played in the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game in Carroll, IA this past August.