March 10, 2010
THE SETTING: The Hawkeyes are in the home stretch of their 18 straight games on the road. Iowa will fly to Texas for a 10-day spring trip featuring nine games. The Hawkeyes will face third-ranked Texas in a four-game series (March 12-14), Texas San-Antonio in a two-game set (March 16-17) and Pan American in a three-game series (March 19-20), all on their home fields.
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. Whistlin’ Ray Gilmore enters his 33rd season with the Hawkeye baseball program and will be entering the stats.
ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES: Iowa trails the all-time series against Texas, 2-0. The last time the two schools faced was in 1930, in a two-game set. The Hawkeyes fell, 9-0 and 14-9. The Hawkeyes also trail in the all-time series against Texas San Anotnio, 1-0. Iowa faced the Roadrunners in 2006 and fell, 3-1. The three-game series against Texas Pan American will be the first meeting in school history.
SCOUTING NO. 3 TEXAS: The No. 3 Longhorns are 9-3 on the year and are led by a strong pitching staff and solid defense. Cameron Rupp leads the Texas offense in average (.333), hits (14) and total bases (19). The Longhorns boast a solid pitching staff with a team ERA of 2.10. Friday night starter, Taylor Jungmann, leads the staff with a 0.83 ERA in 21.2 innings pitched in two starts. He has a 2-0 record with a team-high 26 strikeouts.
SCOUTING UTSA: UTSA is 7-4 to start the season and will travel to Southeastern Louisiana before hosting the Hawkeyes. The Roadrunners are led, offensively, by Ryan Hutson. Hutson is hitting .300 with a team-high .550 slugging percentage, two homers and 11 RBI. The UTSA pitching staff is led by Matt Crocker. The starter has a perfect 2-0 record in two starts having pitched a team-high 18.1 innings and amassed a team-best 14 strikeouts.
SCOUTING UTPA: The Broncos are 6-3 on the year. UTPA hosts Notre Dame in a series finale this week and Stephen F. Austin in a three-game series next week, before hosting the Hawkeyes. The Broncos are a solid hitting team that boasts a .357 team batting average, 28 extra base hits, 66 walks and a .471 on base percentage. (Vincent Mejia accounts for 17 walks.) UTPA is led by starters Cody Plunk and Hayden Daugherty. The duo has a 3-0 record in four starts between them. They have pitched 15 innings each and struck out 25 batters.
STACKING UP IN THE BIG TEN: The Hawkeyes rank in the top three in the following offensive statisical categories: batting average (.320), slugging percentage (.469), runs scored (66), hits (103), triples (5), home runs (7), total bases (151), hit by pitches (13) and they lead the conference in sac bunts (6). Iowa’s offense also ranks in the top five in: on base percentage (.400), RBI (59), doubles (17), sac flies (6) and stolen bases (14). Iowa’s pitching ranks in the top five in; opposing batting average (.305), battings struck out looking (20) and saves (3).
LEE `SAVES’ ANOTHER: Hawkeye closer Kevin Lee picked up his third career save in Iowa’s win over No. 25 Kansas, he struck out two in the final inning. With three saves, Lee is tied with Indiana’s Chris Squires with the most in the Big Ten.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH: 1. Junior Kurtis Muller entered the 2010 season with a 12-game hitting streak intact. With a team-best 18 hits this season, including recording at least one in each of Iowa’s eight contests– Muller is currently on a 20-game streak.
2. Junior Zach Kenyon is slated to start his first game of the season Sunday at No. 3 Texas.
3. Sophomore Chett Zeise has missed the last five games due to injury, but is expected to return to action this weekend against No. 3 Texas. He is batting .385 on the year.
MULLER IS BACK: Junior leadoff hitter Kurtis Muller is back to his freshman all-American self. After a sophomore season of injuries Muller is leading the Iowa offense. Against No. 25 Kansas, Muller went 8-for-17 with three runs scored, two stolen bases and three doubles. On the year, Muller is hitting .474 with a team-best 10 runs scored, five doubles, .640 slugging percentage and four stolen bases.
SITUATIONALLY SPEAKING: Lefty Dallas Burke is hitting .500 (5-for-10) against southpaw pitchers. Iowa’s pinch hitters are 3-for-9. Both Burke and Andew Host are a perfect 1-for-1. With runners in scoring position, Dan Sheppard leads the team with a .750 average (3-for-4) and Kurtis Muller is 7-for-14 with two outs. The Hawkeyes deliver with two outs; 22 of its 66 runs scored have come with two out. Six different Hawkeyes have three or more RBI. Kurt Lee leads the way with four. Jarred Hippen finds a way to get batters out, the lefty has a team-best 16 fly outs and 26 groundouts. Zach Kenyon is dominate against left-handed opponents, going a mere 2-for-12 against him.
PITCHING STAFF: The Hawkeye bullpen featured seven pitchers in the four-game series against No. 25 Kansas. Kevin Gates and Jeff Pacha earned their first action of the year. The duo combined for three innings, allowing no runs or hits. Zach Kenyon also had a quality outing, pitching four and two-third innings, allowing one run on four hits. The bullpen also featured Kevin Lee, Ricky Sandquist and Michael Jacobs.
WHERE THE HAWKEYES RANK: The Hawkeyes are making a splash in individual Big Ten rankings. Iowa players that rank in the top five include: Kurtis Muller in doubles (secnd), hits (secnd), batting average (fourth) and stolen bases (fifth) Sean Flanagan ranks in hit by pitches (second). Flanagan and Ryan Durant in sac flies (second). Trevor Willis and Mike McQuillan lead the conference in sac bunts (first) and Kurt Lee ranks in stolen bases (fifth). Phil Schreiber ranks in opposing batting average (sixth), Jarred Hippen in innings pitched (fourth) and Kevin Lee leads the league in saves.
WILLIS GETS HOT: Junior Trevor Willis is on a seven-game hit streak. The outfielder boasts a .400 batting average and has a team-best two triples after collecting another one in Iowa’s win over No. 25 Kansas last Friday.
HAWKEYES ARE STREAKIN’: Junior Kurtis Muller entered the 2010 season with a 12-game hitting streak intact. With a hot bat so far this season, Muller has continued on to an active 20-game streak entering this weekend’s play at No. 3 Texas. Trevor Willis is also on a roll. Willis is on a seven-game streak, having recorded a hit in every game this season but the season-opener against Illinois State.
WEEKEND RECAP: Iowa finished 1-3 in a four-game series against No. 25 Kansas at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence, KS. Top offensive performances were by Kurtis Muller, he went 8-for-17 with three doubles, three runs scored and two stolen bases. Trevor Willis went 5-for-14 with a triple and three RBI. Phil Keppler went 3-for-6 with two RBI and three walks. Starter Phil Schreiber had a great start, picking up Iowa’s only win of the weekend and his first win of the year. The righty went six innings allowing only one run. Other solid pitching performances came from: Zach Kenyon, Kevin Gates and Jeff Pacha in the bullpen. The Hawkeyes dropped game one 8-1, but won the game two of the double header, 5-3. Saturday, Iowa fell 8-4 in game three and 15-7 Sunday in the series finale.
SEASON TICKETS: With Iowa on its last leg of its long road schedule and the home opener quickly approaching Hawkeye fans are encouraged to get season tickets.
$25 – Reserved Season Ticket
$15 – General Admission Season Tickets
Free – 18 and Under – General Admission
For more information, call the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS.