Hawkeyes, Buckeyes Set for Conference Showdown

May 11, 2011

Iowa (18-27, 7-11) vs. Ohio State (21-22, 10-8)
Dates Friday, May 13 – Sunday, May 15
Location Columbus, Ohio | Bill Davis Stadium
Statistics Ohio State | Iowa
Media Coverage
Video Video of all three games available for purchase at video.bigtenwork.com
Radio Live broadcasts of all three games available for purchase at hawkeyesports.com
Live Stats Gametracker of all three games at hawkeyesports.com
Game 1
Date | Time Friday, May 13 | 5:35 p.m.
Pitching Matchup IOWA: Jr. LHP Jarred Hippen (3-5, 3.48 ERA) vs.
Game 2
Date | Time Saturday, May 14 | 2:05 p.m.
Pitching Matchup IOWA: So. LHP Matt Dermody (4-5, 4.07 ERA) vs.
Game 3
Date | Time Sunday, May 15 | 12:05 p.m.
Pitching Matchup IOWA: Jr. RHP Patrick Lala (2-4, 2.91 ERA) vs.

Iowa continues Big Ten action this weekend when it travels to Columbus, Ohio to face Ohio State. Game one first pitch is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. on Friday. The Hawkeyes (18-27, 7-11) and Buckeyes also play Saturday at 2:05 p.m. and Sunday at 12:05 p.m. All game times listed are central and will be played at Bill Davis Stadium.

The Hawkeyes, winners of three of their last four Big Ten Conference games, are only one game out of sixth place in the league at 7-11; the top six teams qualify for the Big Ten Tournament. The Black and Gold sit a game behind Penn State and Indiana. Iowa won four of its final five three-game series’ a year ago, including sweeping Purdue in the final three games of the regular season to finish third in the Big Ten, its highest finish since 2005. Iowa plays at Purdue the last weekend of the regular season (May 19-21). Last year at the Big Ten Tournament, the Hawkeyes bounced Purdue from the six-team tournament with two victories over the Boilermakers and rallied from a seven-run deficit to stun second-seeded Michigan in the semifinals. Iowa reached the championship game for the first time since 1983, before falling to top-seed Minnesota.

Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes with live stats (Gametracker) on hawkeyesports.com. Click on the GT link found on both the front page and the baseball schedule page. Whistlin’ Ray Gilmore is in his 34th season with the Hawkeye baseball program and will be posting the stats. All three games at Ohio State can be seen on bigtennetwork.com.

Fans can catch this weekend’s three-game series at Ohio State online at hawkeyesports.com. The radio voice of the Iowa baseball team, Brent Balbinot, will call the action.

Seven Iowa seniors will play their final home game Tuesday night at Duane Banks Field. Seniors Tyson Blaser (Taylor Ridge, Ill.), Zach Kenyon (Davenport), Kevin Lee (Oak Lawn, Ill.), Kurt Lee (Redding, Calif.), Zach McCool (Manchester), Jeff Pacha (Iowa City) and Trevor Willis (Homer Glen, Ill.) and the Hawkeyes will face Creighton at 6:05 p.m.

The Hawkeyes will play their final six Big Ten games on the road this season. Iowa travels to Ohio State this weekend (May 13-15) before concluding the regular season with a three-game set at Purdue (May 19-21). Iowa is 11-15 away from Duane Banks Field this season. Iowa is 5-8 as the visiting team and 6-7 at neutral sites. Three of Iowa’s final four Big Ten series this season are on the road. The Black and Gold are 2-4 on the road in conference games.

The Iowa pitching staff currently has an overall ERA of 4.12. It marks the Hawkeyes’ lowest since ending the 1979 season with a school-record low 3.14. The Black and Gold currently have a Big Ten ERA of 3.65. The best was an ERA of 3.39 in 18 conference games in 1971.

Ohio State is coached by Greg Beals. Beals is in his first year at the helm of the program. The Buckeyes are 21-22 overall and 10-8 in Big Ten play. Ohio State is 11-6 at home this season. The Buckeyes lost to Oklahoma State, 16-3, Tuesday night and host the Cowboys again Wednesday night. Last weekend, Ohio State dropped two-of-three at Illinois.

The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series against Ohio State, 74-68-1. Iowa is 6-12 against the Buckeyes under head coach Jack Dahm.

Iowa won two-of-three from Ohio State a year ago in the regular season series at Duane Banks Field. With the score tied 4-4 in game one, Kurt Lee launched a three-run home to left field to propel Iowa to a 7-5 victory. It was Lee’s first big fly as a Hawkeye. Iowa claimed game two behind solid pitching from starter Nick Brown and relievers Zach Robertson and Kevin Lee, 4-3. The win gave the Hawkeyes the series win and marked their fourth-straight conference win. Tyson Blaser led the Iowa offense going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Seven Hawkeyes registered a base hit. Iowa won the game in the bottom of the eighth. Phil Keppler tripled and later scored the game-winning run. Iowa dropped the series finale, 11-6, marking the Hawkeyes’ only loss in their final eight Big Ten games a year ago.

Last weekend, the Hawkeyes took two-of-three from Penn State at Duane Banks Field, earning their first Big Ten series win of the year and leaving them just one game back of sixth place in the conference; the top six teams qualify for the Big Ten Tournament.

Iowa claimed the series opener Friday night, 11-4. The Black and Gold recorded 12 hits and took advantage of eight Penn State errors to pound 11 runs. Each Hawkeye in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit in the victory. The last time Iowa accomplished the feat was a year ago (May 9, 2010) at Penn State. Jarred Hippen started and recorded the win, his third of the year. The junior pitched six innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits. He struck out six. Zach Kenyon and Jeff Pacha saw action out of the Iowa bullpen, throwing a combined three scoreless innings.

Iowa left 13 runners on base in a 3-2 loss to Penn State Saturday afternoon in game two. Matt Dermody got the loss, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out eight in six innings. Zach Kenyon and Tim Fangman combined in relief to pitch three scoreless innings.

The Hawkeyes claimed the rubber match in walk-off fashion Sunday, 2-1, in ten innings. Iowa trailed 1-0 before claiming a run in the bottom of the eighth inning and the game-winner in the bottom of the tenth. The victory ended Iowa’s five-game losing skid in one-run decisions. Iowa won the game in the bottom of the tenth as three seniors led the charge on “Senior Day”. Senior Kurt Lee beat out an infield single to lead off the frame. Senior Trevor Willis laid down a successful sacrifice to move Lee to second. Senior Zach McCool then singled to right, putting runners at the corners. Penn State then intentionally walked junior Mike McQuillan. With the bases loaded and one away, freshman Taylor Zeutenhorst delivered the game-winning RBI single back up the middle, his second of the contest. Patrick Lala started for Iowa, recording his second strong start in as many outings. After notching the win at Minnesota last Sunday, the junior took a no decision against Penn State. He pitched seven stellar innings, allowing one run on six hits. He struck out four. Tim Fangman, appearing for the third time in as many games, recorded the win for Iowa. The reliever tossed three scoreless innings, while striking out two.

Taylor Zeutenhorst has been a rock in the Iowa lineup of late. The freshman recorded both RBI in Iowa’s walk-off win Sunday against Penn State. Both RBI were of the two-out variety, including the game-winner in the bottom of the tenth inning. In the three-game set against Penn State, Zeutenhorst went 5-for-11 with four RBI and three walks. The native of Sheldon, Iowa has recorded seven two-out RBI in the last six games. The previous weekend at Minnesota, Zeutenhorst collected four hits and five RBI.

Junior Jarred Hippen was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week May 2. The weekly honor is the first of Hippen’s career. The Rock Falls, Ill., native earned the weekly honor after falling one batter shy of a perfect game April 19 against Minnesota at Target Field in Minneapolis. The junior needed just 72 pitches, 76 percent of which were strikes, to get through eight innings, surrendering one hit in the 1-0 loss to the Gophers. The left hander struck out two in the process, recording Iowa’s first one-hitter since Troy Wulf accomplished the feat in a 3-0 win over Southwest Missouri State in 1998. Hippen is the third Hawkeye to garner weekly honors this season and the second pitcher. Centerfielder Trevor Willis was named Big Ten Player of the Week March 7 and starting pitcher Nick Brown was selected as Big Ten Pitcher of the Week March 21.

Iowa out-hit Penn State Friday, 12-7, in its 11-4 victory. The Hawkeyes have enjoyed success this season when notching more hits than their opponents. The Black and Gold are 12-4 when out-hitting their opponents.

Matt Dermody had another solid outing Saturday against Penn State. The sophomore took the loss despite another strong showing, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out eight in six innings. Dermody has not allowed more than three earned runs over his last five starts. The Norwalk, Iowa, native has won four games in 2011 (4-5). As a freshman a year ago, Dermody went 3-2.

Mike McQuillan, known as `Q’ by his teammates and coaches, leads Iowa with a .329 batting average. The junior, one of two to start all 45 games this season, leads the Hawkeyes with 18 multiple hit games, including 12 two-hit outings and six three-hit games. The Evergreen Park, Ill., native leads the team with eight multiple RBI games. McQuillan leads Iowa with 28 RBI this season, 16 of which have come during conference play. In addition, the junior has raised his average to .384 in Big Ten play.

Catcher Tyson Blaser has recorded 14 doubles this season, a total ranks first on the team and fourth in the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes have enjoyed late-inning success this season. Iowa owns a 15-2 record when leading after six innings, including a 6-1 record in conference play.

Iowa has enjoyed success this season when getting on the board early. The Hawkeyes are 8-4 when scoring in the first inning and are 14-9 when scoring first.

Trevor Willis has tallied seven triples in 2011, exceeding his total of four from a year ago. The senior had recorded eight total entering this year. The seven triples this season lead the Big Ten and rank seventh nationally.

Iowa has outscored its opponents 37-14 during the fifth, sixth and seventh innings of Big Ten games this season.

Tyson Blaser is enjoying success behind the dish in 2011. The senior has thrown out 19 base runners. He gunned down 13 all of last year. Sophomore Keith Brand has thrown out six.

Iowa has laid down 71 sacrifice bunts this season; the third most nationally and the most in the Big Ten. Zach McCool ranks first in the conference and 16th nationally with 14 sacrifices.

Keith Brand did not see action in 2010. In 2011, the redshirt freshman is batting (.286). The walk-on has 12 RBIs. Brand has recorded four multi-hit games and five multiple RBI games.

Iowa has been patient at the plate in 2011. The Hawkeyes have walked 194 times, the second most in the Big Ten. Purdue leads the league with 196.

Mike McQuillan and Tyson Blaser have enjoyed 10-game hitting streaks this year. McQuillan’s streak ended March 18 against Gonzaga. Blaser’s streak ended April 12 against Kansas. Trevor Willis has tallied an eight-game streak and Kurt Lee has recorded a seven-game streak. McQuillan had a 15-game conference hitting streak, it ended Sunday against Penn State.

Twelve Hawkeyes, Mike McQuillan (18), Trevor Willis (13), Tyson Blaser (13), Chett Zeise (11), Kurt Lee (nine), Zach McCool (seven), Bryan Niedbalski (seven), Andrew Ewing (six), Taylor Zeutenhorst (four), Keith Brand (four), Phil Keppler (three) and Kasey Carling (three) and have recorded multiple multi-hit games this year. Nine have notched at least one game where they recorded three or more hits. Willis and Blaser have reached the four hit mark, with Willis accomplishing the feat twice.

Iowa tallied 19 runs April 3 in its win over Michigan State (19-7). The Hawkeyes recorded season highs in runs and hits (17). Iowa tallied 10 runs in the seventh inning, earning its first conference win of the year. The Hawkeyes’ previous high in runs this season was 11 and in hits was 16. The 19 runs mark the most the Hawkeyes have scored since defeating Illinois State in last year’s season opener, 19-11. It also marks the most runs Iowa has scored against a conference opponent since defeating Wisconsin in 1989, 22-3. The last time the Hawkeyes scored 10 or more runs in an inning was 1997. Iowa tallied 11 runs in the second inning of an 18-0 win over Truman State.

The Hawkeyes scored 33 runs and pounded out 32 hits in their back-to-back wins over Michigan State (April 3) and Coe College (April 6). The 33 runs mark the most Iowa has scored over two games since the 2009 season when it tallied 35 runs in back-to-back wins over Tennessee-Martin (25-6) and Austin Peay (10-3).

Hawkeye catcher Tyson Blaser recorded his first career home run last season in the regular-season finale against Purdue on May 22. In Iowa’s 19-7 win over Michigan State April 3, the fifth-year senior tallied his first career triple, giving him a cycle for his career. The Taylor Ridge, Ill., native has 34 career doubles to go along with his home run and triple. Blaser leads Iowa with 14 doubles this season. The 14 doubles are the fourth most in the Big Ten.

Four Hawkeye freshmen, Bryan Niedbalski, Taylor Zeutenhorst, Keith Brand and Kyle Haen, started in the 14-8 win over Western Illinois on April 20. Niedbalski went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Zeutenhorst went 1-for-4 with an RBI, Brand finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and Haen went 1-for-2 with two RBI.

Iowa was shorthanded in relief March 29 when its game against South Dakota State went 14 innings. Senior Jeff Pacha and junior Phil Keppler stepped up and gave career best performances on the hill. Pacha threw a career-high four innings in the 14 inning contest, striking out four Jackrabbits. Keppler pitched a career-high three and two-thirds the following day, while striking out four.

Senior Tyson Blaser has been named to the 2011 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award Watch List. The annual award is to honor those athletes that serve as a team’s starting catcher in at least 75% of the games. The watch list will be narrowed down to 10 semifinalists May 19. The finalists will be announced June 6. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. The winner will be announced at the 14th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 30, 2011, in Wichita, Kan.

Hawkeye pitcher Nick Brown was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week March 21. The junior earned Pitcher of the Week accolades for the first time in his career after leading Iowa to an 11-2 win over Notre Dame last March 18. The starter tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits without issuing a walk. The right-hander also struck out three en route to his second win of the season. Brown is Iowa’s first pitcher to earn the conference weekly honor since Brock Alberts on March 3, 2008.

The Hawkeyes beat Notre Dame March 17, 4-3, in ten innings in the first game of the Irish Classic. The win marked the first time a team defeated Notre Dame on St. Patrick’s Day in five years. The last team to top the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day was the Hawkeyes in 2006, also in San Antonio.

Iowa won at Mississippi State March 4 (5-3) and March 5 (7-6). The two victories over Mississippi State marked the first time in the program’s history that the Hawkeyes collected two wins against an SEC opponent in the same year. The Bulldogs are 19-6.

Zach Kenyon notched his first victory of the year in the 5-3 win over Mississippi State March 4. In the bottom of the sixth, Kenyon accomplished a rare feat. The senior righty struck out four batters. The third hitter struck out swinging, but reached on a wild pitch. Kenyon then got the next batter to strike out swinging. He recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in four innings.

In the 7-6 victory against Mississippi State March 5, the Hawkeyes added another rare feat. Senior Trevor Willis led off the fourth with a single to center. With two outs and Willis on third base, senior Tyson Blaser drew a walk. The senior duo then executed the perfect double steal, with Willis stealing home. The last time an Iowa player stole home was March 23, 2007. Jason White accomplished the feat in a 6-5 against North Dakota State.

Senior Trevor Willis was named Big Ten Player of the Week March 7 after recording three multi-hit games in four contests with Georgia State and Mississippi State. Willis posted back-to-back four-hit contests against the Bulldogs, leading Iowa to the series sweep. The four hits marked a career high for Willis. He also went 2-for-4 in the weekend finale, a 3-2 walk-off victory against the Panthers. The native of Lockport, Ill., scored six runs in four games, touching home twice in each of Iowa’s last three games, and drove in a run. The center fielder slugged a triple and went 3-for-4 on the base paths, including two steals in Sunday’s game and a swipe of home on Saturday. For the week, Willis batted .647, with a .667 on base percentage, and slugged at a .765 clip for an OPS of 1.432. The weekly honor is the first for Willis.

The Hawkeyes finished the 2010 Big Ten season tied for third with Northwestern (13-11). The third place finish marked the highest for Iowa, since 2005. In 2005, Iowa finished 19-13 in Big Ten play.

Jarred Hippen, who was named to the All-Big Ten Tournament team last year, was named College Baseball Daily’s preseason Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. He was also named to Perfect Game USA’s and Baseball America’s preseason all-conference teams. Hippen, a junior left-hander, started 15 games in 2010 en route to second team All-Big Ten honors.

Up-to-date head shots of all Iowa players and coaches are available on the internet at pics.hawkeyebaseball.com. Contact the Iowa Sports Information office if you are in need of additional photos.

Redshirt senior Tyson Blaser, senior Zach McCool, junior Andrew Ewing, and sophomores Patrick Brennan, Patrick Harshman and Ricky Sandquist comprise Iowa’s 2011 Unity Council.

Junior Kurtis Muller was selected in the Major League baseball 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Muller was chosen by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22nd round (667th pick). Senior Zach Robertson was picked by the Florida Marlins in the 30th round (917th pick), incoming recruit Patrick Lala was selected in the 29th round (891) by the Philadelphia Phillies, senior Patrick Schatz was picked by the Chicago White Sox in the 49th round (1,478th pick) and incoming recruit Taylor Zeutenhorst was selected in the 41st round by the Phillies (1,251st pick). Lala and Zeutenhorst did not sign professional contracts and are on Iowa’s 2011 roster. However, Muller did sign a contract and will forgo his senior year of eligibility. Under Jack Dahm, 22 Hawkeyes have been drafted. Sixteen players have been drafted in the past four years.

Big Ten Network television coverage of 2011 Big Ten baseball and softball begins on Sunday with a doubleheader of action and the premiere of Big Ten Diamond Report, the network’s new weekly studio show. Big Ten Diamond Report will review the sports’ top headlines, preview upcoming matchups and look at national storylines affecting the Big Ten. Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo host the show along with former Hawkeye pitcher and major leaguer Cal Eldred and Tammy Williams. The show will air each Sunday during the spring through the end of the Big Ten baseball and softball seasons with expert analysis, player and coach interviews, features and exclusive access inside the diamond.

Every year the UI Athletics Department continues to upgrade Duane Banks Field. In 2010, the Hawkeyes added 500 chair back seats behind home plate. The chair backs allow Hawkeye fans to purchase season tickets. This past fall, Duane Banks Field underwent a facelift, with a complete resurfacing of the field. New sod, dirt and drainage system were installed. Additionally, new batting cages were put in place down the right field line. In 2009, the UI Recreation Building underwent a complete makeover. Improvements included: a new locker room, lounge, training room and weight room for the baseball program. Iowa boasted a 15-6 home record at Duane Banks Field in 2010.

Head Coach Jack Dahm is assisted by coach Ryan Brownlee and coach Chris Maliszewski, along with volunteer coach Zach Dillon. Over the past 10 seasons, 25 players coached or recruited by Brownlee have been drafted; two more signed free agent contracts. In the past two years, Kurtis Muller, Patrick Schatz, Steve Turnbull, Kyle Heim, Mike Schurz and recruits Matt Dermody, Dan Sheppard, Patrick Lala and Taylor Zeutenhorst were drafted by major league teams. In six years of coaching summer collegiate leagues, he has seen 33 of his players sign pro contracts, including Khalil Green and Joe Thatcher of the Padres, Kevin Cash of the Yankees, Dan Meyer of the Marlins and Luke Scott of the Astros. Last season, the hitting coach preached a `pitch-by-pitch’ approach at the plate that helped propel the Hawkeyes to 11 wins in their final 14 contests; the team eventually finished 30-28. Iowa finished third in the conference and ultimately placed second at the Big Ten Tournament. The tournament berth was the eighth in school history. The Hawkeyes won three games at the tournament, which was the first time an Iowa team had won any game since 1990. The runner up finish in the conference tournament tied the school’s highest finish, which was accomplished once before (1983).

Maliszewski is in his third season as the Hawkeye pitching coach. In addition to his role as pitching coach, Maliszewski is also responsible for the team’s travel arrangements and assists with the youth summer camps. In 2010, Maliszewski and his pitching staff helped propel Iowa to a third place finish in the conference, as well as earning the school’s eighth Big Ten Tournament appearance. The Hawkeyes finished as the runner-up in the tournament after winning three games — the first tournament wins for Iowa since 1990. Maliszewski mentored his young pitching staff to improved numbers in his second campaign. Under his tutelage, the Hawkeyes posted improved numbers in wins, ERA, saves, walks, wild pitches and opposing batting average. Iowa’s talented arms helped the Hawkeyes to a late surge, winning 11 of their last 14 games. Individually, pitcher Jarred Hippen was named to the all-tournament team, as well as garnering second team all-league accolades. In addition to Hippen’s accomplishments, closer Kevin Lee broke the school single-season record with 13 saves – nearly double the saves Iowa had as a team in 2009.

All-Tournament passes and group tickets to the 2011 Big Ten Baseball Tournament to be held May 25-28 at Huntington Park, home of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, are on sale. All-Tournament passes are available for $100 each. Group tickets (minimum 20) are available for $7 per ticket. All tickets are available at www.ColumbusSports.org, www.bigten.org and www.ticketmaster.com. Last year at the Big Ten Tournament, the Hawkeyes bounced Purdue from the six-team tournament with two victories over the Boilermakers and rallied from a seven-run deficit to stun second-seeded Michigan in the semifinals. Iowa reached the championship game for the first time since 1983. Iowa ultimately fell to the well-rested and top-seeded Minnesota team in the title game.

Iowa will face Creighton in a mid-week contest Tuesday at Duane Banks Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. It marks the last home game of the year for the Black and Gold. The Hawkeyes then conclude the regular season with a three-game set at Purdue beginning Friday in West Lafayette, Ind.