April 9, 2013
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Trevor Kenyon was working and waiting for another chance with the University of Iowa baseball team because he knew he was going to make the most of it.
“When I got that second opportunity to get back into the lineup against Indiana, I told myself, I am not going to get deep in the count, and I am going to go out and attack,” said Kenyon. “If there are guys on base, I am going to get them in.”
On March 30 in the first of a three-game series against No. 19 Indiana, Kenyon was given that second chance, and he has run with it. He finished the series against the Hoosiers with six hits in 14 at-bats for a .429 batting average. He had a pair of doubles and collected four RBIs.
Kenyon followed up his performance with a pair of hits — a double and triple — to go along with two runs and two RBIs in a 10-6 win over Western Illinois before hitting .462 batting average (6-of-13) with five runs and four RBIs in a three-game series against Nebraska.
“For me to produce gives us a little more confidence. Hitting is contagious, so for me to take it all in and be successful, the guys behind me are going to feed on that and start coming on fire as well.”
UI junior Trevor Kenyon
“The more at-bats I get, the more comfortable I get,” said Kenyon. “That goes for a lot of guys. It has been coming easy by just doing my normal job. That’s to hit gap power and get on base for those guys to come in and score.”
Kenyon opened the season as a starter, serving as the Hawkeyes’ designated hitter in 4-of-5 games, collecting a pair hits and an RBI in 10 at-bats. Over the next 14 contests, his at-bats were limited to pinch-hitting duties.
Since being inserted into the starting lineup a second time, Kenyon is pacing the Hawkeyes with a .452 (14-of-31) batting average with five extra-base hits, 10 RBIs and nine runs scored. His batting average has gone up 210 points from .154 on March 23 to a current .364 mark.
“My success is only there because of the guys in front of me with (Eric) Toole, (Kris) Goodman and (Jake) Yacinich,” said Kenyon. “When they get on base, it’s a lot easier for me because all I have to do is hit a ball hard to score them. Those guys are getting on base consistently.”
Kenyon is performing like the player UI head coach Jack Dahm envisioned when signing him out of Black Hawk Community College, where he was a two-time all-conference selection.
“We brought Trevor here as a guy that could hit in the middle of our order,” said Dahm. “He has established himself the last couple of weeks as a very good offensive player and an RBI guy. Now the rest of our hitters are starting to swing the bat better.
“Eric Toole is doing a good job getting on base, (Jake) Yacinich, after missing a couple of weeks with a concussion, is starting to swing the bat better. I like where we’re going from an offensive standpoint, but the key for us was finding that person in the middle of the order that could drive in runs consistently, and we feel like we have that in Trevor Kenyon.”
Kenyon is comfortable hitting in the clean-up spot and believes his production can spark the Iowa offense.
“For me to produce gives us a little more confidence,” said Kenyon. “Hitting is contagious, so for me to take it all in and be successful, the guys behind me are going to feed on that and start coming on fire as well.”
The Hawkeyes return to action tonight, hosting Kansas at 6:05 p.m. (CT) in the first of a two-game series at Duane Banks Field. Iowa faces Kansas State in Iowa City on Friday (6:05 p.m.) and Saturday (1:05 p.m.) before facing the Wildcats at Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.