Heller Era Begins at Austin Peay

Feb. 13, 2014

Iowa (0-0) at Austin Peay (0-0)
Dates Feb. 14-16, 2014
Location Clarksville, Tenn. | Raymond C. Hand Park
Statistics Austin Peay | Iowa
Media Coverage
Radio www.apsugovernors.com (Sunday)
Live Stats GameTracker
Television N/A
Game 1
Date | Time Friday, Feb. 14 | 3:30 p.m. (CT)
Pitching Matchup IOWA: So., RHP, Calvin Mathews (2-5, 4.91 ERA) vs.
APU: Sr., LHP, Zach Hall (8-2, 4.53 ERA)
Game 2
Date | Time Sat., Feb. 15 | 2 p.m. (CT)
Pitching Matchup IOWA: Jr., LHP, Sasha Kuebel (2-8, 5.13 ERA) vs.
APU: Fr., RHP, Alex Robles
Game 3
Date | Time Sunday, Feb. 16 | 1 p.m. (CT)
Pitching Matchup IOWA: So., RHP, Tyler Peyton (6-3, 1.69 ERA) vs.
APU: Sr., RHP, Ryan Quick (5-2, 5.76 ERA)

Game Notes — at Austin Peay (Feb. 14-16, 2014)

The University of Iowa baseball team opens the 2014 season with a three-game series at Austin Peay on Feb. 14-16 in Clarksville, Tenn. The series will be held at Raymond C. Hand Park with game times set for 3:30 p.m. (CT) Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Fans can follow every game with live stats (GameTracker) on hawkeyesports.com. Click on the “GT” link found on both the front page and the baseball schedule page. Live game updates are also available on Twitter: @UIBaseball. Audio of Sunday’s game will be streamed online at www.apsugovernors.com.

The Governors won a school-record 47 games in 2013, finishing 47-15 overall, which included a third-straight berth into the NCAA Tournament. Austin Peay advanced to the regional finals in Bloomington, Ind., before falling, 6-1, to eventual College World Series participant Indiana. The Govs, who were picked as the preseason runner-up in the Ohio Valley Conference, return two starters and 15 letterwinners, including senior left-hander Zach Hall, who went 8-2 with a 4.60 ERA in 15 starts in 2013. Austin Peay also returns Kacy Kemmer (6-0, 3.31 ERA) and Ryan Quick (5-2, 5.67 ERA) on the mound. Outfielder Rolando Gautier is the top returning positional player, hitting .329 with 30 RBIs and 56 runs scored last season. Govs’ head coach Bob McClure has 17 newcomers on his 2014 roster.

Iowa is 4-6 all-time against Austin Peay. The Govs won 2-of-3 games last season when the two squads squared off in a three-game series in Clarksville, Tenn., on the opening weekend. Sasha Kuebel tossed the first game of the series, allowing four runs on five hits in five innings, while Calvin Mathews took the loss in the finale, surrendering four runs (three earned) on four hits in 4 2/3 innings of work.

Juniors — Eric Toole, Sasha Kuebel and Jake Yacinich — have been named to the Big Ten Watch List. Toole paced the Hawkeyes with a .337 batting average, 59 hits and 32 runs scored in 2013. He also tied for fifth in the Big Ten with 22 steals. Yacinich batted .286 and tied for the team lead with 24 RBIs, and Kuebel won a pair of games and posted a 5.13 ERA.

Iowa’s offense returns nearly intact from the 2013 season with 98 percent of the runs (1,652-of-1,684), 95 percent of the steals (57-of-60), 88 percent of the triples (7-of-8), 84 percent of the hits (374-of-443) and 81 percent of the RBIs (155-of-199) and doubles (43-of-53) returning. On the mound, the Hawkeyes return hurlers who accounted for 11 of the 22 wins and tossed 256 2/3 of the 447 innings.

First-year head coach Rick Heller is approaching a career milestone as he is 10 victories shy of reaching 700 in his 26-year coaching career. Heller ranks 39th among winningest active head coaches in the NCAA.

? Junior Eric Toole was a second-team All-Big Ten selection after leading the Hawkeyes in batting average (.337), runs (32), hits (59), total bases (67 and steals (22) in 2013.
? Toole is a preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection by College Sports Madness.
? Toole’s 22 steals were tied for the fifth-most in the Big Ten and were the 14th most in a single season in program history. Toole has 29 career stolen bases.
? Toole hit .412 during Big Ten play, ranking second in league-only games. In the second-to-last game of the 2013 season, he went 5-for-5 with five singles, tying a school-record for hits and singles in a game. The five hits were the most by a Big Ten player in 2013.
? Toole brings a nine-game hitting streak and 15-game reached base streak into the 2014 season.

Sophomore Calvin Mathews is expected to make his first Friday night start in the season-opener at Austin Peay. As a freshman, Mathews went 2-5 with a 4.91 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts). He had 27 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings and limiting opposing hitters to a .255 average.

Sophomore Blake Hickman will transition to becoming a two-way player in 2014. In addition to being one of the team’s primary catchers, the Chicago native will see time in a relief role. The right-hander made a commitment to pitching in the Northwoods League in the summer of 2013, where he was up to 95-96 mph on the radar gun.

Juniors Jake Yacinich and Jake Mangler return to anchor the Hawkeyes up the middle, starting at shortstop and second base, respectively, for the third-straight season. Yacinich started 37 and played in 41 games as a sophomore, hitting .286 with 24 RBIs. Mangler batted .255 with 19 runs and 18 RBIs, and was involved in 42 double plays.

Along with junior Eric Toole in centerfield, the Hawkeyes return both starters at the corner outfield positions. Junior Kris Goodman is back after hitting .269 with 28 runs and 24 RBIs in 2013. Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst and junior Taylor Kaufman combined for 50 starts last season. Zeutenhorst hit .233 with 15 RBIs, while Kaufman batted .252 with 23 runs, 18 RBIs and 25 walks.

After starting 25 games (12 at first, 13 at DH) last season, senior Trevor Kenyon is making the move to back behind the plate, a position where he was a second-team all-region selection coming out of Black Hawk Community College in 2012. Last season, the Davenport, Iowa, native hit .307 with 16 RBIs and 16 runs in his first season as a Hawkeye.

Sophomore Tyler Peyton is expected to be a part of Iowa’s weekend rotation. The right-hander was a first-team all-region selection at Iowa Central Community College in 2013 after going 6-3 with a 1.69 ERA. He paced the Tritons in innings (58 2/3), strikeouts (58) and opposing batting average (.141). Peyton will also provide Iowa with a middle of the order bat. He hit .358 with 28 doubles, 38 RBIs, .462 slugging percentage and .446 on-base percentage in 2013.

Juniors Taylor Kaufman and Nick Hibbing return to anchor the Hawkeye bullpen. Kaufman went 3-3 with a team-low 2.68 ERA in 17 appearances and tallied three saves as a sophomore, while Hibbing went 3-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 19 appearances. The right-hander also had a team-high four saves.

Juniors Nick Hibbing, Jake Mangler, Eric Toole and Jake Yacinich have been elected by their teammates as team captains for the 2014 season.

The Rick Heller era began in July, 2013, when Heller was tabbed as the 20th coach in Iowa baseball history. The Eldon, Iowa, native has been head coach at three institutions — Indiana State (2009-13), Northern Iowa (1999-2009) and Upper Iowa (1987-99) — leading all three schools to NCAA postseason play. Heller added Scott Brickman and Marty Sutherland to his staff as assistant coaches. Brickman, the pitching coach, spent the past four seasons as head coach at NCAA Division II Belmont Abbey University, while Sutherland, the hitting coach/recruiting coordinator, was an assistant high school coach and hitting/fielding instructor. The three were together on the coaching staff at Northern Iowa in 2008 and 2009. Heller also brought back a pair of UI baseball alums in Jim Magrane and Matt Wooldrick. Magrane will serve as the volunteer assistant coach, while Wooldrik will be the director of baseball operations.

? Of the 34-man roster, 22 are upperclassmen. The Hawkeyes roster features two true freshmen, 10 sophomores, 18 juniors, one redshirt junior and three seniors.
? The Hawkeyes have 17 native Iowans — the most of any state. Illinois is second with 12.
? Iowa brought in 13 newcomers to the 2014 squad, 11 of which are transfers.
? Iowa boasts six sets of high school teammates on the 2014 roster: Jake Yacinich and Jake Reinhardt — Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa; Matt Allen and Tyler Radtke — Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill.; Brandon Shulista and Nick Day — Solon High School in Solon, Iowa; Josh Martsching and Calvin Mathews — Davis County High School in Bloomfield, Iowa; Ryan Rumpf and Sean Moore — Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, Iowa; John Barrett and Jacob Sharp — Rock Island Alleman High School in the Quad Cities.
? Four current Hawkeyes — Will Kenny, Tyler Peyton, Dan Potempa and Brandon Shulista — played the 2013 season at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
? The Hawkeyes return 20 letterwinners, eight starters, and eight pitchers from the 2013 squad.

Four current Hawkeyes have been drafted by in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Play Draft. Nick Hibbing (2011, Pirates, 42nd round, 1,262 pick), Blake Hickman (2012, Cubs, 20th round, 614 pick), Sasha Kuebel (2011, A’s, 31st round, 946 pick), Taylor Zeutenhorst (Phillies, 41st round, 1,251 pick).

UI head coach Rick Heller signed five players — Nick Allgeyer (6-3, 185, OF/LHP, St. Louis, Mo./Vianney High School), Joel Booker (6-2, 180, OF, Columbus, N.C./Indian Hills CC), Kyle “Fenway” Parks (6-1, 195, IF, Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River Community High School), Luke Vandermaten (6-foot-1, 155, RHP, Fort Dodge, Iowa/Iowa Central CC) and Kyle Wade (6-2, 195, RHP, Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills High School) — to National Letters of Intent to continue their education and playing careers for the Hawkeyes in 2015. Parks is a top-500 player by Perfect Game.

The 2014 Big Ten Tournament will be held at TD Ameritrade Park on May 21-25 in Omaha. The field is expanding in 2014 from six to eight teams for the first time in its history.

The Iowa Baseball Academy provides year-round training programs, camps and instruction to youth ages 5-18. The academy will operate at Duane Banks Field and the Iowa athletic indoor facilities. The Iowa Baseball Academy strives to provide exceptional training programs to enhance player skills while teaching valuable lessons that strengthen the player’s lives. Year-round training programs provide an opportunity for players to build and develop baseball skills, while giving the Iowa baseball program a vehicle to add value to community programs and grow interest in the Hawkeyes. For details about Iowa Baseball Academy, visit www.IowaBaseballAcademy.com.

Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook by going to facebook.com/iowabaseball. Fans can also follow on Twitter @UIBaseball.

The Hawkeyes head to the Sunshine State for the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. Iowa will face Mississippi Valley State, St. Bonaventure, Ball State and Nebraska Omaha from Feb. 21-23.