Game Notes -- at Snowbird Baseball Classic (March 10-12)

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Dates: March 10-12, 2017
Location: Port Charlotte, Fla. | Punta Gorda, Fla.
Game Notes: IOWA | Villanova | Bucknell | Lehigh
Statistics: IOWA | Villanova | Bucknell | Lehigh
Radio/Streaming: Hawkeye All-Access
Live Stats: Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4
Video Streaming: N/A
Game 1 | March 10 | 12:30 p.m. (CT) | vs. Villanova
Pitching Matchup:  Iowa: Jr., RHP Nick Gallagher (2-0, 2.45 ERA)
VU: Sr., LHP Hunter Schryver (0-3, 3.60 ERA)
Game 2 | March 11 | 10 a.m. (CT) | vs. Bucknell
Pitching Matchup: Iowa: So., RHP Cole McDonald (2-1, 6.55 ERA)
BU: Jr., RHP Connor Van Hoose (1-2, 4.11 ERA)
Game 3/4 | March 12 | 12:30/3:30 p.m. (CT) | vs. Lehigh (DH)
Pitching Matchup: Iowa: Sr., RHP Drake Robison (0-1, 6.17 ERA)/TBA

The University of Iowa baseball team heads to the Sunshine State for four games at the Snowbird Baseball Classic from March 10-12 .  The Hawkeyes face Villanova at 12:30 p.m. (CT) Friday and Bucknell at 10 a.m. Saturday.  Both games will be held at Charlotte Regional Park (Field 3) in Port Charlotte, Florida.  Iowa closes out the weekend with a Sunday doubleheader, facing Lehigh at 12:30 p.m. at South County Regional Park in Punta Gorda, Florida.

• Iowa’s live audio stream of the four games will be available on Hawkeye All-Access with Zach Mackey on the call.  Steve Duncan will serve as the color analyst. 
• All games will be carried on select stations around the state via the Hawkeye Radio Network.  All four games this weekend will be on WDBQ in Dubuque; Sunday’s games will also be on KKFD in Fairfield.
• Live statistics will be available at and fans can follow the action via Twitter/UIBaseball.

• The Hawkeyes have tallied 10 or more hits in four of the last five games, including a season-high 17 hits in a 7-6 win over Hawai’i on March 3. 
• Iowa scored 12 runs — its second game with 10 or more runs — in a 12-8 midweek win over Northern Illinois.  The Hawkeyes had 11 RBIs in the game, matching a season-high.
• Six Iowa regulars are hitting better than .300 this season.  Three Hawkeyes — Robert Neustrom (third, .404), Chris Whelan (ninth, .385), and Mason McCoy (13th, .356) — rank in the top-13 in the Big Ten in batting average.
• Junior Jake Adams is tied for the Big Ten lead with four home runs. He is also tied for second with 14 RBIs.
• Offensively, Iowa ranks in the top-five in the league in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs, hits, RBIs, home runs, total bases, and steals.
• Junior Nick Gallagher is tied for third in the Big Ten in wins (2) and ranks eighth in ERA (2.45).  He leads the league with 22 innings pitched and is third in strikeouts (19).
• The Hawkeyes are picked to finish in a tie for sixth place in the Big Ten in a vote of the league’s 11 head coaches. Iowa is also tabbed to finish eighth in the conference by Perfect Game and ninth by

• The Wildcats bring a 1-10 overall record into the Snowbird Baseball Classic after dropping a 8-1 decision at South Florida on Wednesday.  Villanova lost its first eight games before defeating Central Michigan, 4-3, on March 4.  
• Villanova is hitting .208 and have scored just 28 runs in 11 games.  Todd Czinege is the only Villanova player hitting over .300; he sits at .302 with four runs.
• Villanova senior LHP Hunter Schryver is expected to start against Iowa.  The BIG EAST Preseason Pitcher of the Year is 0-3 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts  He has 16 strikeouts against 11 walks over 15 innings. 
• The Wildcats were picked to finish sixth in preseason poll.

• The Bison have won three of their last four games to bring a 4-5 record into the Snowbird Classic.  Bucknell defeated Davidson and Hartford last weekend in Davidson, North Carolina.
• Bucknell is hitting .236 as a team, but has three regulars hitting over the .300 mark. Danny Rafferty has a .353 average with eight RBIs; Keifer Rawlings has a team-best 10 RBIs.
• Bison junior RHP Connor Van Hoose (1-2, 4.11 ERA) is expected to start against the Hawkeyes.  He has 23 strikeouts to six walks over 15 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 17 hits.  
• In his last start — an 8-0 win over Davidson — Van Hoose earned his first win, allowing five hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings and fanning nine.
• Bucknell was picked to finish in a tie for third place with Lehigh in the Patriot League in 2017. Senior third baseman Sam Clark and senior outfielder Brett Smith were preseason All-Patriot League selections.

• The Fighting Hawks bring a 2-5 record into the Snowbird Classic.  Lehigh won its season opener at Fairleigh Dickinson, 16-8, before losing five straight. On Wednesday, the Fighting Hawks defeated Coppin State, 18-9.
• Lehigh is hitting .270 as a team and is averaging 7.1 runs per game. Three players are hitting above .300 with Anthony Rinaldi hitting .393 with eight extra base hits and five RBIs. Jacen Nalesnik has a team-best 10 RBIs and 10 runs.
• The Fighting Hawks have a 5.19 team ERA as they have surrendered 46 runs over 59 innings.  Lehigh has 46 strikeouts against 30 walks.
• Lehigh was picked to finish in a tie for third place with Bucknell in the Patriot League in 2017.  Senior outfielder Jacen Nalesnik was a preseason All-Patriot League selection.

• Iowa is a combined 6-0 all-time against its three opponents at the Snowbird Classic. The Hawkeyes are 1-0 against Villanova, 3-0 against Bucknell, and 2-0 against Lehigh.

UI head coach Rick Heller is in his 30th season as a college head coach and he needs just two victories this weekend at the Snowbird Baseball Classic to join the 800-win club.  Heller is the winningest coach in his first three seasons in program history.

The Hawkeyes are tied for second in the Big Ten with 12 home runs, one behind league-leading Illinois.  Eight different players have hit at least one home run; junior Jake Adams is tied for the Big Ten lead with four long balls.

• Junior Jake Adams was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on March 6 after hitting .417 with two home runs and six RBIs in leading the Hawkeyes to a 2-1 record at the DQ Classic. It was the first honor of his career.  
• Senior Mason McCoy earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors on Feb. 27 after hitting .438 with seven hits, six runs, and six RBIs in leading Iowa to a 3-1 week two record.  The honor is the second of McCoy’s career.

• Juniors Jake Adams and Matt Hoeg, sophomore Robert Neustrom and freshman Ben Norman were named to the DQ Classic All-Tournament team on March 5.
• Norman and junior Chris Whelan shared the DQ Classic batting title.  Both players hit .500 in three games.

Sophomore Chris Whelan moved to the leadoff position Feb. 26 against Morehead State and all he’s done since is hit.  The Naperville, Illinois, native is hitting .545 (12-of-22) since taking over the top spot in the lineup.  He has scored at least one run in all five games and seven total and has six RBIs during the stretch.
• Whelan has four multi-hit games since making the move, including three three-hit games. The outfielder hit his first career home run in a 7-6 win over Hawai’i. 

Sophomore Robert Neustrom has hit safely in all 11 games to open the 2017 season.  It is a career-long hitting streak.
• Neustrom has a team-best seven multi-hit games  and is hitting a team-leading .404 on the year.  Neustrom has back-to-back three RBI games. 
• The Sioux City, Iowa native, has two home runs, including a three-run shot in Iowa’s road loss at Minnesota. 
• Neustrom had 12 multi-hit games the entire 2016 season — a season where he hit .307 as a true freshman.

Senior Mason McCoy is back at his natural position at shortstop; he’s comfortable and producing.  The Illinois native has six multi-hit games and has scored at least one run in 9-of-11 games.  
• McCoy has two-hit games in five of the last seven games.  He is hitting .356 with 13 runs and seven RBIs and has seven extra-base hits.
• McCoy was an Northwest League All-Star selection in both 2015 and 2016, playing for the La Crosse Loggers.
• Iowa has had an all-conference selection at shortstop in each of Rick Heller’s first three seasons.  (Jake Yacinich, first-team, 2014; Nick Roscetti, third-team, 2015, first-team, 2016).

Freshman Ben Norman has stepped up and taken hold of the center field position. Over the last five games, the Des Moines, Iowa, native is leading the team with a .563 average.  He has nine hits in 16 at-bats with seven runs and five RBIs.  Norman had back-to-back three-hit games, going 3-for-4 against Hawai’i and 3-for-4 with three RBIs against Oral Roberts.  He also went 2-for-3 with three runs scored in a midweek win over Northern Illinois.
• Norman is hitting .357 with seven runs and six RBIs this season.  He has started the last four games in center field.
• He is also 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts this season. 

Junior C.J. Eldred will miss his third straight start this weekend at the Snowbird Classic.  Eldred’s ulnar nerved flared up following his season-opening start at South Florida.  The right-hander is 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA this season.

• Junior Jake Adams has hit safely in 8-of-11 games this season, including posting four multi-hit games.  The South Dakota native has hits in seven of the last eight games.  He is hitting a season-high .310 with a team-best 14 RBIs.
• Junior Matt Hoeg has hit safely in 7-of-10 games this season. The infielder has started eight games, including five straight at third base. He has two multi-hit and two three-run games during the stretch.
• Sophomore Mitchell Boe had a career-high two RBIs in Iowa’s 12-8 midweek victory over Northern Illinois on Tuesday.
• Freshman Grant Judkins pitched and hit for himself against Northern Illinois on March 7. He went 2-for-4 with three RBIs for his first career multi-hit game.

• Iowa’s pitching staff ranks in the top five in the Big Ten in opposing batting average (.257), innings (96.0), strikeouts (94).  
• Sophomore Cole McDonald earned his second win — his first as a weekend starter — in Iowa’s victory over Oral Roberts.  McDonald went five innings, allowing three runs on five hits with four strikeouts.  He is 2-1 with a 6.55 ERA this season with 12 strikeouts to five walks.
• The Hawkeyes had 14 strikeouts — the second-most in a game this season — against Northern Illinois.  Iowa is second in the Big Ten in strikeouts.
• Senior Ryan Erickson is 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three appearances.  He notched a save — his first of the season — against Oral Roberts, allowing one run on one hit with three strikeouts.
• Senior Josh Martsching is 0-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four appearances. The right-hander has allowed one earned run over 4 2/3 innings. He recorded his first save in Iowa’s 12-8 win over Northern Illinois on March 7.
• Junior Elijah Wood made his Iowa debut against Northern Illinois, allowing one run on two hits and fanning three.

• is 10-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 26 career appearances, including 12 starts.
• has three quality starts in 2017 in games against South Florida, Alabama State, and Hawai’i.  He has logged at least seven innings in all three starts.
• went a career-high eight innings in Iowa’s 7-6 victory over Hawai’i at the DQ Classic. He had a season-high eight strikeouts (without walking a batter) in the game.
• tied for second in the Big Ten with eight victories as a sophomore, which were the sixth-most in a single-season in program history.
• was named to the 2016 Big Ten All-Tournament team after allowing one hit over six innings and fanning a career-high nine in a victory over Maryland.

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