|Date:||March 30-April 1, 2018|
|Location:||Champaign, Ill. | Illinois Field|
|Game Notes:||IOWA | Illinois|
|Statistics||IOWA | Illinois|
|Radio/Streaming:||Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access ($)|
|Live Stats:||Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3|
|Television/Video Streaming:||Game 1 (BTN Plus) | Game 2 (BTN Plus) | Game 3 (BTN/BTN2Go)|
|Game 1 | March 30 | 6 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: LHP Nick Allgeyer (2-2, 2.15 ERA)|
|ILL: Quinn Snarskis (3-0, 3.00 ERA)|
|Game 2 | March 31 | 3 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: RHP Brady Schanuel (4-2, 2.48 ERA)|
|ILL: Andy Fisher (1-0, 3.90 ERA)|
|Game 3 | April 1 | 2 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: RHP Cole McDonald (1-1, 3.70 ERA)|
|ILL: Ty Weber (3-1, 2.68 ERA)|
The University of Iowa baseball team heads to Champaign, Illinois, for a three-game weekend series against No. 25 Illinois from Friday through Sunday at Illinois Field. Friday’s opener is set to begin at 6 p.m. (CT), game two is set for 3 p.m., and Sunday’s series finale will begin at 2 p.m.
• The first two games of the series will be available on BTN Plus on BTN2Go, while Sunday’s series finale will be televised on BTN. Brandon Gaudin and Scott Pose will be on the call. BTN Plus is a paid subscription service.
• All Iowa games will also be available via the Hawkeye Radio Network with Zach Mackey on the call. The games can be heard on Hawkeye All-Access and on select stations across the state. All three games will be on WDBQ-FM 107.5 in Dubuque and KKFD-FM 95.9 in Fairfield. Games one and two will be on KMJM-AM 1360 in Cedar Rapids, while KDEC-AM 1240 in Decorah will pick up game two, and Sunday’s finale will be on AM 800 KXIC in Iowa City.
• Iowa is 1-4 against ranked opponents this season with its lone win coming March 23 against No. 11 Indiana. This weekend’s series is the Hawkeyes second straight against a ranked foe and the third such series of the season.
• Iowa has used the same starting weekend rotation in each of the first six weeks of the season. The trio of Nick Allgeyer, Brady Schanuel, and Cole McDonald are a combined 7-5 with a 2.67 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 91 innings.
• In his last two starts, Schanuel is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in victories over Evansville and No. 11 Indiana. He has allowed two hits over 12 innings and has 17 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .053 against the right-hander.
• How big is it to have Chris Whelan back in the Iowa lineup? In just eight games, the junior is fourth on the team in runs, sixth in hits, and seventh in total bases. He is hitting .412 with four multi-hit games and one strikeout in 34 at-bats.
• Senior Tyler Cropley is currently riding a six-game hitting streak, where he’s hitting .542 (13-of-24) with seven extra base hits (five doubles, two home runs), eight RBIs, and six runs scored.
• Iowa is third in the Big Ten in team fielding percentage (.972) and seventh in team batting average (.271) and ERA (3.99).
• The Hawkeyes have hit 12 home runs over their last nine games. Iowa hit four home runs over the first 13 contests.
• Junior outfielder Robert Neustrom was named the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year by both Perfect Game and Baseball America. Senior Tyler Cropley was named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List, an honor presented to the top catcher in Division I baseball.
• The Hawkeyes were picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten by Perfect Game, fifth by D1Baseball.com, and sixth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches poll.
• Iowa has won 140 games over the past four seasons under head coach Rick Heller — the best four-year stretch in school history. The Hawkeyes have advanced to NCAA Regional play in two of the last three seasons.
• Iowa has won six of its last eight games heading into this weekend at Illinois. The Hawkeyes split its Big Ten opening series against No. 11 Indiana.
• The Hawkeyes have homered in four straight games, including hitting two or more jacks in three of the last four contests. The three-home run game against Bradley (March 28) was a season high.
• Iowa’s 5-1 victory over No. 11 Indiana was the highest ranked opponent the Hawkeyes have defeated since 2008 (No. 8 Vanderbilt).
• Iowa has the third-best team on-base percentage (.376) in the Big Ten and is fifth in the conference in home runs (16).
• Three Hawkeyes — Robert Neustrom (12), Tyler Cropley (10), and Kyle Crowl (10) — bring double-digit reached base streaks to Champaign. Neustrom also has an eight-game hitting streak.
• Iowa had a season-high 15 hits in its 13-9 victory over Bradley on March 28. Iowa’s top three guys in the order — Chris Whelan, Robert Neustrom, and Tyler Cropley — were 10-of-15 with seven runs and seven RBIs.
• Iowa is 5-2 in games decided by two runs or less this season.
• The Hawkeyes were crowned the team champions at the All-State Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic on Feb. 25 in New Orleans. Iowa and New Orleans both posted 2-1 records, but the Hawkeyes won the head-to-head meeting.
• Iowa is 16-of-22 in stolen base attempts in 2018. Sophomore Lorenzo Elion has a team-best three steals in four chances.
• The Hawkeyes return two All-Big Ten selections — Neustrom and Tyler Cropley — and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-Americans Kyle Shimp and Ben Norman.
• Iowa was ranked 44th in the College Sports Madness preseason rankings. The Hawkeyes were also receiving votes in the USBWA preseason rankings.
• Illinois is 16-5 overall and is ranked 24th by Baseball America, 25th by D1Baseball.com, and the NCBWA, while receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Illini are 8-2 in their last 10 games.
• Illinois has won six straight games dating back to March 18, which includes a three-game sweep of Northwestern last weekend in Evanston. The Illini are 2-1 against ranked foes with victories over No. 19 Coastal Carolina and No. 11 UCLA.
• The Illini are hitting .277 as a team and averaging 7.0 runs per game. Three players are hitting above .300 with first baseman Bren Spillane putting up monster numbers. He is hitting .474 with 12 doubles, one triple, and 11 home runs to go along with 33 RBIs and 26 runs. Spillane has a 1.077 slugging percentage.
• Illinois’ rotation boasts a 3.97 team ERA, allowing 177 hits over 188 innings. The Illini have 137 strikeouts against 83 walks on the year.
• Iowa will face RHP Quinn Snarskis (3-0, 3.00 ERA) on Friday, LHP Andy Fisher (1-0, 3.90 ERA) on Saturday, and RHP Ty Weber (3-1, 2.68 ERA) on Sunday.
•Illinois leads the all-time series against Iowa, 127-86-2.
• Iowa has won the last two series against the Illini, winning 2-of-3 games in 2016 in Iowa City and 2-of-3 games last year in Champaign.
• The Hawkeyes roughed up Ty Weber to the tune of five runs over 3 1/3 innings to win game one, 6-5, in 2017.
Iowa has won 17 of 24 (71 percent) of its Big Ten Conference series dating back to the 2015 season. The Hawkeyes have won four straight league series heading into this weekend against Illinois. (Last weekend Iowa settled for a split with No. 11 Indiana in Iowa City as the finale was cancelled due to snow.)
PLUG AND PLAY
Redshirt junior Chris Whelan has been instant offense for the Hawkeyes since making his season debut on March 17 against Evansville. The Illinois native missed the first month (14 games) recovering from Tommy John surgery.
• Whelan has hit safely in seven of eight games and has four multi-hit contests. He is hitting .412 (14-of-34) with 11 runs, three walks, and a .474 on-base percentage as Iowa’s leadoff hitter.
• Whelan had a career-high four hits, finishing 4-for-5 with a career-best four runs in Iowa’s 13-9 come-from-behind victory over Bradley on March 28.
• In eight games, Whelan is already fourth on the team in runs, sixth in hits, and seventh in total bases.
SCHANUEL EARNS BIG TEN HONOR
Junior Brady Schanuel was named the Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week on March 26 after tossing seven shutout innings in a win over No. 11 Indiana. It was his first career honor. Schanuel struck out a career-high 11 and retired the final 10 Hoosiers he faced.
• The 11 strikeouts are the most by a Hawkeye since 2004 (Nathan Johnson – 14 – at Indiana).
Senior Tyler Cropley has hit safely in six straight games where he has posted five multi-hit contests. The McCook Lake, South Dakota, native is hitting .542 (13-of-24) with seven extra base hits (five doubles, two home runs), eight RBIs, and six runs scored during the stretch.
• Cropley hit a walk-off grand slam to give Iowa a 13-9 victory over Bradley on March 28. He finished with a career-high five RBIs in the game. The walk-off homer was the first of Cropley’s baseball career and it was his second grand slam as a Hawkeye, ironically both coming against the Braves.
• Cropley ranks in the top six in the Big Ten in six different categories this season. He is sixth in on-base percentage (.459), tied for seventh in doubles (8), eighth in slugging percentage (.568), ninth in batting average (.358), tied for 10th in RBIs (22), and 13th in total bases (46).
• Cropley is tied for the team lead with nine multi-hit games (seven 2-hit, two 3-hit) and he has a team-best six multi-RBI games.
• Cropley is on the Johnny Bench Award Watch List. The honor is given to the top catcher in Division I baseball.
CROWL’S BIG WEEKEND
Sophomore Kyle Crowl was right in the middle of Iowa’s three-game sweep of Evansville. The shortstop batted .500 (5-of-10) and drove in six runs in the three games.
• He went 2-for-4 with a two-run double and two-run triple en route to a career-high four RBIs in the game two victory before going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs to complete the weekend sweep.
• Crowl has hit safely in nine of the last 10 games where he’s hitting .314 with eight RBIs. The Council Bluffs, Iowa, native hit his fourth home run Wednesday against Bradley.
The Hawkeyes have posted five come-from-behind victories in 2018 with the latest heroics coming Wednesday against Bradley.
• Iowa trailed 9-8 through 7 1/2 innings before rallying for a 13-9 win. Lorenzo Elion’s pinch-hit RBI single tied the game in the eighth before Iowa posted its fourth walk-off win in the ninth courtesy of a Tyler Cropley grand slam.
• The Hawkeyes trailed 4-1 through 7 1/2 innings before Matt Hoeg tied the game with a two-out, three-run double in the eighth. Iowa then posted its third walk-off victory of the season when Austin Guzzo connected on a two-run home run to right field, giving the team a 6-4 win.
• Ben Norman had the game-winning RBI single in the ninth, sending the Hawkeyes to a 4-3 win over Toledo in the season opener. Norman also reached via error in the win over Virginia Tech, allowing the go-ahead run to score in the 2-1 walk-off victory.
• Iowa has overcome deficits to win 26 games since the start of the 2017 season and posted eight walk-off victories.
• Sixteen of those victories have come with Iowa trailing or being tied entering or through seven innings and 13 have come in the final at-bat.
• Iowa finished 19-4 at home during the 2017 season, running its record to 56-16 at Banks Field since the start of the 2015 season. The 19 wins were the most by the team since winning 1989 (19-2).
• Iowa has 12 walk-off victories at Duane Banks Field since the start of 2015.
ON THE OFFENSE
• The Hawkeyes have had 10 or more hits in 11 games this season. Iowa had a season-high 15 hits in its last game — a 13-9 victory over Bradley on March 28.
• Iowa scored a season-high 15 runs in the midweek victory over Cornell College on Feb. 27. The Hawkeyes have four games with 10 or more runs.
STARTING & FINISHING
The Hawkeyes are out-scoring opponents, 26-9, in the first inning and 52-27 over the first three innings. Iowa is also out scoring the opposition, 29-15, in the eighth and ninth innings.
JUNIOR ROBERT NEUSTROM…
• has hit safely in 20-of-22 games this season and he has reached safely in 21-of-22 contests. Neustrom had a nine-game hitting streak to start the year; he’s currently riding an eight-game hitting streak and a 12-game reached base streak.
• is hitting a team-best .360 with nine multi-hit games. Neustrom is tied for the team lead with four home runs.
• ranks in the top 14 in the Big Ten in five categories… is tied for seventh in hits (31), eighth in batting average (.360), ninth in slugging percentage (.558), tied for 13th in on-base percentage (.434), and tied for 14th in runs (20).
• was the Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year by Baseball America and Perfect Game.
ON THE BUMP
• The Hawkeyes’ starting pitchers are 8-6 with a 2.67 ERA in 22 games. Iowa starters have 100 strikeouts to 41 walks and opponents are hitting .224.
• Freshman Ben Probst has a 1.69 ERA over his last four appearances, allowing one earned run over 5 1/3 innings.
• Senior Nick Nelsen is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last four outings, allowing three hits and fanning five over 4 1/3 innings.
• Iowa’s pitching staff has a pair of two-hitters in 2018. The Hawkeyes two-hit Evansville on March 17 and limited the 11th-ranked Hoosiers to two hits on March 23.
• Iowa’s pitching staff is averaging 9.0 strikeouts per game. The Hawkeyes tied a season-high with 13 punch outs on March 14 against Missouri State.
• The Hawkeyes have 199 strikeouts on the season, which are second-most in the Big Ten.
• Iowa has nine games with 10 or more strikeouts this season.
• Junior Zach Daniels is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA and two saves in eight appearances, spanning 17 1/3 innings. He has 20 strikeouts and is limiting opposing hitters to a .175 average. Daniels earned his third win, tossing two shutout innings against Bradley on March 28.
• Redshirt sophomore Grant Leonard is third in the Big Ten with 12 appearances. He is 1-0 with a 5.00 ERA with one save in nine innings.
REDSHIRT JUNIOR NICK ALLGEYER…
• is 2-2 with a 2.15 ERA in six starts. Allgeyer has 33 strikeouts, which are tied for seventh in the conference.
• ranks among the top-10 in the Big Ten in four different pitching categories — ERA, innings, strikeouts, and strikeouts looking.
• has allowed six hits or fewer in five of his six starts… has allowed one or fewer earned runs in 4-of-6 starts.
• has five straight quality starts against Virginia Tech, at UAB, at UNLV, vs. Evansville, and vs. Indiana.
• recorded his first career win as a starter (third of his career), allowing one run on four hits at UAB (3/2)… had four strikeouts against one walk over 6 2/3 innings… went six innings, allowing one run on four hits in the win over Evansville (3/17).
• had a career-high eight strikeouts (to zero walks) in the no-decision against Virginia Tech, where he went a career-long seven innings.
• made his first career Friday start — his second career start — against Toledo (2/16) — allowing three unearned runs over five innings and fanning seven.
• is 4-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 38 career appearances, including seven starts… has 71 strikeouts in 84 2/3 innings.
• missed the 2017 season recovering from Tommy John surgery suffered during the fall of 2016.
JUNIOR BRADY SCHANUEL…
• Iowa’s Saturday starter… is 4-2 with a 2.48 ERA in six starts with 36 strikeouts over 29 innings.
• is leading the Big Ten with a .149 opposing batting average and is tied for second with four wins… has gone at least five innings in four straight starts
• went a career-best seven innings, allowing one hit and fanning 11 in a 5-1 victory over No. 11 Indiana (3/23)… retired the final 10 batters he faced
• allowed a single hit over five shutout innings in a win against Evansville, where he fanned six… went a five innings in the road win at UAB — his second win of the season…allowed one hit and fanned a career-high seven.
• earned his first career victory against Old Dominion (2/18), allowing two hits and fanning four in 3 2/3 innings… was on a predetermined 60-pitch pitch count.
• Two-time MLB Draft pick — selected in 20th round by Philadelphia in 2017 and 36th round by Oakland in 2015.
• Two-time All-American at Parkland College in Illinois… went 20-4 with 161 strikeouts in 164 innings.
JUNIOR COLE MCDONALD…
• is 1-1 with a 3.70 ERA in five starts — four coming as the Sunday starter… hasn’t pitched since March 18 because Indiana game was cancelled
• recorded his first career quality start and first win of the season, scattering three hits and allowing two unearned runs in seven innings in a victory over New Orleans. McDonald had four strikeouts to one walk.
• is 7-6 with a 5.12 ERA in 28 appearances, including 24 starts.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook/iowabaseball, Twitter: @UIBaseball, and Instagram/UIBaseball in addition to coverage on hawkeyesports.com.