Hawk Talk Monthly — February | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch 2018-19 | Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | WEEK 1 NOTES (PDF)
|Date:||Feb. 15-17, 2018|
|Location:||Kissimmee, Fla. | Osceola Heritage Park Stadium|
|Game Notes:||IOWA | George Mason | Pittsburgh | Marshall|
|Statistics||IOWA | George Mason | Pittsburgh | Marshall|
|Radio/Streaming:||Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access ($)|
|Live Stats:||Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3|
|Game 1 | Feb. 15 | 10 a.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: RHP Cole McDonald|
|George Mason: RHP Jared DiCesare|
|Game 2 | Feb. 16 | 10 a.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: LHP Jack Dreyer|
|Game 3 | Feb. 17 | 9:30 a.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: RHP Grant Judkins|
The University of Iowa baseball team opens the regular season at the Diamond 9 Sunshine State Classic in Kissimmee, Florida. The Hawkeyes face George Mason on Friday at 10 a.m. (CT), Pittsburgh on Saturday at 10 a.m., and Marshall on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. All games will be played at Osceola Heritage Park Stadium, the former Spring Training home of the Houston Astros.
• 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 stations across the state, including KMJM 1360 AM in Cedar Rapids, KCHE 1440 AM in Cherokee, KDEC 100.5 FM in Decorah, WDBQ 107.5 FM in Dubuque, KKFD 95.9 FM in Fairfield, and AM 800 KXIC in Iowa City.
• Live stats are available on hawkeyesports.com and fans can follow along on Twitter @UIBaseball.
• The Hawkeyes are picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten by Perfect Game, sixth by D1 Baseball, and sixth by Baseball America in 2019.
• Three Hawkeyes — seniors Cole McDonald and Chris Whelan and sophomore Jack Dreyer — were selected to the Big Ten Preseason Honors list.
• Two new faces — hitting coach Robin Lund and volunteer pitching coach Tom Gorzelanny — joined the
Hawkeye coaching staff in January. Gorzelanny is a 12-year MLB veteran.
• With 15 newcomers,the Hawkeyes will need to replace three first-team All-Big Ten selections (Nick Allgeyer, Tyler Cropley, and Robert Neustrom. Chris Whelan (third team) is Iowa’s only All-Big Ten selection returning.
• The Hawkeyes will play 28 games at Duane Banks Field during the 2019 season. Last season, Iowa went 20-6 at home, improving to 72-20 in Iowa City since the start of the 2015 season.
• Last season, Iowa’s pitching staff set a new school record for the third straight year, striking out 499 batters in 53 games (9.5 strikeouts per nine innings), which led the Big Ten and ranked 18th nationally.
• Iowa has won 143 games since the start of the 2015 season, the best four-year stretch in school history. The Hawkeyes have won 173 games in the Rick Heller era (2014-present), which is the third-best five-year stretch all-time. The Hawkeyes won 178 games from 1981-85 and 175 from 1977-1981 under Duane Banks.
• After the Diamond 9 Sunshine State Classic Series, the Hawkeyes will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, for a four-game series against Hawaii, followed by a three-game series against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
• The Hawkeyes return four starters, their designated hitter, 2/3 of their starting rotation, and 19 total letterwinners in 2019.
• Iowa will play 12 games on the road against four 2018 NCAA Tournament teams this season (at Oklahoma State, at Indiana, at Purdue, and at Ohio State).
B1G PRESEASON HONORS
Seniors Cole McDonald and Chris Whelan and sophomore Jack Dreyer were named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors list.
AROUND THE HORN
• Senior second basemen and team captain Mitchell Boe is expected to bat leadoff this season after hitting .266 with a .352 on-base percentage last season.
• Senior Tanner Wetrich, who had 15 starts in left field last season, is Iowa’s starting shortstop.
• Junior Lorenzo Elion is Iowa’s starting Iowa’s third baseman after starting 37 games last season, hitting .275 (39-of-142).
• Junior college transfer Austin Martin will get the first chance to replace All-American Tyler Cropley at catcher. Martin hit .309 with 32 RBIs at Southeastern CC last season.
• Junior college transfers Izaya Fullard, Tanner Padgett, and Zeb Adreon are in a position battle at first base.
PATROLLING THE OUTFIELD
• Senior Chris Whelan will anchor Iowa’s outfield and lineup in left field. A Big Ten preseason honoree, Whelan is expected to move into a run-producing role after hitting .308 with four home runs a season ago.
• Defensive specialist Justin Jenkins, who started 45 games in centerfield last season, will share time with Ben Norman in center field. Norman, who started 29 games in left field, is looking to bounce back from a sophomore slump.
• Sophomore and two-way player Trenton Wallace is expected to see time in right field.
• Senior RHP and team captain Cole McDonald will start against George Mason on Friday and anchor Iowa’s rotation. It will be McDonald’s first Friday night start of his career. The New Hampton, Iowa, native made 11 starts last season, going 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA, while striking out 52 batters in 55 2/3 innings.
• Sophomore LHP Jack Dreyer will get the nod against Pittsburgh on Saturday. It will be the second weekend start of Dreyer’s career. In his first career weekend start against No. 12 Oklahoma State, Dreyer earned the win, allowing one run on two hits over five innings with a career-high six strikeouts. The Johnston, Iowa, native went 5-2 in 14 appearances and four starts with a 3.69 ERA over 31 2/3 innings a season ago.
• Junior RHP Grant Judkins earned the third spot in the rotation and will face Marshall on Sunday. With six career starts, it will be Judkins first career weekend start on Sunday. Last season, he pitched 39 1/3 innings over 13 appearances, striking out 37 batters, while holding hitters to a .260 clip.
A LOOK A THE BULLPEN
After losing bullpen stalwarts, Zach Daniels and Nick Nelsen, from a season ago, Iowa has several options in a revamped bullpen.
• Junior RHP Grant Leonard made 21 relief appearances last season, striking out 23 batters in 21 1/3 innings.
• Junior LHP Kyle Shimp, who battled injury last season, could see action at the end of games.
• Sophomore RHP Ben Probst could be an option after striking out 21 batters in 20 2/3 innings as a freshman.
• Junior college transfer Trace Hoffman, who led the NJCAA with 13 saves last year, is poised for late-inning work.
• Jason Foster, a transfer from Wright State, could also lock down a relief role after recording a 3.20 ERA in 44 2/3 innings last season.
COACHING STAFF CHANGES
Iowa welcomed Robin Lund and Tom Gorzelanny to the Hawkeye coaching staff after Desi Druschel and Joe Migliaccio accepted positions within the New York Yankees organization. Lund, who served as the volunteer hitting coach for the Northern Iowa softball program in 2018 and UNI’s volunteer strength and conditioning coach under Heller in 2005-06, will replace Migliaccio as the team’s hitting coach. Gorzelanny, who pitched for six MLB teams over a 12-year span, will replace Druschel as the team’s volunteer pitching coach.
Three seniors — Mitchell Boe, Cole McDonald, and Chris Whelan — and redshirt junior Kyle Shimp were voted team captains in January. Shimp is a team captain for a second straight season.
SCOUTING GEORGE MASON
• George Mason was picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic 10 Conference by Baseball America.
• Baseball America also tabbed Patriot catcher Logan Driscoll as A-10 Preseason Player of the Year and Patriot pitcher Jared DiCesare as A-10 Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
• George Mason went 29-17 last year and 16-8 in conference play, before falling to Saint Louis in the A-10 Conference title game.
• DiCesare, who went 6-5 with a 3.33 ERA in 16 appearances and 10 starts, will toe the rubber on Friday.
• Pittsburgh finished 29-26 last season, going 11-19 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
• Mike Bell enters his first season at the helm of Pitt after serving as the associate head coach and pitching coach at Florida State for seven years. Bell played at Florida State in the mid ’90’s, reaching the College World Series in ’94 and ’95.
• Pittsburgh’s starter is TBA.
• Marshall finished last season 19-32, going 7-23 in league games.
• Last year’s Johnny Bench Award finalist and All-Conference-USA selection, Reynaldo Pastrana, returns for his junior season after hitting .355 with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs as a sophomore. He was recently named an third-team Preseason All-American by the NCBWA and to C-USA’s preseason all-league team.
• Marshall’s starter is TBA.
• Iowa is 1-1 all-time against George Mason. The Hawkeyes won the last meeting, 4-1, in 2015.
• Iowa is 1-1 all-time against Pittsburgh.
• The Hawkeyes have never faced Marshall in program history.
Led by three first-team All-Big Ten selections in Nick Allgeyer, Tyler Cropley, and Robert Neustrom, Iowa finished the 2018 season 33-20 to reach the 30-win mark for the fifth straight year under Rick Heller. Iowa’s 13-9 Big Ten record placed them sixth in the conference standings to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament for a record fifth straight season. The Hawkeyes posted three series wins over ranked foes (at No. 22 Illinois, No. 7 Michigan, and No. 12 Oklahoma State) last season.
30 X 5
Iowa has won 30 or more games in each of head coach Rick Heller’s five seasons. It is the program’s longest such stretch since posting seven straight 30-win seasons from 1979-85.
2015: 41-18 (2nd-most wins all-time)
2017: 39-22 (5th-most wins all-time)
IOWA BY THE NUMBERS
• Offensively, Iowa returns 41.9 percent (133-317) of its runs, 46.1 percent (218-472) of its hits, 38.9 percent (37-95) of its doubles, 21.9 percent (9-41) of its home runs, 40.3 percent (113-280) of its RBIs, and 58.9 percent (23-39) of its stolen bases.
• On the mound, Iowa has three starters — RHP Cole McDonald, LHP Jack Dreyer, and RHP Grant Judkins — and 10 pitchers returning. The Hawkeyes have 45.4 percent (15-33) of their wins, 45.4 percent (214 of 471 1/3) of their innings, 46.2 percent (231-499) of their strikeouts, and 18.1 percent (2-11) of their saves back in 2019.
• Iowa’s 35-man roster features six freshmen, eight sophomores, 14 juniors, and seven seniors. Fifteen newcomers (five freshman and 10 transfers) joined Iowa’s roster this season.
• The Hawkeyes come from seven different states: 22 from Iowa, eight from Illinois, and one from Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, and California.
• Iowa has two sets of junior college teammates. Zeb Adreon, Austin Martin, and Trace Hoffman were teammates at Southeastern CC, while Izaya Fullard, Hunter Lee, Adam Ketelsen, and Jake McLaughlin were teammates at Kirkwood CC. Junior Lorenzo Elion also played with Lee, Ketelsen, and McLaughlin at Kirkwood in 2017.
• The Hawkeyes also have two sets of teammates who played together in high school. Freshmen Brendan Sher and Duncan Davitt were teammates at Indianola, while Izaya Fullard and Connor McCaffery were teammates at Iowa City West.
• The Hawkeyes finished 20-6 at Duane Banks Field last season, running their record to 72-20 at home since the start of the 2015 season.
• The 20 victories are the second-most in a single-season in school history, trailing only the 22 wins in 1977.
• Iowa has 13 walk-off victories at Duane Banks Field since the start of 2015.
The Hawkeyes led the Big Ten with a school record 499 strikeouts in 2018. Iowa’s 204 strikeouts in Big Ten action also led the league. The 499 strikeouts shattered the previous single-season school record of 470 that Iowa set in 61 games last season. Iowa’s 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings ranked 18th nationally.
• The Hawkeyes posted 15 come-from-behind victories in 2018, including five walk-off victories. The five walk-off victories were tied for the second most in the nation.
• Iowa has overcome deficits to win 33 games since the start of the 2017 season and posted nine walk-off victories.
• Twenty of those victories have come with Iowa trailing or being tied entering or through seven innings and 14 have come in the final at-bat.
ON THE OFFENSE
• The Hawkeyes had 10 or more hits in 21 games last season. Iowa scored 16 runs in a game three times.
• Iowa has scored 10 or more runs in 11 games last season.
• The Hawkeyes finished 24-3 in 2018 when out-hitting their opposition.
STARTING & FINISHING
Last season, the Hawkeyes out-scored opponents, 55-27, in the first inning and 126-86 over the first three innings. Iowa out-scored the opposition, 61-48, in the eighth and ninth innings.
• Iowa went 13-5 when it scored in the first inning and 22-8 when it scored the game’s first run.
• The Hawkeyes were 25-1 when leading after six innings, 25-1 after seven, and 27-1 after eight this season.
• UI head coach Rick Heller is one of nine coaches all-time to lead three different NCAA Division I teams to regional play.
• Heller recorded his 800th career win against Lehigh on
March 12 at the Snowbird Classic in Florida.
• The Hawkeyes have won 30 or more games in each of
Heller’s five seasons as the helm of the program. It’s a first for the team since winning 30 or more in seven straight seasons from 1979-85.
• Heller has led the Hawkeyes to two NCAA Regional appearances in three seasons; the program had three regional appearances in its history prior to his arrival.
• Heller is fourth in school history in career wins with 173
in his four seasons at Iowa, including the second (41) and
fifth-most (39) in school history.
• Heller led Iowa to its first Big Ten Tournament title in 2017 — the first conference title since 1990 — and he guided the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament title game in consecutive seasons. Iowa has advanced to the league tournament in five straight years for the first time in program history.
• Heller has coached at least one first-team All-Big Ten
selection each season, and has 20 Major League Baseball
Draft picks in four seasons — the most in a five-year stretch in school history.
• Iowa had a school-record six All-Big Ten selections in 2015 and five in 2017. The Hawkeyes have had 22 All-Big Ten honorees in five seasons under Heller.
• Iowa has posted winning streaks of nine games (in 2015)
and eight games (in 2017) — the longest streaks for the
program since 2012.
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.
SEASON TICKETS ON SALE
Season tickets for the 2019 season home schedule are on sale now through the UI Athletics Ticket Office online at hawkeyesports.com or at 800-IA-HAWKS. Reserved and general admission adult tickets are $75, while general admission youth tickets are $40. Fans can also purchase a “30-block” season ticket, priced at $99, where tickets can be used at any game or combination of games throughout the season. Iowa will play 28 home games in 2019.