|Date:||March 29-31, 2019|
|Location:||Iowa City, Iowa | Duane Banks 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 | Game 2 | Game 3|
|Game 1 | March 29 | 4:05 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: RHP Cole McDonald (1-3, 4.83 ERA)|
|Illinois: LHP Andy Fisher (3-1, 3.25 ERA)|
|Game 2 | March 30 | 2:05 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: LHP Cam Baumann (0-2, 6.23 ERA)|
|Illinois: RHP Ty Weber (1-0, 1.52 ERA)|
|Game 3 | March 31 | 1:05 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: RHP Grant Judkins (2-2, 1.77 ERA)|
The University of Iowa baseball team will play its first home Big Ten Conference series this weekend, hosting No. 23/25 Illinois at Duane Banks Field.
• First pitch for Friday’s series opener is set for 4:05 p.m. (CT), followed by game two on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. with the series finale at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Friday: Baseball Bingo
Saturday: “Have a Catch” — Adults and children can play catch on field after game.
Sunday: Kids Can Run the Bases
• All three games will be streamed live on BTN Plus on BTN2Go. It is a paid subscription service.
• All Iowa games will also be available via the Hawkeye Radio Network with Zach Mackey and Steve Duncan on the call. The games can be heard on Hawkeye All-Access/TuneIn Radio.
Friday: AM 800 KXIC in Iowa City, KMJM 1360 AM in Cedar Rapids, KDEC-AM 1240 in Decorah, KKFD 95.9 FM in Fairfield.
Saturday: AM 800 KXIC in Iowa City, KMJM 1360 AM in Cedar Rapids; KKFD 95.9 FM in Fairfield, WDBQ FM 107.5 in Dubuque.
Sunday: KMJM 1360 AM in Cedar Rapids; KKFD 95.9 FM in Fairfield, WDBQ FM 107.5 in Dubuque.
• Live stats are available on hawkeyesports.com and fans can follow along on Twitter @UIBaseball.
• Iowa has posted seven come-from-behind wins this season with its most recent coming against Bradley on Tuesday. The Hawkeyes scored four runs in the eighth to win 4-2 for their 12th win of the season.
• The Hawkeyes are 8-4 in games decided by two runs or less.
• Iowa has two series wins — at No. 19 Oklahoma State and vs. Cal-State Northridge. The Hawkeyes split a four-game series at Hawaii and suffered series losses at Evansville and at Indiana.
• The Hawkeyes took their home-opening series from Cal-State Northridge after sweeping Sunday’s doubleheader in large part due to Grant Judkins’ performance. Judkins delivered a walk-off double — his first hit of the season — in game one, followed up by a dominant, eight-plus inning pitching performance in game two.
• Iowa won two of three games at No. 19 Oklahoma State on March 1-2 in Stillwater. It is the second straight year Iowa has taken a series from the Cowboys. Iowa has won 10 games over ranked foes since the start of the 2018 season.
• Sophomore Izaya Fullard is on a personal-best and team-high seven-game hitting streak. During his hitting streak, Fullard is batting .385 (10-for-26) with two doubles and four runs scored.
• Junior Austin Martin has registered three multi-hit games in his last five games. The Altoona, Iowa, native has a team-leading 10 multi-hit games and is hitting a team-best .333, which is 11th best in the Big Ten.
• Grant Judkins owns the fifth-best ERA (1.77) in the Big Ten, having allowed three or fewer runs in all six of his starts.
• Redshirt junior Grant Leonard (1-0) is a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities, which are the third most in the Big Ten conference.
• The Hawkeye pitching staff owns a 4.27, the sixth-best in the conference, along with 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings, which ranks second in the league.
• Iowa is 5-1 at Banks this season, after going 20-6 at home last season. The Hawkeyes are 79-21 in Iowa City since 2015.
• Iowa has won 152 games since the start of the 2015 season, the best four-year stretch in school history. The Hawkeyes have won 182 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.
• Iowa is 7-1 when leading after six innings and 8-2 when leading after eight innings.
• The Hawkeyes have walked 106 times this season, the third-most in the Big Ten, which has produced the fifth-best on-base percentage in the conference at .364.
• Iowa’s 29 stolen bases are the fifth-most in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes only swiped 39 bags last season. Ben Norman leads Iowa with six steals in eight attempts, while four other Hawkeyes have least three stolen bases.
• Junior Matthew Sosa hit his first career home run — an inside-the-park variety — in game one at Evansville. He is one of five Hawkeyes with home runs this season.
• Three Hawkeyes — seniors Cole McDonald and Chris Whelan and sophomore Jack Dreyer — were selected to the Big Ten Preseason Honors list.
• The Hawkeyes return four starters, their designated hitter, 2/3 of their starting rotation, and 19 total letterwinners in 2019.
• The Hawkeyes were picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten by Perfect Game, sixth by D1 Baseball, and sixth by Baseball America 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).
SCOUTING NO. 23/25 ILLINOIS
• At 17-5, the Fighting Illini are ranked 23rd by Collegiate Baseball and 25th by D1Baseball. Illinois has the fifth-best RPI in the country.
• Illinois began the season on a six-game winning streak and started the season 14-3, which marked its best 17-game start in the last 60 years.
• Illinois has faced two top-25 teams; beating No. 20 Wake Forest 5-2 on the road, while falling to No. 20 Coastal Carolina, 11-3.
• The Fighting Illini were picked to finish third in the Big Ten by the conference’s coaches.
• With five batters hitting over .300, the Fighting Illini lead the Big Ten in batting average (.302), which ranks 16th nationally, and on-base percentage (.388). The Illinois offense averages 6.5 runs per game, the fourth-best in the Big Ten.
• Preseason All-American and designated hitter Michael Massey, who is hitting .350 with a .538 slugging percentage, mans the three-hole for the Fighting Illini.
• Backed by the Big Ten’s best defense who owns a .979 field percentage, the Illinois pitching staff boasts the second-best ERA (3.34) in the Big Ten.
• The Illinois rotation feature No. 1 starter LHP Andy Fisher (3-1, 3.25 ERA), followed by RHP Ty Weber (1-0, 1.52 ERA). Illinois’ starter in the series finale is TBA. Weber’s ERA is third-best in the conference, having allowed only five earned runs in 29.2 innings.
• The Illinois staff’s 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings is second worst in the Big Ten.
• Iowa’s all-time record against Illinios is 88-128-2.
• The Hawkeyes have won the last three series against the Fighting Illini, going 6-3 against them since 2016.
• Last season, Iowa went into Champaign, Illinois, and took 2-of-3 from the 22nd-ranked Fighting Illini.
MCDONALD THROWS A GEM
Senior Cole McDonald struck out a career-high 11 batters against Indiana in seven innings to become the second Hawkeye pitcher (Grant Judkins) to rack up 11 Ks in one game this season. McDonald’s career day started when he struck out the side in the first and finished when he retired the final seven batters he faced.
• Sophomore Izaya Fullard, who has hit safely in 16-of-20 games, is in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak, and owns a .296 batting average with a .367 on-base percentage.
• The North Liberty, Iowa, native has started 13 games at first base, four at designated hitter, and three at third base.
B NORM BALLIN’ OUT
Junior outfielder Ben Norman’s batting average is up to .276 after hitting safely in nine of his last 10 games.
• During Norman’s 10-game hot streak, he is hitting .357 (15-for-42) with a .413 on-base percentage.
• In the first 12 games of the season, Norman was hitting .200 (9-of-45).
• The Des Moines, Iowa, native is the only Hawkeye to start all 22 games this season. Norman has seen starts at all three outfield spots with 12 in right field, seven in center field, and three in left field.
WALLY FINDS A GROOVE
After getting roughed up in his first three outings of the year, sophomore Trenton Wallace earned the win, throwing 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in Iowa’s 4-2 win against Bradley.
• Wallace entered the game in the fourth inning and retired 10 straight batters after walking the first batter he faced.
• The Rock Island, Illinois, native allowed two hits and struck out six batters.
• At the plate, Wallace has his batting average up to .250. In Iowa’s final two games against Indiana, he went 3-for-7 with an RBI and a double.
• Wallace is Iowa’s only two-way player on the roster.
• Junior right-hander Grant Judkins has tossed six straight starts of at least five innings pitched with three or fewer runs allowed.
• Judkins has three quality starts, including in back-to-back starts at Indiana and against Cal-State Northridge.
• His 1.77 ERA is fifth-best in the Big Ten.
• Judkins’ 5.55 hits allowed per nine innings average is fourth-best in the Big Ten.
MASTERS OF THE MIDWEEK
• With a 4-2 comeback win over Bradley on Tuesday, Iowa is 28-5 since the start of the 2016 season in midweek games.
• The Hawkeyes have had to overcome deficits in two of their three midweek wins this season.
• The Hawkeyes are slashing .261/.364/.365 in 22 games this season.
• Iowa’s offensive approach has produced the third- most walks (106) in the Big Ten for the fifth-best on-base percentage in the conference (.364).
• Ben Norman leads the Hawkeyes with four home runs after his solo blast against Indiana. Tanner Wetrich and Austin Martin each have two home runs.
• Junior Zeb Adreon tied a school record, roping three doubles in the game one victory at Evansville. Chris Whelan and Adreon both have three-double games this season, which are tied for the most by a Big Ten player this season.
• The Hawkeye have eclipsed 10 hits nine times this season, registering a season-high 19 hits in game one against Evansville. Iowa has scored 10 runs in four games this season.
ON THE BUMP
• Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten with 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings, but Iowa’s 5.39 walks per nine innings rank 12th in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes 1.56 strikeout-to-walk ratio is the fifth-worst in the conference.
• The Hawkeye staff is allowing 7.55 hits per nine innings, which ranks fifth-best in the Big Ten.
BACK END OF THE BULLPEN
The Hawkeye bullpen has held opposing hitters to a .225 average over 87 1/3 innings with 91 strikeouts.
• Grant Leonard has converted all five of his saves, which leads the team and are the third-most in the Big Ten. Jason Foster also has one save this season.
• Trace Hoffman (3-1) has been one of Iowa’s go-to guys out of the bullpen, leading the team with 12 appearances. Hoffman owns a .208 batting average against and has 14 strikeouts in 13 innings to only two walks.
• LHP Kyle Shimp’s 10 appearances out of the bullpen are tied for the second most on the team.
• Freshman Duncan Davitt, who started Iowa’s midweek game against Bradley, has been a steady arm out of the ‘pen, striking out 16 batters in 15 1/3 innings.
LEONARD LOCKS DOWN THE NINTH
Closer questions lingered to start the 2019 season, but redshirt junior Grant Leonard has secured the closer role.
• The junior right-hander has a team-leading five saves, which are the third-most in the Big Ten.
• Leonard has been Iowa’s high leverage guy, making two appearances in one day during Iowa’s doubleheader sweep of Cal-State Northridge to earn a win and a save.
• Leonard owns a 2.45 ERA in 10 appearances this season.
Eight Hawkeyes — Lorenzo Elion, Mitchell Boe, Shane Ritter, Chris Whelan, Jake McLaughlin, Trenton Wallace, Grant Leonard, and Kyle Shimp — are from Illinois. It is the second most players from any state on Iowa’s roster behind the 22 student-athletes who call Iowa home.
MCCAFFERY’S DOUBLE DUTY
Redshirt freshman multi-sport athlete Connor McCaffery made his Iowa debut against Cal-State Northridge on March 16 as a pinch hitter. McCaffery made his first career start in game three of the series, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles.
• McCaffery is a reserve guard for the Iowa men’s basketball team that nearly completed a 25-point comeback win over two-seeded Tennessee, but fell in overtime in the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. McCaffery finished the season averaging 4.4 points and 3.0 assists in 34 games.
• McCaffery is believed to be the first Hawkeye since the late 1980s to play both basketball and baseball at Iowa since Randy Norton (79-82), Todd Berkenpas (82-85) Tom Norman (1979), and Kurt Stange (1983-86).
• Basketball-baseball combinations are rare. A select few who have done it recently are Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton and Washington State’s Mark Hendrickson as pitchers. Other notables are Chris Young (Princeton), Kenny Lofton (Arizona), and Tony Gwynn (San Diego State).
DON’T COUNT ‘EM OUT
The Hawkeyes have posted seven come-from-behind victories this season, including two in walk-off fashion.
• Iowa scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth against Bradley after trailing 2-0 for the first seven inning to win 4-2.
• Junior Grant Judkins had a pinch-hit, RBI double, giving the Hawkeyes a 5-4 walk-off win over Cal-State Northridge on March 17. Iowa trailed 4-3 heading into the ninth.
• Iowa posted its second walk-off win of the season against Chicago State. Trailing 4-3 entering the ninth, Austin Martin’s RBI double tied the score at four and Ben Norman’s fly ball to centerfield was misplayed, giving the Hawkeyes their 11th win.
• The Hawkeyes have overcome deficits to win 40 games since the start of the 2017 season and posted 11 walkoffs. Twenty-four of those victories have come with Iowa trailing or being tied entering or through seven innings. Sixteen have come in the final at-bat.
• The Hawkeyes are 79-21 at home since the start of the 2015 season.
• Iowa won 20 games last season, the second-most in a single-season in school history, trailing only the 22 wins in 1977.
• Iowa has 15 walk-off victories at Duane Banks Field since the start of 2015.
ON THE MEND
• Sophomore Ben Probst will miss the remainder of the season with a partial tear to his UCL. He suffered the injury at Hawaii on Feb. 23.
• Sophomore Jack Dreyer is out with a shoulder injury. He left his start at Hawaii after three innings.
• Sophomore Tanner Padgett re-injured his hamstring on March 20. He initially suffered the injury in the series finale at Oklahoma State.
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, replaces Migliaccio as the team’s hitting coach. Gorzelanny, who pitched for six MLB teams over a 12-year span, replaces 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.
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.
• Chris Whelan and Lorenzo Elion won a Prospect League championship with the Terre Haute Rex in 2018. The Rex defeated Kokomo, 11-3, to claim their second title in four seasons.
• Mitchell Boe led the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders to their first Northwoods League title with a 4-3 victory over Duluth.
• 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.
• 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.