|Date:||April 19-21, 2019|
|Location:||Iowa City, Iowa | Duane Banks Field|
|Game Notes:||IOWA | Nebraska|
|Statistics||IOWA | Nebraska|
|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 | April 19 | 6:05 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: RHP Cole McDonald (3-3, 3.96 ERA)|
|Nebraska: RHP Matt Waldron (5-0, 1.76 ERA)|
|Game 2 | April 20 | 2:05 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: LHP Cam Baumann (2-2, 5.31 ERA)|
|Nebraska: LHP Nate Fisher (4-1, 2.28 ERA)|
|Game 3 | April 21 | 1:05 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup:||Iowa: RHP Grant Judkins (4-3, 1.95 ERA)|
|Nebraska: RHP Reece Eddins (3-2, 4.37 ERA)|
• The University of Iowa baseball team looks for its fourth straight series win when it hosts Big Ten-leading and 30th-ranked Nebraska this weekend at Duane Banks Field.
• Friday’s series opener is set for a 6:05 p.m. (CT) first pitch. Game two on Saturday will start at 2:02 p.m. (CT) and Sunday’s series finale will begin at 1:05 p.m. (CT).
Friday: Military Appreciation Night, including postgame fireworks. Baseball Bingo.
Saturday: Hawkeye Football Day (pregame autographs with the football team, quarterback Nate Stanley throwing out first pitch)
Sunday: Hawkeye Egg Hunt (postgame)
• Friday and Sunday’s games will be streamed live on BTN Plus on BTN2Go. It is a paid subscription service.
• Game two on Saturday will be televised live on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Scott Pose on the call.
• 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: 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.
• The Hawkeyes have won three straight Big Ten series over No. 23 Illinois, Rutgers, and Purdue, and sit fourth in the Big Ten standings with a 7-5 conference record. Iowa is 9-4 over its last 13 games.
• Iowa also has series wins over No. 19 Oklahoma State and Cal-State Northridge. Iowa has suffered series losses at Evansville and at Indiana, while splitting a four-game series at Hawaii.
• With five wins over top-25 teams this season, Iowa was has 13 games over ranked opponents since the start of the 2018 season.
• Iowa is in the middle of the pack in batting average (.263; seventh), ERA (4.19; sixth), and fielding percentage (.967; sixth) in the Big Ten.
• Iowa’s 40 stolen bases are the third-most in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes only swiped 39 bags last season. Tanner Wetrich and Ben Norman lead Iowa with eight steals, while five other Hawkeyes have swiped at least three bags.
• Junior Austin Martin has the ninth-best batting average (.339) in the Big Ten, which is tops amongst league catchers. The Altoona, Iowa, native leads Iowa in multi-hit games (14), multi-RBI games (7), and hits (41).
• Junior Grant Judkins owns the fourth-best ERA (1.95) in the Big Ten, having allowed only three or more earned runs in two of nine starts.
• Redshirt junior Grant Leonard (2-1, 1.45 ERA) is a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities, which are the second most in the Big Ten conference. Leonard hasn’t allowed a run in his last 9 2/3 innings pitched, while striking out at least one batter in seven of his last eight appearances. Leonard’s nine saves this season are tied for the third most in a single season in school history, while his 11 career saves are tied for the eighth most in the record books.
• Iowa is 12-3 at Banks this season, running its home record to 86-23 since 2015. Away from home, Iowa is 7-10 this season.
• Iowa has won 164 games since the start of the 2015 season, the best four-year stretch in school history. The Hawkeyes have won 185 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 has overcome deficits in its last two games, giving the Hawkeyes 11 come-from-behind victories this season.
• Seven Hawkeye pitchers combined to strike out 12 batters against Northern Illinois on April 16, while walking zero batters.
• Senior Tanner Wetrich is on a career-long and team-best seven game-hitting streak. The shortstop is hitting .478 (11-of-23) with four doubles, one triple, and three home runs during the stretch. He has eight runs, seven RBIs, and a 1.686 OPS during the stretch.
• Chris Whelan (15 games), Mitchell Boe (14 games), and Wetrich (eight games) are on career-long on-base streaks.
• Junior outfielder Ben Norman is the only Hawkeye to start all 35 games for Iowa. He has started 17 games in center field, 14 in right field and four in left field.
• Norman leads Iowa with 26 RBIs and is the only Hawkeye with three or more 3+ RBI games.
• Chris Whelan’s 28 walks rank second in the Big Ten, while the Hawkeyes’ 168 base-on-balls are the fourth-most in the conference. Iowa’s .369 on-base percentage ranks third-best in the Big Ten.
• 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).
• Nebraska own the best record (10-2) in the Big Ten and is 21-11 this season. The Huskers’ only two conference losses were at Minnesota, while the team swept Michigan State, Purdue, and Penn State. Nebraska is 3-5 against top-25 opponents with two wins over No. 21 Baylor and a win over No. 21 Texas Tech.
• Nebraska’s pitching staff owns a 3.87 ERA — fourth-best in the Big Ten — with a conference-leading 1.92 ERA in Big Ten play.
• Nebraska’s Friday starter Matt Waldron (5-0, 1.76 ERA) leads the Big Ten in ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.56). Waldron has struck out 50 batters and only issued four walks in 51 innings and six starts. LHP Nate Fisher, (4-1, 2.28 ERA) and RHP Reece Eddins, (3-2, 4.37 ERA) round out Nebraska’s rotation.
• Offensively, Nebraska owns the fifth-best batting average (.269) in the conference and ranks second in on-base percentage (.380). The Huskers score 6.4 runs per game, which is third-best in the Big Ten.
• With a .344 batting average and 11 doubles, sophomore Aaron Palensky has been Nebraska’s top hitter. Junior Joe Acker boasts a .326 batting average, while senior Angelo Altavilla leads the Big Ten with 30 walks.
• It is the first time Nebraska has traveled to Iowa City since 2015 when the Hawkeyes swept the then 25th-ranked Huskers.
• Iowa owns a 20-19 advantage over Nebraska in the all-time series.
• Since taking over at Iowa, head coach Rick Heller is 9-3 against Nebraska with series wins in 2014, 2015, and 2017.
• The Hawkeyes split a two-game weather-shortened series at Nebraska and defeated the Huskers three times in 2017, including once in the Big Ten Tournament.
BIG TEN RACE
• After getting swept to start the Big Ten season, Iowa swept No. 23 Illinois and took two-of-three games from Rutgers at home and Purdue on the road to sit at 7-5 and fourth place the conference standings.
• Nebraska (10-2) leads the Big Ten with Indiana (7-2) and Michigan (5-3) rounding out the top three.
TANNER WETRICH ON A TEAR
• In Tanner Wetrich’s last nine starts, the senior shortstop is hitting .423 (11-for-26) with eight extra-base hits (four doubles, three home runs, and one triple).
• Wetrich has recorded three straight multi-hit games to increase his season total to nine, which is the second most on the team.
• The Moberly, Missouri, native has hit two home runs in his last three games to tie Ben Norman with five for the team lead.
• Wetrich’s .491 slugging percentage leads the team and his two triples are tied for the second-most in the Big Ten.
• Wetrich has also shown off his speed, swiping eight bags in 10 attempts, which is tied for the team lead.
LEONARD LOCKS DOWN THE NINTH
• Closer questions lingered to start the 2019 season, but redshirt junior Grant Leonard has locked down the closer role.
• The junior right-hander has a team-leading nine saves, which are the second-most in the Big Ten.
• Leonard’s nine saves this season are tied for the third most in a single season in school history and his 11 career saves are tied for eighth in the Iowa record books.
• Leonard has not allowed a run since taking the loss against Indiana on March 22. Leonard’s scoreless innings streak is up to 9 2/3 innings and his ERA sits at 1.45 in 16 appearances.
• The Mokena, Illinois, native hasn’t walked a batter in his last five appearances while striking out eight.
• 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.
IOWA SINGLE-SEASON SAVES
1. Kevin Lee (2010) 13
2. Tim Gudex (2006) 10
3. Mike Schurz (2007) 9
Kurt Belger (1995) 9
Grant Leonard (2019) 9
IOWA CAREER SAVES
1. Kurt Belger (1993-97) 22
2. Tim Gudex (2004-06) 20
3. Reed Pawelk (2000-03) 18
4. Nick Hibbing (2012-15) 17
5. Kevin Lee (2008-11) 14
6. Josh Martsching (2013-17) 13
7. Mike Schurz (2007-09) 12
8. Zach Daniels (2016-18) 11
Grant Leonard (2017-pres.) 11
COLE MCDONALD IN THE BIG TEN
• In four Big Ten starts, Cole McDonald is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA, striking out 25 in 25 1/3 innings — the fifth-most punch outs in Big Ten play.
• McDonald has registered three quality starts in conference action.
• The senior from New Hampton, Iowa, went 1-3 in five non-conference starts with a 5.47 ERA.
• In nine total starts this season, McDonald’s ERA sits at a season-best 3.96 ERA with a team-leading 46 strikeouts.
• Junior Austin Martin leads Iowa in batting average (.339), hits (41), on-base percentage (.418) among qualified hitters (3.0 AB per game).
• Martin is also tied for the team lead in runs (22), doubles (7), and total bases (56), while having the second most RBIs (21).
• Martin’s .339 batting average is ninth in the conference and tops amongst Big Ten catchers.
• Martin became the second Hawkeye to record four hits in a game this season in Iowa’s loss to Illinois State on April 3. The catcher went 4-for-5 with a double and three singles. Redshirt Tanner Padgett racked up four hits in Iowa’s series finale against Hawaii on February 24.
JUNIOR GRANT JUDKINS…
• ranks fourth in the Big Ten with a 1.95 ERA.
• has posted five quality starts (vs. Marshall, vs. CSUN, at Indiana, vs. Illinois, at Purdue) in nine chances.
• has allowed three or more runs only twice in nine starts.
• pitched five or more innings in all nine starts along with three starts of seven or more innings.
• ranks 11th in the Big Ten, allowing 6.83 hits per nine innings.
• owns a .213 batting average against, which is the best amongst Iowa’s starting pitchers
BACK AT THE TOP
• Senior Chris Whelan had seen his name appear in five different spots in the Hawkeyes’ batting order before returning to the top of the lineup April 2 against Clarke. Whelan was Iowa’s primary leadoff hitter in 2018.
• In 10 games since returning to the leadoff role, Whelan is hitting .333 (11-for-33) with a .511 on-base percentage, both of which lead the team.
• Whelan does not rank among qualified hitters (3.0 AB per game), but leads the team in walks (28), hit-by-pitches (9), and on-base percentage (.459).
INNING BY INNING
• Iowa is 12-5 in games decided by two runs or less.
• The Hawkeyes are 13-2 when leading after six innings and 4-12 when trailing after six innings.
• The eighth inning has been kind to Iowa as the Hawkeyes have outscored opponents 30-17.
• Iowa’s offensive approach has produced the third-best on-base percentage in the conference (.369).
• Iowa’s home run count is up to 17. Ben Norman and Tanner Wetrich are tied for the team lead with five a piece.
• The Hawkeye have eclipsed 10 hits 15 times this season, including 10+ in back-to-back games. Iowa’s 14 hits versus Northern Illinois tied for the second most on the season, while Iowa’s season-high came against Evansville with 19 hits.
• Iowa has scored 10+ runs in five games this season, winning all five of those games.
• 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.
ON THE BUMP
• Iowa’s 4.19 ERA ranks sixth in the Big Ten.
• Iowa ranks seventh in the Big Ten with 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings, but Iowa’s 4.84 walks per nine innings rank ninth in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes rank eighth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.78).
• The Hawkeye staff is allowing 8.53 hits per nine innings, which ranks seventh-best in the Big Ten.
BACK END OF THE BULLPEN
The Hawkeye bullpen has held opposing hitters to a .251 average over 135 innings with 138 strikeouts.
• Grant Leonard has converted all nine of his saves, which leads the team and are the second-most in the Big Ten. Jason Foster, Trace Hoffman, and Trenton Wallace each have one save this season.
• Trace Hoffman (4-1, 4.79 ERA) has been one of Iowa’s go-to guys out of the bullpen, leading the team with 18 appearances, which are the fifth-most in the Big Ten. Hoffman has 20 strikeouts in 20.2 innings to only five walks.
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 was a reserve guard for the Iowa men’s basketball team that nearly completed a 25-point comeback win over second-seeded Tennessee on March 24, 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).
MASTERS OF THE MIDWEEK
• Iowa is 5-2 in midweek contests this season to move to 30-7 in midweek contests since the start of 2016.
DON’T COUNT ‘EM OUT
The Hawkeyes have posted 11 come-from-behind victories this season, including two in walk-off fashion.
• Iowa’s latest comeback came against Northern Illinois after trailing 3-0 through two innings and 5-3 through four. Iowa pounded out 14 hits to win 8-6.
• In two of three games against No. 23 Illinois, Iowa overcame one-run defecits to complete the sweep.
• 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 center field was misplayed, giving the Hawkeyes their 11th win.
• The Hawkeyes have overcome deficits to win 44 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 86-23 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.
• Junior Hunter Lee made just two appearances before going down because of injury. He had season-ending surgery in March.
• Sophomore Jack Dreyer is out for the remainder of the season 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.
• 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.