Game Notes -- vs. Michigan State

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | Hawk Talk Monthly – May | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch | WEEK 13 NOTES (PDF)

Date: May 10-12, 2019
Location: Iowa City, Iowa | Duane Banks Field
Game Notes: IOWA | Michigan State 
Statistics IOWA | Michigan State
Radio/Streaming: Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access ($)
Live Stats: Game 1 | Game 2Game 3
Television/Video Streaming: Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3
Game 1 | May 10 | 6:05 p.m. (CT)
Pitching Matchup: Iowa: RHP Cole McDonald (5-3, 3.42 ERA)
MSU: RHP Mason Erla (2-8, 5.07 ERA)
Game 2 | May 11 | 2:05 p.m. (CT) 
Pitching Matchup: Iowa: LHP Cam Baumann (4-2, 4.50 ERA)
MSU: LHP Mitchell Tyranski (2-7 4.14 ERA)
Game 3 | May 12 | 1:05 p.m. (CT)
Pitching Matchup: Iowa: RHP Grant Judkins (4-6, 2.24 ERA)
MSU: RHP Caleb Sleeman (2-3, 4.60 ERA)

• The University of Iowa baseball team hosts its final home series of the season, facing Michigan State from May 10-12 at Duane Banks Field.
• Friday’s series opener will start at 6:05 p.m. (CT) with game two at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday and the series finale at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.
• Sunday is Senior Day for nine Hawkeyes — Derek Lieurance, Kyle Shimp, Mitchell Boe, Luke Farley, Cole McDonald, Tanner Wetrich, Shane Ritter, Jason Foster, and Chris Whelan. 

Friday: Baseball Bingo — first five winners. 
Saturday: Have a Catch (Post-Game).
Sunday: Senior Day and Sunday Runday. The Senior Day ceremony will start prior to the game. Kids can run the bases after the game.  

• All 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 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: AM 800 KXIC Iowa City, KMJM 1360 AM in Cedar Rapids; KKFD 95.9 FM in Fairfield, WDBQ FM 107.5 in Dubuque.
• Live stats are available on and fans can follow along on Twitter @UIBaseball.

• At 29-17 and 11-7 in the Big Ten, the 24th-ranked Hawkeyes have won six straight series — the most since 2015 — and haven’t lost back-to-back games since April 6 and 10. Iowa is 18-10 since the start of Big Ten play.
• Iowa’s latest series win came over No. 18 UC Irvine — Iowa’s fourth series win over a ranked opponent. The Hawkeyes are 9-3 against top-30 opponents (at No. 19 Oklahoma State, vs. No. 23 Illinois, vs. No. 30 Nebraska, and vs. No. 18 UC Irvine). 
• Iowa’s only series losses have came on the road — at Indiana and Evansville — along with a series split at Hawaii. 
• The Hawkeyes cracked the top-25 rankings for the first time this season, sitting at No. 24 by and No. 26 by Collegiate Baseball.  It is Iowa’s first ranking by since 2015 and the first for the program since 2017.
• Freshman infielder Brendan Sher was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday for the second straight week. Sher, who hit .538 (7-for-13) with a .600 OBP and four runs scored, became the first Hawkeye ever to win the award in back-to-back weeks. 
• Redshirt junior Grant Leonard (2-1, 1.73 ERA), who is on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason List, is a perfect 12-for-12 in save opportunities, which are the second-most in the Big Ten and tied for the fifth-most in the nation. Leonard needs one more save to tie Iowa’s single-season saves record (Kevin Lee, 2010), while his 14 career saves are tied for the fifth-most in Hawkeye history. 
• Senior outfielder Chris Whelan is third in the Big Ten in on-base percentage (.462), tied for third in walks (32), and tied for fourth in hit-by-pitches (11).  
• Over his last five starts, senior Cole McDonald is 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA, striking out 26 over 33 1/3 innings.  McDonald has tallied quality starts in all five outings.
• Junior Grant Judkins owns the fifth-best ERA (2.24) in the Big Ten, having pitched five or more innings in 11 of 12 starts and allowing three or more earned runs in just three starts.  
• Iowa has 15 come-from-behind victories this season with four walk-off winners. 
• Iowa is 18-5 at Duane Banks Field this season, running its home record to 92-25 since 2015.  
• Iowa is 17-6 in games decided by two runs or less and 16-2 when scoring first. 

• Senior Mitchell Boe, who missed the last four games because of injury, has been cleared to return Sunday against Michigan State.
• Sophomore infielder Izaya Fullard is on a career-high and team-best 15-game on-base streak. He finished 3-for-3 with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored in Iowa’s 6-3 series-opening win over No. 18 UC Irvine.  Fullard is the first Hawkeye this season to hit two home runs in the same game.  He has hit safely in 34 games and reached safely in 41 contests this season.
• Iowa pitchers only walked six batters against No. 18 UC Irvine — the fewest in a three-game series this season. 
• The Hawkeye offense has the fourth-best batting average (.268) in the Big Ten and third-best on-base percentage (.367). 
• The Hawkeyes have recorded 21 games of 10+ hits, including eight in their last 10 games. Iowa’s seasons highs in hits (19) and runs (18) came against Evansville on March 9. 
 • Iowa’s 53 stolen bases are the fourth-most in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes only swiped 39 bags last season. Ben Norman leads Iowa with 11 steals and Tanner Wetrich has eight, while six other Hawkeyes have swiped at least three bags. 
• The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in double plays (39), rank third in on-base percentage (.367), fourth in walks (207), and fourth in batting average (.268) in the Big Ten.
• Iowa’s 39 double plays rank 45th in the nation.
• Junior catcher Austin Martin’s team-leading .308 batting average is 13th-best in the conference and tops amongst Big Ten catchers. 
• Junior outfielder Ben Norman, who is the only Hawkeye to start all 46 games, leads Iowa in home runs (6), RBIs (31), and stolen bases (11).

• Michigan State enters the series with a 17-30 (5-12) record, having won seven of its last 10 games with series wins over Northwestern and Purdue. Still, the Spartans are second to last in the Big Ten standings.
• The Spartans’ batting average (.236), ERA (4.81), and fielding percentage (.962) all rank in the bottom three of the Big Ten. 
• Led by Bryce Kelly’s conference-leading 18 steals, Michigan State ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 54 stolen bases. Kelly will leadoff for the Spartans, hitting a team-best .298 with a .345 on-base percentage. 
• On the mound, the Spartans have the sixth-best strikeouts per nine innings at 8.8, but own the third worst walks allowed per nine innings at 5.20. 
• RHP Mason Erla (2-8, 5.07 ERA), LHP Mitchell Tyranksi (2-7, 4.14 ERA), and RHP Caleb Sleeman (2-3, 4.60 ERA) is the Spartan pitching rotation for this weekend. 
• Erla has pitched seven innings in his last two starts, allowing two or fewer earned runs. Tyranski has struck out at least nine batters in his last four starts and owns the fifth-best K’s per nine innings (10.86) in the conference.  

• Iowa is 65-78-1 all-time versus Michigan State. 
• The Hawkeyes have won the last three series over the Spartans in 2013, 2016, and 2017. 

Iowa’s next victory will give the Hawkeyes 30 wins for the sixth straight season. It is the program’s longest stretch since posting seven straight 30-win seasons from 1979-85.  

2014: 30-23
2015: 41-18 (2nd-most wins all-time)
2016: 30-26
2017: 39-22 (5th-most wins all-time)
2018: 33-20
2019: 29-17

• Freshman infielder Brendan Sher became the first Hawkeye ever to earned two consecutive Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on Monday.
• In four starts while shifting around the Hawkeye infield, Sher hit .538 (7-for-13) with a .600 on-base percentage, a triple and four runs scored in four games. Sher’s seven hits led the Hawkeyes last week and his four runs tied for the team lead.
• In Sher’s last two weeks spanning eight games, he has recorded three three-hit games and leads Iowa in batting average (.464), hits (13), slugging (.679), on-base percentage (.516), and total bases (19).
• Overall, Sher is hitting .339 (20-for-59) with four doubles, a home run, and a .412 on-base percentage. 
• Sher is one of three Hawkeyes to earn Big Ten weekly awards. Grant Judkins was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on February 18 and Zeb Adreon was named Big Ten Player of the Week on April 28. 

• The Hawkeyes have a number by their name for the first time this season and first since 2017.
• Iowa is ranked No. 24 by — the program’s first ranking by the publication since 2015 when Iowa climbed as high as 14th. 
• Iowa is the highest ranked Big Ten team, ahead of  No. 25 Illinois. 
• The Hawkeyes are also ranked in Collegiate Baseball’s top-30 at No. 26. 

• After getting swept to start the Big Ten season, the Hawkeyes have won five straight conference series to own a 11-7 record for fourth place in the Big Ten.
• Iowa’s latest series win came at Ohio State — its second series win on the road — and the first in Columbus since 2011. 
• The Hawkeyes are one win behind third-place Nebraska and three wins behind Michigan who owns the conference’s top spot at 14-3. Indiana is in second place at 12-6. 
• Michigan has series remaining against Nebraska and Indiana. 
• Behind Iowa sits Minnesota (11-7), Illinois (10-8), Rutgers (8-9), Maryland (8-10), Northwestern (8-10), Purdue (7-10), and Ohio State (7-11).

• Iowa enters this weekend’s series with an RPI of 58. Michigan State owns an RPI of 177. Four Big Ten schools — Illinois (18), Indiana (31), Michigan (35), and Nebraska (43) — are in the RPI top-50. 
• The Hawkeyes are 9-7 against top-50 RPI teams. 

• In Iowa’s 8-7 win over Western Illinois, head coach Rick Heller became the fourth Hawkeye to reach 200 wins at the University of Iowa.
• It took Heller just six seasons to amass 200 wins, winning at least 30 games in each of his first five seasons, including a career-best 41 wins in 2015.
• Heller is only eight wins from 900 career victories. 

• In 12 total starts this season, Friday night starter Cole McDonald’s ERA sits at a season-best 3.42 ERA with a team-leading 63 strikeouts. 
• In six Big Ten starts, McDonald is 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA, striking out 37 in 39 1/3 innings.  McDonald’s ERA is ninth-best in league play, while his 37 strikeouts are tied for the 12th most. 
• In four starts against ranked opponents, McDonald is 1-0 with a 2.88 ERA, while holding hitters to a .242 average. 
• The senior from New Hampton, Iowa, went 1-3 in five nonconference starts with a 5.47 ERA.
• McDonald has registered five straight quality starts and leads Iowa with eight quality starts.

• Senior Chris Whelan saw 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 21 games since returning to the leadoff role, Whelan is hitting .354 (28-for-79) with a .470 on-base percentage, both of which lead the team. Whelan was hitting .210 (13-for-62) with a .430 OBP in 25 games not in the leadoff spot.
• Whelan’s batting average has risen 91 points since March 26 when his average dipped to a season-low .200.
• The Hawkeyes are 14-7 since Whelan’s return to the leadoff role and Iowa has averaged 5.66 runs in those games, compared to 4.9 when he was not batting leadoff. 
• Whelan leads the team in on-base percentage (.452), walks (32), hit-by-pitches (11), and doubles (11). 

• Redshirt junior Grant Leonard has relished in Iowa’s closer role, going a perfect 12-for-12 in save opportunities, to earn a spot on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason List. 
• The junior right-hander has a team-leading 12 saves, which are the second-most in the Big Ten and tied for the fifth-most in the nation. Only four closers in the nation have more saves than Leonard
• Leonard’s 12 saves this season are the second-most in a single season behind Kevin Lee’s 13 set in 2010, while his 14 career saves are tied for the fifth most in school history.
• He recorded his second save of 2+ innings in Iowa’s 1-0 win over No. 18 UC Irvine. 
• Leonard’s 14-inning scoreless streak was snapped against Western Illinois. Still, he owns a 1.73 ERA in 22 appearances, spanning 26 innings with 29 strikeouts and eight walks. 

1.    Kevin Lee (2010)    13
2.    Grant Leonard (2019)    12

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
    Grant Leonard (2017-pres.)    14

• ranks fifth in the Big Ten with a 2.24 ERA.
• has posted seven quality starts (vs. Marshall, vs. CSUN, at Indiana, vs. Illinois, at Purdue, vs. No. 30 Nebraska, at Ohio State) in 12 chances. 
• has allowed three or more earned runs just three times in 12 starts.
• pitched five or more innings in 11 of 12 starts along with four starts of seven or more innings. 
• ranks 10th in the Big Ten, allowing 7.09 hits per nine innings.
• owns a .217 batting average against, which is the best amongst Iowa’s starting pitchers and 10th-best in the Big Ten.

• has posted three of his four wins in Big Ten play, going 3-1 with a 4.85 ERA in six league starts.  
• earned his fourth win of the season over No. 18 UC Irvine, allowing zero runs in five innings. 
• has two quality starts in wins over Illinois and Rutgers. 
• has two games with seven or more strikeouts — vs. Cal State Northridge (8) and Nebraska (7).

• 17-6 in games decided by two runs or less.
• 16-2 when scoring first.
• 16-2 when scoring 6+ runs and 7-0 when scoring 10+ runs.
• 18-2 when leading after six innings and 5-15 when trailing after six innings. 

The Hawkeye bullpen has held opposing hitters to a .249 average over 179 innings with 174 strikeouts.  The unit is 15-5 with a 4.98 ERA this season.
• Grant Leonard has converted all 12 of his saves, which leads the team and are the second-most in the Big Ten. Trace Hoffman has two saves, while Jason Foster and Trenton Wallace each have one. 
• Hoffman (5-1, 4.60 ERA) has been one of Iowa’s go-to guys out of the bullpen, leading the team with 25 appearances, which are the second-most in the Big Ten and 35th-most nationally. Hoffman has 26 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings to only five walks. Hoffman has allowed only nine inherited runners to score in 30 chances. 
• Redshirt senior Jason Foster pitched two scoreless innings in Iowa’s 1-0 win over No. 18 UC Irvine. Foster (1-0, 6.23 ERA) is third on the team with 20 appearances.

Senior outfielder Justin Jenkins was Iowa’s hero in its 5-4 walk-off in 12 innings over Milwaukee. The Terre Haute, Indiana, native hit Iowa’s first walk-off home run since Tyler Cropley’s in 2018 over No. 7 Michigan to win the game. Jenkins’ heroics started in the top of the 12th by preserving a 4-4 tie after making a catch in shallow center field and firing home to gun down a Milwaukee base runner at the plate to complete the inning-ending double play. 

During Iowa’s 17-9 victory over No. 30 Nebraska on April 20, the Hawkeyes scored eight runs in the fifth inning and five more in the sixth — all with two outs.  Iowa had 16 two-out RBIs in the game, hit .565 with two outs, and had a .529 average with runners in scoring position in the game. 
• The eight-run inning was Iowa’s largest of the season and the 17 total runs were the most scored in a Big Ten game since beating Purdue, 17-5, on May 17, 2014.

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).

• Iowa is 7-2 in midweek contests this season to move to 32-7 in midweek contests since the start of 2016. 

The Hawkeyes have posted 15 come-from-behind victories this season, including four in walk-off fashion.
• Trailing 3-1 through three innings, Iowa came back against Western Illinois, scoring four runs in the fourth inning and three in the sixth to win 8-7.
• Iowa’s first walk-off home run since 2018 came off the bat of senior Justin Jenkins in the bottom of the 12th against Milwaukee. It was Jenkins’ second career home run that lifted Iowa to a 5-4 win. 
• Junior Zeb Adreon added his name to the list of walk-off heroes with a single in the bottom of the ninth to beat No. 30 Nebraska in game one of the series. 
• 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 walk-offs.  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 92-25 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.

• 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.
• Senior Mitchell Boe missed the UC Irvine series after suffering four facial breaks, which required surgery, on April 28 at Ohio State. He collided with Zeb Adreon on a shallow fly ball in right field.  Boe had started 39 games this season and 166 games as a Hawkeye. He has appeared in 186 career games.

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’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; the program had three regional appearances in its history prior to his arrival.
• Heller is fourth in school history in career wins with 200 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.

Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook @iowabaseball, Twitter @UIBaseball, and Instagram @UIBaseball in addition to coverage on 

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