Iowa Set to Open Season at Big Ten-Big East Challenge - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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Iowa Set to Open Season at Big Ten-Big East Challenge
Hawkeyes play Friday-Sunday in Tampa, Fla.
Matt Dermody and the Hawkeyes open the 2012 campaign this weekend in the annual Big Ten/Big East Challenge.
Matt Dermody and the Hawkeyes open the 2012 campaign this weekend in the annual Big Ten/Big East Challenge.
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Feb. 14, 2012



Iowa at Big Ten/Big East Challenge
 Dates Friday, Feb. 17 - Sunday, Feb. 19
 Location Tampa, Florida

Media Coverage
 Live Stats Gametracker of all three games at hawkeyesports.com

Game 1 - Iowa vs. Pittsburgh
 Date | Time Friday, Feb. 17 | 12:05 p.m. (CT)
 Pitching Matchup IOWA: Sr. LHP Jarred Hippen (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs.
PITT: Sr. LHP Matt Iannazzo (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Game 2 - Iowa vs. Notre Dame
 Date | Time Saturday, Feb. 18 | 9:05 a.m. (CT)
 Pitching Matchup IOWA: Jr. LHP Matt Dermody (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs.
ND: Jr. RHP Adam Norton (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Game 3 - Iowa vs. West Virginia
 Date | Time Sunday, Feb. 19 | 8:05 a.m. (CT)
 Pitching Matchup IOWA: Fr. LHP Sasha Kuebel (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs.
WVU: TBD

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THE SETTING:
Iowa opens the 2012 season this weekend when it travels to Tampa, Fla., to compete in the fourth annual Big Ten/Big East Challenge. The Hawkeyes will face three Big East opponents on the road trip: Pittsburgh (Friday, noon CT), Notre Dame (Saturday, 9 a.m. CT) and West Virginia (Sunday, 8 a.m. CT). The games will all take place in current or former major league spring training venues. The Black and Gold are 3-6 all-time in the tournament.

Big Ten Big East 2012 logo

ON THE NET:
Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes with live stats (Gametracker) on hawkeyesports.com. Click on the GT link found on both the front page and the baseball schedule page.

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: 1,000
Iowa's first game of the season against Pittsburgh will mark the 1,000th career game for head coach Jack Dahm. He is 473-524-2 all-time (283-276-2 at Creighton, 190-248 at Iowa).

WE MEET AGAIN:
The Black and Gold faced all three squads last year. Iowa lost to Pittsburgh and West Virginia in the Challenge, and swept two games from Notre Dame at the Notre Dame Tournament in San Antonio, Texas.

ROAD WARRIORS:
Iowa's first 16 games will be away from Iowa City. Following the Big Ten/Big East Challenge, the Hawkeyes will compete in the Coastal Carolina Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Feb. 24-26), the Austin Peay/River View Inn Classic in Clarksville, Tenn. (March 2-4), and the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla. (March 10-16). Iowa was 7-12 in true road games and 6-7 in neutral site contests in 2011.

SCOUTING PITTSBURGH:
Pittsburgh, led by head coach Joe Jordano, will also open its season Friday. The Panthers finished 33-23 in 2011. Pittsburgh downed Iowa last year in the Challenge, 3-2 in 11 innings, in the only meeting between the two schools.

SCOUTING NOTRE DAME:
Notre Dame, led by head coach Mik Aoki, opens its season Friday against Illinois before facing the Hawkeyes Saturday. The Fighting Irish finished 23-29-1 in 2011. Iowa is 28-40-1 all-time against Notre Dame.

SCOUTING WEST VIRGINIA:
West Virginia, coached by Greg Van Zant, will face Northwestern and Penn State before playing Iowa Sunday. The Mountaineers finished 2011 with a record of 28-27. The Hawkeyes are 0-2 all-time against West Virginia. The Mountaineers have won each of the two meetings between the two teams in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge.

HAWKEYE SENIORS:
The Hawkeyes have 11 seniors on the roster: LHP/DH Patrick Brennan, RHP Nick Brown, SS Kasey Carling, UT Andrew Ewing, RHP Tim Fangman, OF/IF Sean Flanagan, LHP, Jarred Hippen, IF/RHP Phil Keppler, RHP Patrick Lala, IF Mike McQuillan and IF Chett Zeise.

LUCK OF THE IRISH:
The Hawkeyes beat Notre Dame March 17 of last year, 4-3, in ten innings in the first game of the Irish Classic. The win marked the first time a team defeated Notre Dame on St. Patrick's Day in five years. The last team to top the Irish on St. Patrick's Day was the Hawkeyes in 2006, also in San Antonio.

HIPPEN GARNERS PRESEASON ATTENTION:
Jarred Hippen, a senior left-hander, is a two-time second team All-Big Ten honoree and a 2010 All-Big Ten Tournament team selection. He was one of three pitchers named to the 2012 Big Ten Preseason All-Conference First Team by College Sports Madness. Hippen ranks 10th among active pitchers with 180 career strikeouts. He also ranks first in the Big Ten.

ACES WILD - HIPPEN:
Jarred Hippen returns for his senior season. Hippen has been Iowa's ace since his freshman campaign. A year ago, Hippen started 14 games. He tossed four complete games and one complete game shutout. Hippen nearly threw a perfect game, allowing only one hit at Minnesota (Apr. 29). The outing marked Iowa's first one-hitter since Troy Wulf one-hit Southwest Missouri State on March 14, 1998. Hippen tossed 94.2 innings and recorded an ERA of 3.14, finishing with a 4-6 record.

ACES WILD - DERMODY:
Left-hander Matt Dermody returns for his junior season. He was selected in Major League Baseball's 2011 First-Year Player Draft by the Colorado Rockies in the 29th round (888th pick). Dermody finished 4-6 in 2011, and led the Big Ten with 75 strikeouts, which tied for 10th-most in a season in Iowa history.

NEWCOMER ON THE MOUND:
Freshman LHP Sasha Kuebel is expected to be the third starting pitcher in Iowa's rotation to open the season. The St. Louis native was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 31st round (946th pick) of the 2011 MLB Draft. He was the Missouri State Pitcher of the Year as a senior.

ZEUTENHORST FINDS HIS STRIDE:
Taylor Zeutenhorst was a rock in the Iowa lineup during his rookie campaign. The Sheldon, Iowa, native recorded six multi-hit games and four multiple RBI games and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. He batted .261 in 88 at-bats with 15 RBI and ranked third on the team with 10 two-out RBI, all of which came against Big Ten competition, ranking first on the team. In conference action, Zeutenhorst batted .320 to rank second among Big Ten freshmen outfielders. He is expected to start in centerfield and bat in the middle of Iowa's line-up in 2012.

`Q':
Mike McQuillan, known as `Q' by his teammates and coaches, returns for his season in 2012. The Evergreen Park, Ill., native has hit over .300 in each of his first three seasons in the Black and Gold. McQuillan, who has started 133 career games, led Iowa in batting average (.330), hits (66), at-bats (200), RBI (31), walks (27) and on-base percentage (.410) a year ago.

DUANE BANKS FIELD:
In 2010, the Hawkeyes added 500 chair back seats behind home plate of Duane Banks Field. The chair backs allow Hawkeye fans to purchase season tickets. Last year, Duane Banks Field underwent a facelift, with a complete resurfacing of the field. New sod, dirt and drainage system were installed. Additionally, new batting cages were put in place down the right field line. In 2009, the UI Recreation Building underwent a complete makeover. Improvements included: a new locker room, lounge, training room and weight room for the baseball program. The Hawkeyes open their home schedule against Grand View on March 21. Iowa opens the Big Ten slate March 23-25 with a three-game set against Northwestern. The Hawkeyes have not played the Wildcats since 2009.

THE ASSISTANT COACHES:
Head Coach Jack Dahm is assisted by coach Ryan Brownlee and pitching coach Chris Maliszewski, along with volunteer assistant coach Brian Miller and undergraduate assistant coach Dusty Napoleon. Brownlee is in his ninth season at Iowa. Over the past 11 seasons, Brownlee has had 28 players he coached or recruited drafted; two more signed free agent contracts. In the past three years, Kurtis Muller, Patrick Schatz, Steve Turnbull, Kyle Heim, Mike Schurz and recruits Matt Dermody, Dan Sheppard, Patrick Lala, Taylor Zeutenhorst, Derrick Loveless, Sasha Kuebel and Nick Hibbing were drafted by major league teams. In six years of coaching summer collegiate leagues, he has seen 33 of his players sign pro contracts, including Khalil Green of the Padres and Kevin Cash of the Yankees, Joe Thatcher of the Padres, Dan Meyer of the Marlins and Luke Scott of the Astros. Last season, Brownlee coached Trevor Willis and Tyson Blaser to third team all-conference honors and helped freshman outfielder Taylor Zeutenhorst earn Big Ten All-Freshman accolades. Blaser led the Hawkeyes and tied for second in the Big Ten with 18 doubles, which ties for the fourth most in a single season in Iowa history. Additionally, Willis led the league and ranked second nationally with a career-high nine triples, which established a new school single-season record.

Maliszewski is in his fourth season as the Hawkeye pitching coach. In addition to his role as pitching coach, Maliszewski is also responsible for the team's travel arrangements and assists with the youth summer camps. In 2011, Maliszewski guided his pitching staff to one of the best seasons on the mound in Hawkeye history. Iowa registered an ERA of 4.22, the lowest since 1980 (4.14). Starting lefty Jarred Hippen earned second team all-conference laurels for the second consecutive year. Starting LHP Matt Dermody and Hippen, ranked first and third in the Big Ten, respectively, in strikeouts during the regular season. Hippen, who has thrown eight complete games in the last two seasons under Maliszewski's tutelage, nearly threw a perfect game against Minnesota, allowing only one hit. In addition, Maliszewski helped guide newcomers Tim Fangman and Patrick Lala to successful first years in the Black and Gold. Fangman finished in the top ten in the Big Ten in numerous categories, including ERA, opposing batting average, games finished, hits allowed, runs allowed and walks allowed. Maliszewski had three players he coached or recruited drafted in 2011. Junior starting left-handed pitcher Matt Dermody was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 29th round (888th pick) and incoming recruits Sasha Kuebel and Nick Hibbing were also selected. Kuebel was picked by the Oakland Athletics in the 31st round (946) and Hibbing was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 42nd round (1262).

Miller and Napoleon are each in their first seasons on the Hawkeye staff. Miller has worked as a baseball coach since 1992, including serving as the head baseball coach at Mid-Prairie High School from 2000 to 2010. He served as the Kirkwood Community College pitching coach from 2006 to 2011. Miller also coached the Iowa City High School sophomore baseball team from 1993 to 1999 and was an assistant baseball coach at Iowa City Regina High School in 1992. Napoleon played at Iowa from 2006-07 before being drafted by Oakland in the 19th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. He played at all four minor league levels from 2007-2010 and made it to the Triple A level in 2010. As a Hawkeye, Napoleon appeared in 105 games and made 100 starts. The former catcher and first baseman led the team with 34 RBIs and tied for the team lead with two home runs in 2006 as a freshman. In 2007, Napoleon ranked third on the team with a .354 batting average. He ranked first on the team in RBI (56), walks (50), on-base percentage (.506) and was second with 12 doubles, 44 runs scored and 62 hits.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!:
Hawkeye fans can purchase 2012 Iowa baseball season tickets now. Fans can reserve their own chair backs for the 2012 season by calling the UI Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS. Reserved chair back season tickets are available for $25, while general admission season tickets are $15.

HEADSHOTS AVAILABLE:
Up-to-date head shots of all Iowa players and coaches are available on the internet at pics.hawkeyebaseball.com. Contact the Iowa Athletic Communications office if you are in need of additional photos.

ON THE HORIZON:
Iowa travels to the Coastal Carolina Tournament next week in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Hawkeyes will face host Coastal Carolina Friday at 3 p.m. In addition, Iowa will play George Mason Saturday at 10 a.m. and Virginia Tech Sunday at 10 a.m. All times listed are central.

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