Feb. 27, 2014
|Iowa (6-1) at Stetson Invitational|
|Dates||Feb. 28-March 2, 2014|
|Location||Deland, Fla. | Melching Field|
|Statistics||Stetson | Maine | Furman | IOWA|
|Radio||gohatters.com (Friday) | goblackbears.com (Saturday) | furmanpaladins.com (Sunday)|
|Game 1 - Iowa at Stetson|
|Date | Time||Friday, Feb. 28 | 6 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: So., RHP, Calvin Mathews (0-0, 3.72 ERA) vs.
SU: Sr., LHP, Austin Perez (0-2, 5.91 ERA)
|Game 2 - Iowa vs. Maine|
|Date | Time||Sat., March 1 | 12 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: Jr., LHP, Sasha Kuebel (1-0, 7.20 ERA) vs.
MAINE: So., RHP, Jake Marks (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
|Game 3 - Iowa vs. Furman|
|Date | Time||Sunday, March 2 | 9 a.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: So., RHP, Tyler Peyton (1-0, 2.77 ERA) vs.
FUR: Jr., RHP, Elliott Warford (1-0, 7.71 ERA)
The University of Iowa baseball team returns to action Feb. 28 through March 2 at the Stetson Invitational in Deland, Fla. The Hawkeyes open play against Stetson at 6 p.m. (CT) Friday night before facing Maine at noon Saturday and Furman at 9 a.m. Sunday. All three games will be held at Melching Field at Conrad Park.
ON THE WEB
Fans can follow every game with live stats (GameTracker) on hawkeyesports.com. Click on the "GT" link found on both the front page and the baseball schedule page. Live game updates are also available on Twitter: @UIBaseball. Audio and video of the Iowa-Stetson game will be available at gohatters.com, audio of the Iowa-Maine game can be found at www.goblackbears.com, and audio of the Furman game will be available at www.furmanpaladins.com.
The Hatters bring a 2-6 overall record into the weekend. Stetson was swept in its opening series against Ole Miss before taking 2-of-3 games against Boston College. The Hatters are also 0-2 in midweek games, falling to Florida International and at Bethune Cookman on Tuesday.
Stetson is hitting .175 as a team and have only scored 14 runs in eight games. Josh Powers is leading the team with a .350 batting average, while Patrick Mazeika has a team-best three RBIs. Kevin Fagan has three extra base hits, including the Hatters lone home run.
Stetson has a 4.63 team ERA in 70 innings. Mitchell Jordan is 0-1 with a 1.91 ERA, while Josh Powers and Kurt Schluter have accounted for the team's two victories.
The Black Bears bring a 1-5 record into the Stetson Invitational after playing its first six games against ranked foes. Maine lost 2-of-3 games at No. 13 Miami (Fla.) to start the season, winning the middle game, 3-1. Last weekend, the Black Bears were swept at No. 13 Clemson, being out-scored 28-7.
Maine is hitting .239 as a team, and has been out-scored 46-15 in six games. Troy Black is leading the Black Bears with a .435 batting average, while being tied for the team-lead with three RBIs.
Scott Heath has Maine's lone victory on the mound, and he is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in a pair of starts. Jacob Gosselin-Deschesnes has a 1.29 ERA in three appearances, scattering four hits over seven innings and limiting hitters to a .182 batting average. The Black Bears have a 6.80 team ERA.
The Paladins opened the season by winning 3-of-4 games with victories over Norfolk State, Toledo and East Tennessee State. Last weekend Furman was swept at home by Virginia Commonwealth before losing a midweek game at Georgia (6-4) on Feb. 25.
Furman is hitting .284 as a team with four players hitting above the .300. Chris Ohmstede is pacing the squad with a .400 average with 12 hits (four doubles) and three RBIs. Heath Burton and Greg Harrison are tied for the team lead with seven RBIs.
The Paladins have a 5.62 team ERA in 72 innings pitched. They have 44 strikeouts to 34 walks. Right-hander Elliott Warford is expected to start against Iowa. He is 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA with six strikeouts in seven innings.
Iowa is 2-6 all-time against Stetson, which includes an 11-0 Hatter win in the last meeting during the 2009 season.
The Hawkeyes are 4-7 against Maine in the all-time series. Iowa downed the Bears, 9-2, in 2013.
Sunday's matchup against Furman will be the first between the two schools.
Junior Andrew Hedrick picked up his second victory of the season in a 2-0 win over St. Bonaventure on Feb. 22. The southpaw posted career highs in innings pitched (6 2/3) and strikeouts (7) in a 2-0 Iowa win. Hedrick is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA -- the fifth-lowest ERA in the Big Ten.
Iowa has scored a Big Ten-best 64 runs over the first two weekends of the season. The total is the most for the program over the first seven games since 1986 when the Hawkeyes scored 90 runs.
The Hawkeyes posted a 2.50 team ERA at the Snowbird Classic, striking out 34 batters to issuing just 10 walks. Iowa lowered its team ERA by more than a run and a half to 3.77 -- a figure that ranks fifth in the Big Ten.
Junior Jake Yacinich is leading the team with a .455 batting average and a .581 on-base percentage. The shortstop also has been successful on 6-of-7 stolen base attempts this season.
The Hawkeyes have won four-straight games for the first time since the 2010 season when it won five-in-a-row.
Junior Jake Mangler has hit safely in all seven games for the Hawkeyes this season and is second on the team with a .393 batting average. His 11 hits lead the team and are second-most in the Big Ten, and he has four two-hit contests.
Sophomore Blake Hickman and senior Taylor Zeutenhorst are currently riding a seven-game reached base streak. The pair currently rank one-two in the Big Ten in both RBIs and runs scored. Hickman also has a Big Ten-best three long balls.
Sophomore Tyler Peyton scattered three hits and allowed a single run over eight innings in Iowa's 7-1 victory over Nebraska Omaha. Peyton didn't allow a hit past the third inning and finished with a career-high six strikeouts.
After going hitless in his first four games, junior Nick Day tallied back-to-back three-hit contests against Ball State and Nebraska Omaha. He drove in four runs in the two games to lift his batting average to .316.
Junior closer Nick Hibbing has posted a pair of saves for the Hawkeyes this season to run his career total to eight saves. The right-hander has allowed one run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He has a 1.69 ERA with nine strikeouts.
With its 6-1 record, Iowa is off to its best start since the 1985 season. The Hawkeyes opened that season with an 8-1 record en route to a 40-win campaign.
B1G PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst has tabbed as the Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 21 after hitting .412, slugging .765 and reaching at a .500 clip. The outfielder tied a career-high with four hits, going 4-of-6, which included a two-run home run in Iowa's 16-6 win over Ball State. Zeutenhorst is Iowa's first Player of the Week honoree since 2012.
The Hawkeyes are leading the Big Ten in slugging percentage (.444), on-base percentage (.409), runs (64) -- 17 more than second-place Nebraska -- RBIs (54), home runs (6), doubles (18), total bases (112) and stolen bases (17). Iowa also has the third-best team batting average at .294.
After hitting two home runs the entire 2013 season, Iowa has hit six home runs in seven games this season. The Hawkeyes connected on three long balls in taking 2-of-3 games during its opening weekend at Austin Peay before following with three home runs in the perfect 4-0 weekend at the Snowbird Baseball Classic.
RUNS, RUNS & MORE RUNS
Iowa scored 11 and 15 runs in consecutive victories at Austin Peay on the opening weekend of the 2014 season. It was the first time scoring 10 or more runs in two-straight games since April 20 and April 23, 2011, putting 14 and 13 runs on the board in victories over Western Illinois and Michigan.
Iowa scored 10 runs in the second inning alone of the second game of the Feb. 15 doubleheader at Austin Peay. The Hawkeyes last had a double-digit inning on April 3, 2011, in a 19-7 victory over Michigan State.
The Hawkeyes scored a season-high 16 runs in a 16-6 rout of Ball State on Feb. 22.
Iowa has outscored its opponents 35-15 over the final four innings.
Nine different Hawkeyes have swiped at least one base during the 2014 season. Iowa's 17 steals are leading the Big Ten. Junior Jake Yacinich has a league-best six steals in seven attempts, while junior Eric Toole is 4-of-5 on the base paths.
SITTIN' EM' DOWN
The Hawkeyes average 9.6 strikeouts per game, giving the team a Big Ten-best 67 Ks. Sophomore Calvin Mathews ranks second in the Big Ten with 13 strikeouts, while junior Sasha Kuebel is tied for third with 11.
HELLER APPROACHING 700
First-year head coach Rick Heller is approaching a career milestone as he is four victories shy of reaching 700 in his 26-plus year coaching career. Heller ranks 39th among winningest active head coaches in the NCAA.
3 B1G PLAYERS TO WATCH
Juniors -- Eric Toole, Sasha Kuebel and Jake Yacinich -- have been named to the Big Ten Watch List. Toole paced the Hawkeyes with a .337 batting average, 59 hits and 32 runs scored in 2013. He also tied for fifth in the Big Ten with 22 steals. Yacinich batted .286 and tied for the team lead with 24 RBIs, and Kuebel won a pair of games and posted a 5.13 ERA.
TOOLE EARNS PRESEASON HONOR
Junior Eric Toole was named a preseason first-team all-conference selection by College Sports Madness. Toole was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2013 after leading the Hawkeyes in batting average (.337), runs (32), hits (59), total bases (67 and steals (22).
HICKMAN NAMED TO PG's TOP-100 LIST
Sophomore Blake Hickman has been named to Perfect Game's top-100 list for the sophomore class. The catcher/right-handed pitcher is ranked No. 51 in the nation. He is 1-of-3 Big Ten players in the top-51 and six in the top-100.
RETURNEES - BY THE NUMBERS
Iowa's offense returns nearly intact from the 2013 season with 98 percent of the runs (1,652-of-1,684), 95 percent of the steals (57-of-60), 88 percent of the triples (7-of-8), 84 percent of the hits (374-of-443) and 81 percent of the RBIs (155-of-199) and doubles (43-of-53) returning. On the mound, the Hawkeyes return hurlers who accounted for 11 of the 22 wins and tossed 256 2/3 of the 447 innings.
A NEW ERA
The Rick Heller era began in July, 2013, when Heller was tabbed as the 20th coach in Iowa baseball history. The Eldon, Iowa, native has been head coach at three institutions -- Indiana State (2009-13), Northern Iowa (1999-2009) and Upper Iowa (1987-99) -- leading all three schools to NCAA postseason play. Heller added Scott Brickman and Marty Sutherland to his staff as assistant coaches. Brickman, the pitching coach, spent the past four seasons as head coach at NCAA Division II Belmont Abbey University, while Sutherland, the hitting coach/recruiting coordinator, was an assistant high school coach and hitting/fielding instructor. The three were together on the coaching staff at Northern Iowa in 2008 and 2009. Heller also brought back a pair of UI baseball alums in Jim Magrane and Matt Wooldrick. Magrane will serve as the volunteer assistant coach, while Wooldrik will be the director of baseball operations.
Of the 34-man roster, 22 are upperclassmen. The Hawkeyes roster features two true freshmen, 10 sophomores, 18 juniors, one redshirt junior and three seniors.
The Hawkeyes have 17 native Iowans -- the most of any state. Illinois is second with 12.
Iowa brought in 13 newcomers to the 2014 squad, 11 of which are transfers.
Iowa boasts six sets of high school teammates on the 2014 roster: Jake Yacinich and Jake Reinhardt -- Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa; Matt Allen and Tyler Radtke -- Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill.; Brandon Shulista and Nick Day -- Solon High School in Solon, Iowa; Josh Martsching and Calvin Mathews -- Davis County High School in Bloomfield, Iowa; Ryan Rumpf and Sean Moore -- Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, Iowa; John Barrett and Jacob Sharp -- Rock Island Alleman High School in the Quad Cities.
Four current Hawkeyes -- Will Kenny, Tyler Peyton, Dan Potempa and Brandon Shulista -- played the 2013 season at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
The Hawkeyes return 20 letterwinners, eight starters, and eight pitchers from the 2013 squad.
DRAFTED PLAYERS ON THE 2014 ROSTER
Four current Hawkeyes have been drafted by in Major League Baseball's First-Year Play Draft. Nick Hibbing (2011, Pirates, 42nd round, 1,262 pick), Blake Hickman (2012, Cubs, 20th round, 614 pick), Sasha Kuebel (2011, A's, 31st round, 946 pick), Taylor Zeutenhorst (Phillies, 41st round, 1,251 pick).
IOWA SIGNS FIVE FOR 2015
UI head coach Rick Heller signed five players -- Nick Allgeyer (6-3, 185, OF/LHP, St. Louis, Mo./Vianney High School), Joel Booker (6-2, 180, OF, Columbus, N.C./Indian Hills CC), Kyle "Fenway" Parks (6-1, 195, IF, Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River Community High School), Luke Vandermaten (6-foot-1, 155, RHP, Fort Dodge, Iowa/Iowa Central CC) and Kyle Wade (6-2, 195, RHP, Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills High School) -- to National Letters of Intent to continue their education and playing careers for the Hawkeyes in 2015. Parks is a top-500 player by Perfect Game.
B1G TOURNEY CHANGES
The 2014 Big Ten Tournament will be held at TD Ameritrade Park on May 21-25 in Omaha. The field is expanding in 2014 from six to eight teams for the first time in its history.
IOWA BASEBALL ACADEMY
The Iowa Baseball Academy provides year-round training programs, camps and instruction to youth ages 5-18. The academy will operate at Duane Banks Field and the Iowa athletic indoor facilities. The Iowa Baseball Academy strives to provide exceptional training programs to enhance player skills while teaching valuable lessons that strengthen the player's lives. Year-round training programs provide an opportunity for players to build and develop baseball skills, while giving the Iowa baseball program a vehicle to add value to community programs and grow interest in the Hawkeyes. For details about Iowa Baseball Academy, visit www.IowaBaseballAcademy.com.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook by going to facebook.com/iowabaseball. Fans can also follow on Twitter @UIBaseball.
The Hawkeyes will head to Manhattan, Kan., for a three-game series at Kansas State. Friday and Saturday's games will begin at 3 p.m., while Sunday's finale is slated for 1 p.m. All three games will be held at Tointon Family Stadium.