March 20, 2014
|Nebraska (12-7) at Iowa (12-5)|
|Dates||March 21-23, 2014|
|Location||Iowa City, Iowa | Duane Banks Field|
|Statistics||Nebraska | IOWA|
|Radio||AM-800 KXIC/Hawkeye All Access|
|Live Streaming||Hawkeye All Access|
|Date | Time||Friday, March 21 | 3 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: So., RHP, Calvin Mathews (2-1, 2.10 ERA) vs.
NEB: Sr., RHP, Christian DeLeon (2-1, 3.34 ERA)
|Date | Time||Sat., March 22 | 2 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: Jr., LHP, Sasha Kuebel (2-0, 7.32 ERA) vs.
NEB: Jr., RHP Chance Sinclair (3-0, 0.64 ERA)
|Date | Time||Sunday, March 23 | 1 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: So., RHP, Tyler Peyton (3-0, 4.70 ERA) vs.
NEB: Jr., LHP, Aaron Bummer (2-2, 6.27 ERA)
The University of Iowa baseball team opens Big Ten play March 21-23, hosting Nebraska at Duane Banks Field. Friday's home opener is scheduled for a 3 p.m. (CT) start followed by 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. starts Saturday and Sunday.
This weekend's three-game series will be broadcast on AM-800 KXIC in Iowa City and online at hawkeyesports.com via Hawkeye All-Access. Brent Balbinot will call the play-by-play Friday and Sunday, while Ryan Schlader will handle the call Saturday. Steve Duncan will serve as the color analyst all three games. Live video will also be streamed all three games on hawkeyesports.com.
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.
GET YOUR SEASON TICKETS
Season tickets for the 2014 Iowa baseball home schedule are available for purchase on hawkeyesports.com. Single game tickets are also available online.
The Huskers have won eight of their last 10 games to improve to 12-7 this season. Nebraska won 2-of-3 games against No. 25 Cal Irvine last weekend in Lincoln before rallying to defeat Creighton, 5-4, in 10 innings on Wednesday. The Huskers are also 1-1 against Oregon State, downing the Beavers, 9-2, when they were ranked No. 1 on Feb. 21.
Nebraska was tabbed to finish as the Big Ten runner-up in the preseason coaches poll.
The Huskers are currently leading the Big Ten in hitting (.321) and fielding (.975) this season. Nebraska's pitching staff has the seventh-best team ERA (4.34) in the league.
Twelve players on the Huskers' roster are hitting above .300. Jake Placzek is the team's top every-day player, hitting .339 with 11 RBIs. Michael Pritchard is hitting .315 with 10 extra base hits and 16 RBIs. Tanner Lubach, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, has a team-best two home runs, while Pat Kelly is pacing the team with 18 RBIs.
The Huskers have a 4.34 team ERA over 170 innings, with 109 strikeouts to 91 walks. Nebraska will start senior right-hander Christian DeLeon (2-1, 3.34 ERA) on Friday, junior right-hander Chance Sinclair (3-0, 0.64 ERA) on Saturday and junior southpaw Aaron Bummer (2-2, 6.27 ERA) on Sunday. Sinclair's ERA is leading the Big Ten. Junior right-hander Josh Roeder has three saves and is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 6 1/3 innings.
The Huskers lead the all-time series over Iowa, 16-11. Nebraska has posted series victories, winning 2-of-3 games in both seasons since joining the Big Ten.
The Hawkeyes won the opening game of the series in Lincoln in 2012, 4-3, before dropping the final two games. Last season, the Huskers won the first two games in Iowa City before Iowa won the finale, 6-5.
HELLER REACHES 700
First-year head coach Rick Heller earned his 700th career victory in Iowa's 13-1 victory over Georgetown on March 15 in Port Charlotte, Fla. Heller is 39th among winningest active head coaches in the NCAA.
Iowa is playing its first competition on the new AstroTurf infield at Banks Field. The surface was installed last fall and completed earlier this month.
The Hawkeyes have had at least 10 hits in 10 contests this season. Iowa had a string of five-straight games from Feb. 22-March 2. The Hawkeyes have had 17 hits twice (vs. Ball State, vs. Otterbein).
After having two hits in the first four innings against Otterbein, the Hawkeye bats erupted for 17 runs on 15 hits in the fifth through eighth innings. Three of the hits were home runs -- Iowa's first three home run game since March 21, 2012 -- a 20-1 win over Grand View.
Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst hit .438 with six runs and nine RBIs last weekend in four games at the Snowbird Classic. He had a pair of three hit, four RBI games, where he connected on his Big Ten-leading third and fourth home runs. Zeutenhorst also has a Big Ten-best 21 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
Sophomore Tyler Peyton brings a 10-game hitting streak and 11-game reached base streak into the series against Nebraska. The 10-game hitting streak is tied for a season-long streak by an Iowa player (Jake Mangler). Peyton is hitting .469 with six RBIs and nine runs.
Junior Jake Yacinich has converted 12-of-13 stolen base attempts this season, which is tops in the Big Ten and 16th nationally.
Iowa leads the Big Ten and ranks 13th in the NCAA in scoring at 7.8 runs per game. The Hawkeyes lead the conference in eight offensive categories and are second in four more.
The Hawkeyes are hitting .318 as a team with runners in scoring position. Eight Iowa players have a .300 average or better and four are above .350 (Nick Day, .391, Trevor Kenyon, .357 Jake Mangler, .435; Tyler Peyton, .500, Taylor Zeutenhorst, .387).
Iowa has a Big Ten-leading 11 home runs this season. The home run total is the most for the Hawkeyes since the 2010 season when Iowa had 28 long balls.
The Hawkeye starters have six quality starts this season (Tyler Peyton 2, Calvin Mathews 2, Andrew Hedrick 1, Sasha Kuebel 1).
Friday night starter Calvin Mathews is 2-1 with a 2.10 ERA in five starts. The right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in all five outings and has a Big Ten-best 27 strikeouts. Mathews threw eighth shutout innings, scattering three hits in a 13-1 win over Georgetown on March 15 to notch his second win. He retired 16 straight batters after giving up a leadoff single and struck out a career-high nine batters. Mathews pitched 7 1/3 innings, scattering five hits and allowing an unearned run Feb. 28 in a 5-1 victory over Stetson and had eight strikeouts in four innings at Austin Peay in his first start of the season.
After struggling his way out of the rotation, junior Sasha Kuebel pitched his way back into a weekend starting role March 17 against Otterbein. The southpaw posted a quality start, allowing three runs over seven innings in a 17-5 victory over Otterbein. Kuebel is 2-0 with a 7.32 ERA this season.
Kuebel has made a pair of starts against Nebraska in his career. He wasn't involved in the decision in 2012, allowing four runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts in a 9-8 loss. Last season, the Huskers roughed up Kuebel for eight runs on eight hits in five innings en route to a 12-5 win.
Sophomore Tyler Peyton struck out 10 batters against Saint Joseph's on March 16 in 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. The 10 strikeouts are tied for the high water mark by a Big Ten pitcher this season. The right-hander is tied for second in the Big Ten with three victories. He had back-to-back quality starts against Omaha and Furman on Feb. 23 and March 23, respectively.
IOWA QUALITY STARTS LOG
2/22 -- Hedrick vs. St. Bonav. (6.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 K)
2/23 - Peyton vs. Omaha (8 IP, 1 ER, 6K)
2/28 - Mathews at Stetson (7.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 K)
3/2 - Peyton vs. Furman (7 IP, 2 ER, 4 K)
3/15 - Mathews vs. G'town (8 IP, 0 ER, 9 K)
3/17 - Kuebel vs. Otterbein (7 IP, 3 ER, 3 K)
OVER THE LAST 10 GAMES...
Iowa is 6-4 and is batting .319 as a team and has six 10-plus hit games and 10-plus run games.
Junior Eric Toole is batting .385 (15-of-39) with nine RBIs and 11 runs scored. He is reaching base at a .490 clip and slugging .462.
Sophomore Calvin Mathews is 2-1 with a 1.33 ERA in three starts. He has allowed four runs (three earned) in 20 1/3 innings pitched, while limiting hitters to a .171 batting average.
CLOSING IT OUT
Junior Nick Hibbing has a team-high three saves this season converting three of his four save opportunities. The right-hander has a team-high eight appearances, where he has struck out 11 batters in 9 2/3 innings. Hibbing has nine career saves.
Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst is saving his best for last. The outfielder is hitting .309 with 10 of his 21 hits going for extra bases (five 2Bs, 1 3B, 4 HR). He has a team-best 21 RBIs and 18 runs scored -- both Big Ten best totals. Zeutenhorst had one home run, 16 extra base hits, 35 RBIs and 39 runs in his first three seasons.
Junior Eric Toole put on 10 pounds in the offseason to improve his gap power. The move is paying off as the outfielder has six extra base hits in 17 games this spring. Toole entered the 2014 season with seven extra base hits in his Hawkeye career.
TERROR ON THE BASE PATHS
Junior Jake Yacinich has nearly as many steals in 2014 as he had in his first two seasons as a Hawkeye. The Des Moines, Iowa, native has a Big Ten-leading 12 steals in 13 chances -- a total that is 16th-best nationally. Yacinich had 13 steals in 16 chances coming into the 2014 season.
Sophomore Tyler Peyton is thriving as a two-way player for the Hawkeyes. The Grimes, Iowa, is the team's starting first baseman when he's not on the mound. Peyton has a team-high .469 batting average, collecting 15 hits in 32 at-bats. As a position player, Peyton has four multi-hit games, including a three-hit, three RBI contest in Iowa's 13-1 win over Georgetown on March 15. As Iowa's Sunday starter, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 4.70 ERA over a team-best 30 2/3 innings. He has 26 strikeouts, including a 10-strikeout game in Iowa's 9-7 win over Saint Joseph's.
After hitting two home runs the entire 2013 season, Iowa has a Big Ten-leading 11 home runs in 17 games this season -- the most for the program since 2010 when it had 28 jacks. The Hawkeyes surpassed their 2013 home run total in the season-opening weekend, connecting on three home runs. Junior Dan Potempa became the fifth player to hit a home run, connecting on a solo shot March 17 against Otterbein.
RUNS, RUNS & MORE RUNS
Iowa has scored 10 or more runs six times this season, including a season-high 17 in victory over Otterbein on March 17. All 17 runs came over a four-inning stretch. The Hawkeyes hit the 10-run barrier three times the entire 2013 season.
It is the most 10-run games for the Iowa program since 2011 when it had seven such contests.
The Hawkeyes are 6-0 when scoring 10 or more runs this season.
Iowa has five players among the top-10 in the Big Ten in runs scored -- Taylor Zeutenhorst (18), Jake Yacinich (17), Eric Toole (16), Jake Mangler (16) and Blake Hickman (15).
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 has scored 10 runs in a single inning in two games this season (at Austin Peay (2/15), vs. Otterbein (3/17). The Hawkeyes last had a double-digit inning on April 3, 2011, in a 19-7 victory over Michigan State.
Iowa has outscored its opponents 82-42 over the final four innings.
Ten different Hawkeyes have swiped at least one base during the 2014 season. Iowa's 33 steals lead the Big Ten and rank 32nd nationally. Junior Jake Yacinich has a league-best 12 steals in 13 attempts, a total that is 16th in the country. Six different players have at least two steals, which includes six by Eric Toole (6-of-9) and five by Taylor Zeutenhorst (5-of-6). Iowa has stolen home twice this season -- Blake Hickman vat Austin Peay (2/15) and Tyler Peyton vs. Georgetown (3/15).
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.
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 return to action March 26, hosting Bradley in a midweek game at 3 p.m. (CT) at Banks Field. From March 28-30, Iowa will play a three-game Big Ten series at Michigan.