April 4, 2014
|#24/28 Indiana (15-10, 5-1) at Iowa (16-9, 3-3)|
|Dates||April 5-7, 2014|
|Location||Iowa City, Iowa | Duane Banks Field|
|Statistics||Indiana | IOWA|
|Live Streaming||Hawkeye All-Access|
|Date | Time||Saturday, April 5 | 3 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: So., RHP, Calvin Mathews (3-1, 1.91 ERA) vs.
IU: Sr., LHP, Joey DeNato (5-1, 2.22 ERA)
|Date | Time||Sunday, April 6 | 2 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: Jr., LHP, Sasha Kuebel (2-2, 5.50 ERA) vs.
IU: So., RHP Christian Morris (1-2, 2.23 ERA)
|Date | Time||Monday, April 7 | 1 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: So., RHP, Tyler Peyton (3-0, 5.44 ERA) vs.
All three games of the Indiana series will available online via Hawkeye All-Access at hawkeyesports.com. Brent Balbinot will call the play-by-play while there will be an assortment of color commentators. All three games will also have a live video stream on Hawkeye All-Access.
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.
The Hoosiers are ranked No. 24 in the latest Baseball America poll and No. 28 in the Collegiate Baseball rankings. Indiana is also receiving votes in the NCBWA poll.
Indiana is 7-3 over its last 10 games, which includes winning 2-of-3 games against Michigan and sweeping a three-game set at Ohio State last weekend.
The Hoosiers boast the best pitching staff in the Big Ten, posting a 2.67 team ERA. Four Indiana pitchers rank among the top-10 in the league in ERA with Scott Effross posting a 1.38 ERA, the second-best mark in the conference. Effross is 2-1 in 15 appearances with four saves. The right-hander has allowed five runs (four earned) in 26 innings.
Indiana will start senior left-hander Joey DeNato (5-1, 2.22 ERA) on Saturday, and sophomore right-hander Christian Morris (1-2, 2.23 ERA) on Sunday. Monday's starter is to be announced.
The Hoosiers have four every-day players hitting above .300 and have a .270 team batting average. Dustin DeMuth is hitting a team-best .379 with 10 RBIs, Sam Travis has a .373 average with 22 RBIs and 15 runs scored, Kyle Schwarber is batting .333 with 24 runs and 14 RBIs, and Casey Rodrigue has a .305 average with 22 runs and 14 RBIs.
In Big Ten play, Indiana leads the league in hitting (.337), pitching (1.67) and is second in fielding (.982).
Indiana first baseman Sam Travis was a high school teammate of Iowa designated hitter Dan Potempa. Potempa hit behind Travis at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill.
Mount Vernon, Iowa, native C.J. Eldred is a freshman on the Hoosiers' roster. Eldred is the son of former Hawkeye and Major League Baseball pitcher Cal Eldred.
The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series over the Hoosiers, 76-65. Indiana has won the last five series -- winning 13-of-the-last-15 games -- between the two schools with Iowa's last series victory coming in 2008 when it won 3-of-4 games in Bloomington.
Indiana swept the three-game series last season at Banks Field, out-scoring the Hawkeyes, 31-15.
The last time Iowa defeated a ranked opponent came during the 2012 season when the Hawkeyes closed out the season winning 2-of-3 games from No. 13 Purdue.
Iowa will have a big-league stretch this week, playing five games in as many days and eight games in nine days. Following the Indiana series, the Hawkeyes play a two-game midweek set against Kansas before playing at Northwestern from April 11-13.
The Hawkeyes have had at least 10 hits in 12 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).
Junior Dan Potempa is currently second in the Big Ten with a .388 batting average and on-base percentage (.494).
Iowa's Calvin Mathews is leading the Big Ten with 41 strikeouts, 14 of which have been looking.
Junior Jake Yacinich has converted 15-of-17 stolen base attempts this season, which is tops in the Big Ten and 14th nationally.
Iowa leads the Big Ten and ranks 27th in the NCAA in scoring at 6.8 runs per game. The Hawkeyes lead the conference in five offensive categories and are second in seven more.
The Hawkeyes are hitting .297 as a team with runners in scoring position. Four Iowa players have a .350 average or better (Taylor Kaufman, .400, Jake Mangler, .452; Tyler Peyton, .444, Taylor Zeutenhorst, .359).
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.
Iowa committed two errors and posted a season weekend-best .982 fielding percentage during the three-game series at Michigan.
TURNING AROUND A PROGRAM
Under first-year head coach Rick Heller, the Hawkeyes started the season with a 9-1 record -- the program's best start since 1940.
After starting 9-1, Iowa received votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) rankings on March 3.
The Hawkeyes won 2-of-3 games in the Big Ten series opener against Nebraska. It was the team's first conference-opening series win since 1998.
Iowa's series win over Nebraska was the first for the Hawkeyes since the Huskers joined the Big Ten.
FRIDAY NIGHT ACE
Sophomore Calvin Mathews pitched his first career complete game, scattering six hits and allowing two runs in a 3-2 victory over Michigan on March 28. The right-hander tied a career-high with nine strikeouts against zero walks.
It was Iowa's first complete game since Matt Dermody accomplished the feat in a 2-1 victory at Northwestern on March 23, 2013.
Mathews has gone at least eight innings in each of his last three starts (Georgetown, Nebraska, Michigan). He is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA during the stretch, while posting 23 strikeouts against zero walks.
Mathews scattered three hits in a 13-1 win over Georgetown and struck out a career-high nine batters. After giving up a leadoff single, he retired 16-straight batters.
Mathews allowed one run on six hits and had five strikeouts in his first career Big Ten start against Nebraska. He wasn't involved in the decision.
The right-hander has a team-best four quality starts this season and has allowed three or fewer runs in all seven of his starts. Mathews has pitched into the eighth inning in four of his last five starts.
Mathews is leading the Big Ten in strikeouts (41), second in innings (47), third in opposing batting average (.200) and fourth in ERA (1.91).
GIVING HIS TEAM A CHANCE TO WIN
Sophomore Tyler Peyton has a pair of quality starts, allowing three or fewer runs in three starts and pitched into the seventh inning three times. He has a 3-0 record with a 5.44 ERA in seven starts as the team's Sunday starter.
The right-hander 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 Big Ten single game high this season and are the most by a Hawkeye pitcher since Brock Alberts struck out 10 against Xavier on Feb. 29, 2008.
Peyton is tied for ninth in the Big Ten in strikeouts (30), tied for 11th in innings (41.1) and 10th in opposing batting average (.239).
KUEBEL KEYED IN
Junior Sasha Kuebel has posted quality starts in two of his past three outings. The left-hander has been a tough-luck loser in two Big Ten starts, where he has posted a 3.55 ERA over 12 2/3 innings. The St. Louis native tossed seven innings of seven-hit ball March 29 at Michigan, allowing four runs (one earned) and finishing with a season-high eight strikeouts.
IOWA QUALITY STARTS LOG (9)
2/22 - Hedrick vs. St. Bonav. (6.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 K)
2/23 - Peyton vs. Omaha (8 IP, 1 ER, 6 K)
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)
3/21 - Mathews vs. Nebraska (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 K)
3/28 - Mathews at Michigan (9 IP, 2 ER, 9 K)
3/29 - Kuebel at Michigan (7 IP, 1 ER, 8 K)
PEYTON DOES IT BOTH WAYS
Sophomore Tyler Peyton is producing as a two-way player for the Hawkeyes this season. The Grimes, Iowa, native starts the opening two games as Iowa's first baseman, where he is hitting .365 with nine RBIs and 10 runs scored. He hit safely in his first 12 games -- a season-long streak for the team. As Iowa's Sunday starter, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 5.44 ERA in seven starts.
RADTKE COMING ON
Over his last five appearances, sophomore Tyler Radtke has allowed five hits and zero runs over eight innings. He has six strikeouts against three walks and is limiting hitters to a .185 batting average.
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.
The Hawkeyes have posted a pair of walkoff victories in 2014, coming from behind to defeat Maine (March 1) and Nebraska (March 21).
Iowa trailed 12-11 entering its final at-bat against the Black Bears before the Hawkeyes scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to post a 13-12 victory. With the bases loaded, junior Jake Mangler laced an opposite field game-winning RBI single to right centerfield.
Iowa trailed Nebraska 1-0 heading into its final at-bat before the Hawkeyes used a one-out walk and three-straight singles to win the game. Junior Taylor Kaufman delivered a pinch-hit RBI single to tie the game and senior Trevor Kenyon singled home the winning run with a single to left field.
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 11 appearances, where he has struck out 15 batters in 13.2 innings. Hibbing has nine career saves.
EXPERIENCE PAYS OFF
After taking their lumps and gaining experience the last 2-3 seasons, several Hawkeye upperclassmen are enjoying breakout seasons.
Junior Jake Mangler is hitting a career-best .330 with 23 RBIs and 21 runs scored. Both the RBI and run totals are career-bests. Mangler also has a career-high six doubles and one home run.
Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst has posted career bests in runs (21), doubles (5), home runs (4), total bases (47) and RBIs (22) in 2014.
Junior Nick Day has surpassed his 2013 hit total (25) and has a career-high 11 RBIs. He is hitting .313 after entering the season with a .203 career average.
Junior Eric Toole put on 10 pounds in the offseason to improve his gap power. The move is paying off as the outfielder has seven extra base hits in 25 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 surpassed his career stolen base total in 2014. The Des Moines, Iowa, native has a Big Ten-leading 15 steals in 17 chances -- a total that is 14th-best nationally. Yacinich had 13 steals in 16 chances coming into the 2014 season.
After hitting two home runs the entire 2013 season, Iowa has a Big Ten-leading 11 home runs in 25 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 -- a game where Iowa hit three home runs for the first time since March 21, 2012.
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.
Iowa has the most 10-run games since 2011 when it had seven such contests.
The Hawkeyes are 6-0 when scoring 10 or more runs this season.
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 96-55 over the final four innings.
Eleven different Hawkeyes have swiped at least one base during the 2014 season. Iowa's 39 steals are third in the Big Ten. Six different players have at least two steals, which includes 15 by junior Jake Yacinich (15-of-17), seven by Eric Toole (7-of-11) and six by senior Taylor Zeutenhorst (6-of-7). Iowa has stolen home twice this season -- Blake Hickman vat Austin Peay (2/15) and Tyler Peyton vs. Georgetown (3/15).
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.
Junior Dan Potempa was tabbed as the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on March 24 after posting multiple hits in each of Iowa's three games against Nebraska. He finished with weekend with a .727 batting average (8-of-11) and a 1.568 OPS. The Tinley Park, Ill., native had two hits in the opener and three hits in games two and three. He drove in a pair of runs in Iowa's four-run eighth inning to send the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten-opening series win.
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 host Kansas for a two-game midweek series on April 8-9 at Banks Field. Iowa returns to Big Ten action April 11-13 at Northwestern.