April 22, 2014
|Iowa (22-15) at Creighton (20-12-1)|
|Dates||April 23, 2014|
|Location||Omaha, Neb. | TD Ameritrade Park|
|Statistics||Creighton | IOWA|
|Radio||AM-800 KXIC/ Hawkeye All-Access|
|Televison||CBS Sports Network (Brent Stover/Danny Graves)|
|Date | Time||Wednesday, April 23 | 6:36 p.m. (CT)|
|Starting Pitching||IOWA: So., RHP, Blake Hickman (2-1, 5.06 ERA) vs.
CU: Fr., LHP, Jeff Albrecht (0-0, 5.14 ERA)
The University of Iowa baseball team heads to Omaha, Neb., to face Creighton in a Wednesday midweek matchup. The game will begin at 6:36 p.m. (CT) at TD Ameritrade Park.
Wednesday's game will be televised live to a national audience on the CBS Sports Network. Brent Stover will call the play-by-play, while Danny Graves will serve as the color analyst. The game against Creighton will also be broadcast live on AM-800 KXIC with Brent Balbinot calling the play-by-play. It will also be streamed live at Hawkeye All-Access at 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.
The Bluejays are 8-2 in their last 10 games to improve their record to 20-12-1 this season. Creighton, who won 2-of-3 games at Villanova last weekend, plays Omaha on Tuesday night.
Creighton is 11-5 at TD Ameritrade Park this season, winning six of its last seven games. The Bluejays lone loss came to Nebraska, 4-2, April 8.
The Bluejays hit .259 as a team with three players hitting above .300. Joey Mancuso leads the team with a .333 average, Reagan Fowler hits .320 and Jake Peter has a .303 clip. Mike Gerber has a team-best six home runs and 32 RBIs.
Creighton has a 3.85 team ERA with eight victories coming from Matt Warren (8-0, 1.71 ERA). Southpaw Jeff Albrecht will make his seventh start of the season Wednesday. He is 0-0 with a 5.14 ERA in nine appearances over 21 innings.
Two Creighton coaches -- Spencer Allen and Brian Furlong -- have ties to the Hawkeyes. Allen was a volunteer assistant at Iowa in 2004, while Furlong was the Director of Baseball Operations last season and is a former Hawkeye player.
Wednesday's game will be the rubber match in the series with Creighton, as the two squads are 12-12 against one another all-time.
Last season's Iowa-Creighton game was washed out in Iowa City, ending a five-year run of consecutive meetings. The Hawkeyes are 2-3 in the last five matchups, winning 5-4 in 2012.
Iowa won its second-straight Big Ten Conference series, taking 2-of-3 games over Minnesota last weekend in Iowa City. It was the Hawkeyes' first series win over the Gophers since 2005.
Iowa rallied from a 5-0 deficit April 19 and a 3-0 deficit April 20 to claim both games. The Hawkeyes scored 11 unanswered in the game two victory before scoring seven-straight in the finale before Minnesota rallied.
The April 20 victory was Iowa's 22nd win of the season, matching the team's 2013 total.
Iowa is 6-4 in its last 10 games, hitting .328 as a team, averaging 7.3 runs per game.
Iowa has 10 or more hits in six of its last seven games, including a season-high 20 April 11 at Northwestern. The Hawkeyes have 20 games this season with 10 or more hits.
Junior Nick Day has scored at least one run in 14-of-the-last-15 games, including a stretch of 12-straight from March 29-April 15. Day has a career-high 29 runs scored this season.
Junior Jake Yacinich has converted 19-of-21 stolen base attempts this season, which is second in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally.
Iowa averages 6.7 runs per game -- a figure that leads the Big Ten and ranks 23rd nationally.
The Hawkeyes have six home runs in their last seven games, including hitting one in each of the last three contests. Iowa had not hit a homer for a stretch of 13 games since connecting on three March 17 against Otterbein.
Yacinich has five of his seven extra base hits over the last seven games, including three triples and a home run. The junior's four triples lead the Big Ten.
Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst hit his team and Big Ten-leading sixth and seventh home runs of the season in consecutive games against Minnesota on April 18-19. Zeutenhorst is the first Hawkeye since 2008 to homer in two-straight games and his seven jacks are the most since Wes Freie hit nine in 2009.
HICKMAN ON THE HILL
Sophomore Blake Hickman is slated to make his third midweek starter Wednesday at Creighton. The right-hander hasn't been involved in a decision as a starter, throwing a total of 5 1/3 innings against Kansas and Western Illinois. He allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first career start against the Jayhawks before throwing three scoreless frames April 15 against Western Illinois. Hickman is 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA in 12 appearances this season.
The Hawkeyes are among the top-50 nationally in batting average (21st - .300), scoring (23rd - 6.7), on-base percentage (25th - .389), runs (29th - 248), steals (34th - 58) and hits (43rd - 391).
Iowa is on pace for 132 extra base hits in 2014, which would be the most for the program since the 2010 season. Iowa has 68 doubles, nine triples and 17 home runs this season. The Hawkeyes are on pace for 95 doubles, 13 triples and 24 home runs.
A DEEP LINEUP
Iowa has six players with 20 or more RBIs this season and seven every day players hitting .300 or better. The Hawkeyes had two players finish with 20+ RBIs last season. Iowa also has seven players with 10 or more multi-hit games, including 17 from junior Eric Toole.
JOINING THE FOUR-HIT CLUB
Sophomore Jimmy Frankos became the fourth Hawkeye to tally a four-hit game this season. The catcher went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored in Iowa's 11-5 victory over Minnesota on April 19. Junior Jake Yacinich has two four-hit games, while Taylor Zeutenhorst and Eric Toole have one apiece.
With runners in scoring position, junior Jake Mangler is hitting .375 (18-of-48) and he has a .850 (17 RBIs, 20 opp.) clip with runners on third with less than two outs. Mangler's clutch hitting has resulted in a career-best 34 RBIs -- 13 coming with two outs -- to go along with a team-high 10 multi-RBI contests. The 34 RBIs are tied for second in the Big Ten.
STAYING THE COURSE
After giving up five runs in the first two innings against Minnesota, junior Sasha Kuebel settled in, holding the Gophers scoreless for the next five innings en route to his team-leading fifth victory of the season. The southpaw is 5-3 with a 5.11 ERA in 12 appearances (10 starts). He has three quality starts this season.
After enduring a six-game (March 28-April 6) stretch where he collected two hits in 23 at-bats, junior Jake Yacinich has rebounded and then some. The shortstop has 19 hits in his last 38 at-bats over his last 10 games, which includes five multi-hit games. During the stretch...
Yacinich has hits in 9-of-10 games, including six multi-hit contests.
He posted his second four-hit game of the season and his career, going 4-for-5 with three runs April 9 at Kansas.
He went 3-for-4 with a triple in game one at Northwestern before going 2-for-4 with a triple and home run in game two. He became the first Hawkeye since T.J. Caldaldo in 2008 to hit triples in back-to-back games. The home run was also the first of his Iowa career.
Yacinich went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, including hitting a go-ahead two-run triple in a four-run sixth inning in an 11-5 win over Minnesota.
Since his average dipped to a season-low .279 on April 6, Yacinich has improved his average by 59 points to .338, ranking 11th in the Big Ten.
FRANKOS TAKING HOLD
With starting catcher Trevor Kenyon being sidelined the last 2.5 weeks with PCL strain suffered April 5, sophomore Jimmy Frankos has taken advantage of his opportunity behind the plate. The Illinois native has started Iowa's last seven games, posting five multi-hit games, scoring eight runs and driving in four. Frankos is hitting .366 (15-of-41) this season and .448 (13-of-29) in Big Ten play.
FRIDAY NIGHT ACE
Sophomore Calvin Mathews has allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine of his 10 starts and he has pitched into at least the seventh inning five times. He has a team-best six quality starts this season.
Mathews tossed 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 en route to being named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.
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 pitched into the eighth inning in four starts and has at least eight strikeouts in three games.
Mathews scattered three hits in a 13-1 win over Georgetown and struck out a career-high nine batters on March 15 before allowing one run six hits with five strikeouts in his first career Big Ten start against Nebraska.
Mathews is leading the Big Ten in strikeouts (55) and strikeouts looking (19), is third in innings (66), fifth in opposing batting average (.227) and 12th in ERA (2.86).
GIVING HIS TEAM A CHANCE TO WIN
Sophomore Tyler Peyton has five quality starts, allowing three or fewer runs in six outings and pitching into the seventh inning six times. He has a 4-0 record with a 4.38 ERA in 10 starts as the team's Sunday starter.
Peyton has three-straight quality starts, going 1-0 with a 2.21 ERA during the stretch. He has allowed five runs on 18 hits over 20 1/3 innings against No. 24 Indiana, Northwestern and Minnesota. He is limiting batters to a .231 average during the stretch.
The right-hander shut down the Hoosiers on April 7, limiting IU's potent offense to five hits and one run in seven innings, but wasn't factored in the decision. In his next start, pitching on short rest, April 12 at Northwestern, Peyton allowed one run on four hits over seven innings in an 8-1 victory.
Peyton had a career-best 10-strikeout game March 16 against Saint Joseph's in just 5 2/3 innings. 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 ninth in the Big Ten in opposing batting average (.236), 11th in strikeouts (39) and 11th in innings (61.2).
IOWA QUALITY STARTS LOG (15)
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)
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)
4/7 - Peyton vs. Indiana (7 IP, 1 ER, 4 K)
4/11 - Mathews vs. Northwestern (6 IP, 3 ER, 6 K)
4/12 - Peyton vs. Northwestern (7 IP, 1 ER, 3 K)
4/12 - Kuebel vs. Northwestern (9 IP, 0 ER, 6 K)
4/18 - Mathews vs. Minnesota (7 IP, 3 ER, 2 K)
4/20 - Peyton vs. Minnesota (6.1 IP, 3 ER, 2 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 .312 with 16 RBIs and 14 runs as Iowa's clean-up hitter. As Iowa's Sunday starter, the right-hander is 4-0 with a 4.38 ERA in 10 starts.
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 center field.
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.
EXPERIENCE PAYS OFF
After being mainstays in the lineup the last 2-3 seasons, several Hawkeye upperclassmen are enjoying breakout seasons.
Junior Jake Mangler is hitting a career-best .324 with 34 RBIs and 28 runs scored. Both the RBI and run totals are career-bests. Mangler also has a career-high 10 doubles and one home run.
Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst has posted career bests in runs (27), doubles (6), home runs (7), total bases (69) and RBIs (29) in 2014.
Junior Nick Day has surpassed his 2013 hit total (39) and has a career-high 14 RBIs and 29 runs. He is hitting .325 after entering the season with a .203 career average.
Junior Jake Yacinich has a career-bests in runs (34), triples (4), steals (19) and batting average (.338).
After hitting two home runs the entire 2013 season, Iowa has 17 home runs in 37 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. Six different Hawkeyes have hit at least one home run this season.
RUNS, RUNS & MORE RUNS
Iowa has scored 10 or more runs nine 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 2010 when it had 12 such contests.
The Hawkeyes are 8-1 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.
Thirteen different Hawkeyes have swiped at least one base during the 2014 season. Iowa's 58 steals are tied for the Big Ten lead. Three different Hawkeyes have at least nine steals, which includes 19 by junior Jake Yacinich (19-of-21) and nine by Eric Toole (9-of-14) and Taylor Zeutenhorst (10-of-11). Iowa has stolen home twice this season -- Blake Hickman vat Austin Peay (2/15) and Tyler Peyton vs. Georgetown (3/15).
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.
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, and Iowa's series win over Nebraska since the Huskers joined the Big Ten.
Iowa won 2-of-3 games over Minnesota on April 18-20 in Iowa City, a first for the Hawkeyes since 2005.
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.
Sophomore Calvin Mathews was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on March 31 and Big Ten Player of the Week by College Sports Madness a day later. The right-hander went the distance for his first career complete game, leading Iowa to a 3-2 win at Michigan. He scattered six hits and had nine strikeouts against zero walks in the game.
Junior Sasha Kuebel was tabbed as the Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week for the second time in his career April 14 after going 2-0 with a 0.62 ERA in two appearances last week. The southpaw pitched 5 2/3 innings in relief in a 5-3 midweek victory over Kansas before tossing a complete game shutout in a 5-0 win at Northwestern. It was Kuebel's first career complete game shutout and the first by a Hawkeye since 2011 (Jared Hippen).
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 April 25-27, hosting South Dakota State for a three-game nonconference series at Duane Banks Field.