May 8, 2014
|Illinois (27-17, 13-5) at Iowa (27-17, 8-10)|
|Dates||May 9-11, 2014|
|Location||Iowa City, Iowa | Duane Banks Stadium|
|Statistics||Illinois | IOWA|
|Radio||AM-800 KXIC (Saturday)/Hawkeye All-Access (All)|
|Internet/Television||BTDN (Hawkeye All-Access) (Friday & Sunday) BTN (Saturday)|
|Date | Time||Friday, May 9 | 4 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: So., RHP, Blake Hickman (2-1, 3.68 ERA) vs.
ILL: RS Jr., RHP, Drasen Johnson (4-5, 3.25 ERA)
|Date | Time||Saturday, May 10 | 11:05 a.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: Jr., LHP, Sasha Kuebel (6-3, 4.35 ERA) vs.
ILL: Jr., RHP John Kravetz (5-1, 3.09 ERA)
|Date | Time||Sunday, May 11 | 1 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA: So., RHP Tyler Peyton (4-0, 4.50 ERA) vs.
ILL: So., LHP Kevin Duchene (2-1, 1.80 ERA)
Friday and Sunday's games will be streamed live via the Big Ten Digital Network, which can be seen through Hawkeye All-Access, while Saturday's contest will be televised live on the Big Ten Network with Kevin Kugler and Scott Pose calling the action. Iowa game audio, courtesy of Brent Balbinot, will be streamed live online via Hawkeye All-Access at hawkeyesports.com. Saturday's game will be broadcast on AM-800 KXIC.
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.
Illinois, who is receiving votes in the latest NCBWA rankings, brings a 27-17 overall and 13-5 Big Ten record into the weekend series. The Illini are tied for second in the league standings with Nebraska.
The Fighting Illini are 3-2 against ranked foes this season, sweeping two games at No. 23 Florida on Feb. 28 and March 2 before dropping No. 24 Indiana, 2-1, on April 26.
Illinois is fourth in the Big Ten with a .277 team batting average with four players hitting above .300. Jason Goldstein leads the team with a .325 batting average with nine doubles, three home runs and 25 RBIs. Casey Fletcher has a team-best six home runs, while David Kerian and Reid Roper are pacing the squad with 29 RBIs.
Fletcher collected multiple national and conference weekly awards last week after hitting .471 with two walk-off winners, five home runs, 10 RBIs and a 1.353 slugging percentage. Illinois went 4-0 with a midweek win over Southern Illinois before sweeping Michigan State.
Illinois enters the weekend with a 3.36 team ERA, which is third-best in the Big Ten, and has five shutouts. The Illini will send redshirt junior Drasen Johnson (4-5, 3.25 ERA) to the mound Friday, junior RHP John Kravetz (5-1, 3.09 ERA) on Saturday and sophomore LHP Kevin Duchene (2-1, 1.80 ERA) on Sunday. Duchene is working his way back after missing a month and a half with forearm tightness. Illinois has 10 saves this season with seven coming from Tyler Jay. He is 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in 19 appearances with 35 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.
Illinois leads the all-time series over Iowa, 122-82-2, but the two teams haven't met since 2011 and have played just three series since 2007.
The Hawkeyes have won two of the past three series over the Fighting Illini, taking 3-of-4 games in 2007 and 2-of-3 contests in 2010 -- both in Iowa City. Illinois won the most recent series in 2011, winning 2-of-3 games in Champaign.
The Hawkeyes will hold Senior Day festivities prior to their final home game of the season Sunday at Banks Field. Iowa will honor seniors Trevor Kenyon, Bryan Niedbalski and Taylor Zeutenhorst.
Iowa dropped 2-of-3 games last weekend at Ohio State -- its first series loss since being swept by Indiana on April 5-7. The Hawkeyes had won four-straight series over Kansas, Northwestern, Minnesota and South Dakota State.
Junior Nick Day has scored at least one run in 18-of-the-last-22 games, including a stretch of 12-straight from March 29-April 15. Day has a career-high 36 runs this season.
Junior Jake Yacinich has converted 23-of-25 stolen base attempts this season, which is second in the Big Ten and 24th nationally. Yacinich hasn't been caught stealing since March 22 -- he is 10-for-10 since.
Iowa averages 6.8 runs per game -- a figure that leads the Big Ten and ranks 18th nationally.
The Hawkeyes have 11 home runs in their last 14 games and three in their last four contests. Prior to the outburst, Iowa had not hit a homer for a stretch of 13 games since connecting on three March 17 against Otterbein.
Sophomore Tyler Peyton is hitting .469 with 11 RBIs over his last eight games. Peyton became the fifth Hawkeye to tally a four-hit game April 26 against South Dakota State, finishing 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored, including a walk-off, game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Sixteen of Iowa's 22 home runs have been hit on the road. The Hawkeyes connected for three long balls -- their first home runs of the season at Banks Field -- against Minnesota before hitting two homers against South Dakota State.
Yacinich is tied for the Big Ten lead with four triples, which ranks 53rd nationally.
Sophomore Jared Mandel has allowed one run on six hits in his last five appearances (6 2/3 innings). He had a career-best three strikeouts against South Dakota State on April 25 and threw a career-long 3 2/3 innings May 5 at Ohio State.
Junior Dan Potempa went 3-for-4 with one run and four RBIs in Iowa's 8-3 victory over Upper Iowa on May 8. It was the designated hitter's third four-RBI game this season, tying a career-high. Potempa connected on his third home run in the contest -- a two-run blast to left field.
Iowa scored 17 runs in a 17-2 victory at Ohio State on May 4 -- the most runs by the Hawkeyes in a Big Ten game since 2011.
The Hawkeye offense has pounded out 10 or more hits in 13 of their last 16 games. Iowa had at least eight hits in the other three contests. Iowa has 25 games with 10 or more hits this season. The Hawkeyes are hitting .331 as a team since April 8, averaging 7.4 runs per game. Iowa is 11-5 over the 16 games.
HICKMAN ON THE BUMP
Sophomore Blake Hickman will be making his third career start and first Big Ten start Friday against Illinois. The right-hander has pitched 10 2/3 scoreless innings in his last four appearances, allowing 11 hits and striking out 13. Hickman struck out a career-high eight batters in four innings April 25 against South Dakota State. In two starts, Hickman is 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA, allowing two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and five walks. He allowed five hits in three innings in his last start April 15 against Western Illinois. Hickman is 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 15 walks in 22 innings this season.
SITTING EM' DOWN
During a 2-1, 11-inning victory over South Dakota State on April 25, four Hawkeye pitchers -- Calvin Mathews (3), Blake Hickman (8), Jared Mandel (3) and Tyler Radtke (4) -- combined to strike out 19 Jackrabbits. The 19 strikeouts are the most by a Big Ten team in a single game this season.
Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst hit his team and Big Ten-leading eighth and ninth home runs of the season April 26 against South Dakota State. It was the first two-homer game by a Hawkeye since Sean Flanagan in 2012. Zeutenhorst's nine home runs are the most since 2009 (Wes Freie) and rank as the 30th-most nationally. The last Hawkeye to finish with a double-digit home run total was Jason White (10) in 2007.
The Hawkeyes are among the top-50 nationally in on-base percentage (16th - .391), batting average (18th - .303), scoring (20th - 6.8), steals (30th - 73), runs (31st - 297), hits (40th - 475), slugging percentage (40th - .406) and hit by pitches (45th - 66).
Iowa is on pace for 120 extra base hits in 2014, which would be the most for the program since the 2010 season. Iowa has 74 doubles, 10 triples and 22 home runs this season. The Hawkeyes are on pace for 84 doubles, 11 triples and 25 home runs.
A DEEP LINEUP
Iowa has seven 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 eight players with 10 or more multi-hit games, including 19 from junior Eric Toole and 18 from Jake Mangler and Jake Yacinich.
AN ACE IN THE PEN
Since the beginning of Big Ten play, sophomore Tyler Radtke has been Iowa's bullpen ace (and he took over as closer during series at Michigan). The right-hander has allowed zero runs in 12-of-14 appearances since March 22, posting a 2.61 ERA over 20 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs (all coming in two outings) on 17 hits with 24 strikeouts against eight walks. Radtke went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, throwing 3 2/3 hitless innings against South Dakota State on April 25-26. He is 2-2 with a 4.31 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings this season.
With runners in scoring position, junior Jake Mangler is hitting .377 (23-of-61) and he has a .818 (18 RBIs, 22 opp.) clip with runners on third with less than two outs. Mangler's clutch hitting has resulted in a career-best 39 RBIs -- 16 coming with two outs -- to go along with a team-high 11 multi-RBI contests. The 39 RBIs are tied for fourth in the Big Ten.
STAYING THE COURSE
Since getting lit up for five runs on seven hits in 1/3 of an inning in a 14-3 loss against Indiana on April 6, junior Sasha Kuebel has stayed the course. The southpaw is 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA over his last five appearances (four starts). Kuebel has five quality starts in 2014.
Kuebel has two complete games and has pitched at least seven innings in his last four starts. He has 24 strikeouts against seven walks in 37 2/3 innings.
He pitched a complete game shutout in a 5-0 win at Northwestern on April 12, scattering eight hits and striking out six. He tallied his second complete game, allowing two runs (one earned) on nine hits in a 17-2 victory at Ohio State (May 4).
Kuebel gave up four runs in the first and one in the second against Minnesota before settling in, holding the Gophers scoreless over the final five innings en route to his fourth victory.
Kuebel picked up his team-leading fifth victory, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits over seven innings against South Dakota State. He had six strikeouts against two walks in the start.
Kuebel has matched a career-high with six victories this season, which are tied for the third most in the Big Ten. He is 6-3 with a 4.35 ERA in 14 appearances (12 starts). Kuebel went 6-0 with a 2.67 ERA as a freshman and 2-8 with a 5.13 ERA as a sophomore.
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 32 hits in his last 68 at-bats over his last 17 games, which includes nine multi-hit games. During the stretch...
Yacinich has hits in 16-of-17 games, which includes a current 11-game hitting streak.
He has two four-hit games -- his third and fourth such contests this season. He went 4-for-5 with three runs April 9 against Kansas and 4-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs in a 17-2 win at Ohio State on May 4.
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. Caltaldo 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 76 points to .355 -- the third-best average in the Big Ten.
FRANKOS TAKING HOLD
Sophomore Jimmy Frankos started the season as Iowa's third-string catcher, but he has ascended to the top of the depth chart and has run with it. Frankos earned his first significant playing time following an injury to starting catcher Trevor Kenyon and all he has done since is hit. The Illinois native is hitting .397 over his last 18 games with 13 runs and five RBIs. He has eight multi-hit games during the stretch, including a 4-for-5 performance in an April 19 win over Minnesota. Frankos is hitting .379 (25-of-66) this season and .439 (18-of-41) in Big Ten play.
GIVING HIS TEAM A CHANCE TO WIN
Sophomore Tyler Peyton missed his April 26 start after leaving his April 20 start with a strain in his lat muscle. He returned May 5 at Ohio State, but lasted only 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits.
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 4.50 ERA in 11 starts as the team's Sunday starter.
Prior to his injury, Peyton's previous three outings were all "quality starts." He 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).
IOWA QUALITY STARTS LOG (17)
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)
4/26 - Kuebel vs. S. Dakota St. (7 IP, 2 ER, 6 K)
5/4 - Kuebel at Ohio State (9 IP, 1 ER, 4 K)
Sophomore Calvin Mathews left his April 25 start against South Dakota State after 3 1/3 innings with a shoulder injury. He has a loose socket in his throwing shoulder and his return this season is questionable.
Mathews has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 10 of his 11 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 second in the Big Ten in strikeouts (59), third in strikeouts looking (21), third in opposing batting average (.221) and 10th in ERA (2.86).
The Hawkeyes have posted four walk-off victories in 2014, coming from behind to defeat Maine (March 1) and Nebraska (March 21) before edging South Dakota State on April 25-26.
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.
Iowa had back-to-back walk-off victories April 25 and April 26 against South Dakota State. Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst singled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th in a 2-1 victory on April 25 before Tyler Peyton delivered a bases-loaded an RBI single to centerfield to a 4-3 win April 26 in the bottom of the ninth.
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 .330 with 39 RBIs and 33 runs scored. Both the RBI and run totals are career-bests. Mangler also has a career-high 11 doubles and one home run.
Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst has posted career bests in runs (34), doubles (6), home runs (9), total bases (84) and RBIs (32) in 2014.
Junior Nick Day has surpassed his 2013 hit total (45) and has a career-high 18 RBIs and 36 runs. He is hitting .313 after entering the season with a .203 career average.
Junior Jake Yacinich has a career-bests in runs (39), hits (61), triples (4), steals (23), RBIs (28) and batting average (.355).
After hitting two home runs the entire 2013 season, Iowa has 22 home runs in 44 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. Seven different Hawkeyes have hit at least one home run this season.
RUNS, RUNS & MORE RUNS
Iowa has scored 10 or more runs 11 times this season, including a season-high 17 twice in victories over Otterbein on March 17 and at Ohio State on May 4. 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 10-1 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 73 steals are leading the Big Ten lead and rank 29th nationally. Three different Hawkeyes have at least nine steals, which includes 23 by junior Jake Yacinich (23-of-25), 13 by Eric Toole (13-of-18) and 11 from Taylor Zeutenhorst (11-of-13). 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).
IOWA'S 2015 RECRUITING CLASS
UI head coach Rick Heller has added 10 players for the Hawkeyes' 2015 recruiting class. The class includes: Nick Allgeyer (6-3, 185, OF/LHP, St. Louis, Mo./Vianney HS), Joel Booker (6-2, 180, OF, Columbus, N.C./Indian Hills CC) Austin Guzzo-Foliaro (6-2, 190, OF, Brooklin, Ontario, Canada/All Saints Catholic Secondary School), Michael Haring, 6-1, 165, RHP, Iowa City, Iowa/City HS), Grant Klenovich (6-4, 220, 1B/3B, Winnetka, Ill./New Trier Township HS), Kyle "Fenway" Parks (6-1, 195, IF, Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River Community HS), Luke Schafer (6-2, 175, IF, Middleton, Wis./Middleton HS), JT Sole (5-8, 175, C, Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls HS), 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 HS).
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.
Iowa will close out the regular season with a three-game series at Purdue on May 15-17 in West Lafayette, Ind.