Iowa Closes Out Regular Season at Purdue - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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Iowa Closes Out Regular Season at Purdue
Hawkeyes need 1 victory to clinch spot in 2014 Big Ten Tournament

May 14, 2014

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    Iowa (27-20, 8-13) at Purdue (12-35, 5-16)
     Dates May 15-17, 2014
     Location West Lafayette, Ind. | Alexander Field
     Statistics Purdue | IOWA

    Media Coverage
     Radio AM-800 KXIC (Friday & Saturday)/Hawkeye All-Access (All)
     Live Stats GameTracker
     Internet/Television BTDN (Hawkeye All-Access) (All)

    Game 1
     Date | Time Thursday, May 15 | 5:30 p.m. (CT)
     Pitching Matchup IOWA: So., RHP, Blake Hickman (2-2, 3.95 ERA) vs.
    PUR: So., LHP, Jordan Minch (1-6, 5.31 ERA)

    Game 2
     Date | Time Friday, May 16 | 5:30 p.m. (CT)
     Pitching Matchup IOWA: Jr., LHP, Sasha Kuebel (6-4, 4.37 ERA) vs.
    PUR: So., RHP Gavin Downs (2-6, 4.43 ERA)

    Game 3
     Date | Time Saturday, May 17 | 1 p.m. (CT)
     Pitching Matchup IOWA: TBA vs.
    PUR: So., RHP Connor Podul (0-4, 6.12 ERA)

    Game Notes -- at Purdue (May 15-17) Get Acrobat Reader

    THIS WEEK
    The University of Iowa baseball team heads to West Lafayette, Ind., for its final regular season series from May 15-18 at Alexander Field. Thursday and Friday's games are set for 5:30 p.m. (CT) starts, while Saturday's finale begins at 1 p.m.

    GAME COVERAGE
    All three games at Purdue will be streamed live via the Big Ten Digital Network, which can be accessed through Hawkeye All-Access at hawkeyesports.com. The first two games of the series will be broadcast on AM-800 KXIC with Brent Balbinot on the call. All three games will also will be streamed live online via Hawkeye All-Access.

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    LIVE STATS/TWITTER
    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.

    SCOUTING PURDUE
    • The Boilermakers have lost six-straight and 8-of-10 games to drop their record to 12-35 overall and 5-16 in Big Ten play. Last weekend, Purdue dropped three one-run games at Minnesota, seeing the Gophers rally for the win in their final at-bat in the final three contests.
    • Purdue is last in the Big Ten in hitting (.230) and pitching (5.88) this season, but the Boilermakers have the fourth-best team fielding percentage at .973.
    • The Boilermakers have one player hitting above .300 this season in Sean McHugh. The infielder has a .302 average with team-highs in hits (57), doubles (13), home runs (4) and RBIs (27). Purdue has scored 155 runs (3.3 per game) in 47 contests.
    • Purdue has struggled on the mound, posting a 5.88 ERA, while issuing nearly as many walks (212) as strikeouts (228). The Boilermakers will start a trio of sophomores in LHP Jordan Minch (1-6, 5.31 ERA), RHP Gavin Downs (2-6, 4.43 ERA) and RHP Connor Podkul (0-4, 6.12 ERA). Reliever Matt Gibbs is 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA out of the bullpen and is limiting hitters to a .181 average.

    THE SERIES
    • The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series over Purdue, 91-66-1, and Iowa has won three of the last four series.
    • This is the fifth-straight year Iowa and Purdue have met in the final series of the regular season.
    • Iowa swept the Boilermakers last season at Alexander Field, winning the first two games in extra innings, 2-1 (11) and 9-5 (10) before taking the finale, 5-4. The Hawkeyes won 2-of-3 games in Iowa City in 2012 when Purdue was 13th in the national polls. The Boilermakers swept all three games in 2011 following a four-game Hawkeye sweep in 2010.

    1 WIN = HELLO OMAHA
    One Iowa victory in the series at Purdue will qualify the Hawkeyes for the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since the 2010 season. The tournament will be held at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, from May 21-25.

    QUICK HITTERS
    • Junior Jake Yacinich has converted 24-of-27 stolen base attempts this season, which is tied for the Big Ten lead and ranks 28th nationally. The 24 swipes are tied for the 13th-most in a single-season in program history.
    • Iowa averages 6.4 runs per game -- a figure that leads the Big Ten and ranks 27th nationally.
    • Sixteen of Iowa's 23 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 second in the Big Ten with four triples.
    • Sophomore Jared Mandel has allowed one run on eight hits in his last seven appearances (8 1/3 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.
    • 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.

    MOVING INTO CAREER TOP-10
    • Junior Eric Toole has 43 career steals -- one shy of moving into the top-10 in Iowa history in career steals. Toole's brother, Justin, and Eric Martinez are tied for 10th with 44 swipes.
    • Junior Nick Hibbing has made 54 career appearances as a Hawkeye -- the eighth-most in school history.
    • Junior Sasha Kuebel currently ranks seventh in program history in innings pitched (248 2/3).
    • Toole and junior Jake Yacinich rank sixth and tied for seventh in UI history in singles. Toole has 136 base hits, while Yacinich has 134.

    HICKMAN ON THE BUMP
    Sophomore Blake Hickman was solid in his first career Big Ten start -- a 4-1 setback against Illinois on May 9. The right-hander struck out five of the first six batters he faced and held the Illini hitless through 4 2/3 innings. Hickman allowed three runs on three hits in the game, while striking out a career-high nine batters.
    • Hickman has struck out at least eight batters in two appearances this season. He struck out eight in four innings April 25 against South Dakota State.
    • In three starts, Hickman is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA, allowing five runs on eight hits in 10 2/3 innings. He has 15 strikeouts against eight walks. Hickman's first career start came against Kansas (April 8) before starting April 15 against Western Illinois.
    • Hickman is 2-2 with a 3.95 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings this season.

    GOING DEEP
    Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst hit his team-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 42nd-most nationally. The last Hawkeye to finish with a double-digit home run total was Jason White (10) in 2007.

    TOP-50 NATIONALLY
    The Hawkeyes are among the top-50 nationally in on-base percentage (24th, .385), batting average (27th, .297), scoring (27th, 6.4), steals (28th - 77), runs (44th - 301) and hit by pitches (34th - 73).

    EXTRA BASES
    Iowa is on pace for 116 extra base hits in 2014, which would be the most for the program since the 2010 season. Iowa has 76 doubles, 10 triples and 23 home runs this season. The Hawkeyes are on pace for 81 doubles, 11 triples and 24 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 20 apiece from Eric Toole and Jake Yacinich.

    ACE IN THE PEN
    Since the beginning of Big Ten play, sophomore Tyler Radtke has been Iowa's ace in relief (and he took over as closer during series at Michigan). The right-hander hasn't allowed a run in his last six appearances and in 13-of-15 stints since March 22, posting a 2.38 ERA over 23 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs (all coming in two outings) on 18 hits with 26 strikeouts against 10 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 3.93 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings this season.

    MR. CLUTCH
    With runners in scoring position, junior Jake Mangler is hitting .381 (24-of-63) 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 sixth in the Big Ten.

    STAYING THE COURSE
    Since getting tagged 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 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA over his last six appearances (five starts). Kuebel has five quality starts in 2014.
    • Kuebel has two complete games and has pitched at least seven innings in his last five starts. He has 29 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 fourth-most in the Big Ten. He is 6-4 with a 4.37 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts). Kuebel went 6-0 with a 2.67 ERA as a freshman and 2-8 with a 5.13 ERA as a sophomore.
    • Kuebel has pitched 80 1/3 innings in 2014 -- 7 1/3 innings off his career-high total (87 2/3) as a freshman in 2012.

    YACINICH REBOUNDS
    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 is hitting .463 (37-of-80) over his last 20 games, which includes 11 multi-hit games. During the stretch...
    • Yacinich has hits in 18-of-20 games, which included an 11-game hitting streak from April 15-May 9.
    • He has four three-hit and two four-hit games -- his third and fourth four-hit 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 80 points to .359 -- the third-best average in the Big Ten.
    • Yacinich currently ranks in the top-six in the Big Ten in steals (t1st, 24), hits (2nd, 66), triples (t2nd, 4), batting average (3rd, .359), on-base percentage (4th, .435) and runs (t7th, 39).

    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 .342 over his last 21 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 .329 (25-of-76) this season and .353 (18-of-51) in Big Ten play.

    GIVING HIS TEAM A CHANCE TO WIN
    • Sophomore Tyler Peyton left his April 20 start against Minnesota with a lat strain and has pitched 5 1/3 innings since, missing an April 26 start against South Dakota State. He returned May 5 at Ohio State, but lasted only 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and reaggravated the injury May 11 against Illinois.
    • 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 4.57 ERA in 12 starts.
    • 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.

    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, 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)
    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)

    MISSING ACE
    • 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 tied for fifth in the Big Ten in strikeouts (59) and strikeouts looking (21), second in opposing batting average (.221) and ninth in ERA (2.86).

    WALK-OFF WINS
    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.

    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.

    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 .325 with 39 RBIs and 34 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 .304 after entering the season with a .203 career average.
    • Junior Jake Yacinich has a career-bests in runs (41), hits (66), triples (4), steals (24), RBIs (29) and batting average (.359).

    POWER SURGE
    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.

    RUNNIN' WILD
    Thirteen different Hawkeyes have swiped at least one base during the 2014 season. Iowa's 77 steals are second in the Big Ten lead and rank 28th nationally. Three different Hawkeyes have at least nine steals, which includes 24 by junior Jake Yacinich (24-of-27), 14 by Eric Toole (14-of-19) and 11 from Taylor Zeutenhorst (11-of-14). 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.

    B1G HONOREES
    • 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).

    TEAM CAPTAINS
    Juniors Nick Hibbing, Jake Mangler, Eric Toole and Jake Yacinich have been elected by their teammates as team captains for the 2014 season.

    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.

    UP NEXT
    With one victory at Purdue, the Hawkeyes will qualify for the 2014 Big Ten Tournament, which will be held from May 21-15 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. Games begin at 9 a.m. (CT) on May 21.

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