April 27, 2015

Iowa baseball team sweeps Nebraska

tiger hawkThe 17th ranked Iowa baseball team completed a sweep of Nebraska on Sunday. Tyler Peyton bounced back from a foot injury and pitched 8 and a third innings as the Hawks completed the sweep with a 5-1 victory.

“A great sweep against these guys, a great team in Nebraska and it was good to get a sweep against these guys, and that’s probably helping the pain right now,” Peyton says.

The Hawkeyes rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win Sunday’s opener 3-2. Jimmy Frankos drove in the game winner with a two out single in the bottom of the tenth. Frankos says it’s a situation you always dream of and he saw a good pitch and put the ball in play.

The win is Iowa’s 30th of the 2015 season, giving the Hawkeyes back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since the 1989 and 1990 seasons. Iowa is 13-2 in Big Ten play, 1/2 game behind Illinois in the league standings


Hawkeye football team to wrap up spring drills Saturday

tiger hawkThe Iowa football team closes out spring drills on Saturday afternoon with an open practice in Kinnick Stadium.

An experienced Hawkeye defense has been focusing on the fundamentals according to defensive coordinator Phil Parker. “I think it all starts with fundamentals, and that’s what we’ve been working on. We play a lot of base defense and run to the ball and make sure you’ve got your eyes where they need to be and read your keys. And I think that has to go to everybody on the field,” Parker says.

Iowa must replace a pair of defensive tackles and one of those vying for playing time is junior Faith Ekakite. He says everything has gone well, and everyone is competing and has stayed healthy.

Another junior who has caught the eyes of the coaches is junior Kyle Terlouw. The former Lynville-Sully standout transferred from Iowa Central in Fort Dodge. “I had a lot of people who told me I couldn’t do it, coming from small town Iowa, people just kind of laughed at you,” Terlouw says. He says growing up around Iowa football he felt he could do it and “the good lord’s blessed me and let me be here.”


Hawkeye baseball team hosts Nebraska

Rick Heller

Rick Heller

The 17th ranked Iowa Hawkeye baseball team opens a three-game Big Ten series at home against Nebraska on Friday night. At 10-2, the Hawks are in second place a half game behind league leading Illinois.

Iowa coach Rick Heller says it’s a tough stretch facing the Huskers and then going to Michigan, but he says he is looking forward to it and the team is looking forward to it. Nebraska is 6-6 in the Big Ten but at 30-13 overall the Huskers have their sights on an NCAA berth.

Heller says Nebraska is a team similar to his as they play “outstanding defense” have good team speed, pitching and they play hard.

One of the biggest keys for the Hawkeyes has been starting pitching. He says they’ve also been getting some good bullpen work, and along with the top starting pitching, they have a chance in these games.

Iowa is 27-11. The series concludes on Sunday.


World record holding blind runner competes at Drake Relays

David Brown and Jerome Avery.

David Brown and Jerome Avery.

Like many of the athletes competing at the Drake Relays this week David Brown’s goal is to earn a trip to Rio in 2016. The only difference is that he is blind. Brown owns the world record for the visually impaired in the 100 and 200 meter dash and he will compete in the paralympic 200 on Friday night at Drake.

A childhood disease robbed Brown of his sight and he gravitated to track as a teenager. He burst on to the international scene in 2012 when he tried to earn a spot in the paralympics. “I made the team to go to London and I ranked in the top 5 in 100 meters and the top 10 in the 200 meters, had American records at that point in time. And I wasn’t too far off from my major competitors,” Brown says. He says he just had to work a little harder to reach his dream.

Brown says it still blows his mind that he owns two world records but what he really wants is a gold medal at the 2016 paralympics. “Being the world record holder to me is just another title that can be taken away tomorrow,” Brown says. But, he says once you get the gold medal, that can never be taken away.

Brown says when fans watch him run he wants them to know that anything is possible. “I’m somebody that doesn’t have any sight, but yet I am running at lightening speed. And at the same time I am not just out there running for myself, my slogan is ‘Running for his Glory,’ so I am out three representing God, representing the United States and I am representing my family,” Brown says.

Brown competes with the aid of a guide runner. Jerome Avery had an accomplished career of his own and competed in four U.S. Olympic Trials. They two are connected by tether and run in two lanes and Avery can yell out to keep Brown in his lane.

Avery first served as a guide runner in 2004 after coming up short at the Olympic trials and he says a friend told him about the opportunity to work with visually impaired athletes. He says he hit it off with the first person he met and has been doing it ever since that first time.


Drake softball team looking to hold onto MVC lead

The Drake softball team has the lead in the Missouri Valley Conference race heading into a weekend series at home against Indiana State. The Bulldogs are 14-3 in the Valley and coach Rich Calvert says his players enjoy being in the title chase. Calvert says there’s something on the line and that’s what they play for, to have something to achieve at the end of the season.

Drake pitching combination of Beka Schmidt and Nicole Newman have been dominant in Valley play. That duo will be challenged by a Sycamore team that is second in the conference in hitting. “they are one of those teams that they really don’t pass the eye test, but when you get down to it, the put the ball in play,” Calvert says.

Calvert says the Bulldogs have been getting contributions from a number of different players and they haven’t had to rely on 1 or 2 players, as everyone has stepped up at different times.

The teams will play a twinbill on Saturday before closing out the series with a single game on Sunday.


I-Cubs general manager doesn’t expect Kris Bryant to play in Des Moines

Iowa Cubs general manager Sam Bernabe doubts fans in Des Moines will see star prospect Kris Bryant play. Bryant won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season if the parent Chicago Cubs wait until Friday to call him up.

The I-Cubs home opener is Friday night against Oklahoma City. Bernabe says he doesn’t think the parent club will keep him in Des Moines as they want to move him up as soon as possible to help them out.

Bernabe says if fans in Des Moines get a chance to see Bryant play it most likely will only be for a day or two. “You never know, and the Cubs are holding their cards pretty close to the vest,” Bernabe says. Either way, he says they will have a lot of good prospects playing in Des Moines this year, and the same thing will happen next year.

The I-Cubs are 3-3 on the season after Wednesday’s 3-2 loss in ten innings at New Orleans.


Ferentz says Big Ten better than people think

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz says the first college football playoff showed the Big Ten is not as “down” as many claimed. Ohio State made a surprising run to the national championship despite being without its top two quarterbacks.

“I don’t think there’s that big a difference from conference to conference and certainly some conferences, I think most conferences have some pretty good teams at the top and most of them have some teams at the bottom for any given reason have a tough time competing. There’s a lot of folks in the middle that are looking to make that move to the top. I just think it goes year-to-year,” Ferentz says.

Ferentz says there is more parity among the conferences than many believe. He says when you get to the bowl season you don’t see that much of a difference between the conferences.

Iowa closes out spring drills on April 25th.