Baseball team hopes to end losing streak

BY JEFF PAWOLA | APRIL 14, 2009 7:30 AM

In the midst of a season-long seven-game losing streak, the Iowa baseball team (11-20, 2-7) is looking for anything positive to break out of its slump.

The Hawkeyes’ current losing streak matches last year’s season long streak; however, it is not the longest in head coach Jack Dahm’s tenure at Iowa. In Dahm’s second season with the Hawkeyes, 2005, Iowa lost eight-consecutive games heading into Big Ten play.

“Right now, we’re searching and trying to find a spark that’s going to get us a win,” Dahm said. “We have to find some kind of spark. We just can’t find that consistency. The mistakes that we’re making we can’t have.”

During the losing streak, Iowa has been inconsistent in almost every aspect of the game. The Hawkeyes are averaging only 3.7 runs per game while giving up 6.85 per game. Not only that, but Iowa has committed 11 errors, thrown 16 wild pitches, and allowed three passed balls.

“I think everyone is trying to press a little too much and do a little too much out on the field,” sophomore pitcher Patrick Schatz said. “Everyone just has to do his own thing and do what got him here.”

It has been a tale of three seasons for the Hawkeyes, who started the year dropping eight of 10 games before winning nine of their next 14. Iowa’s current losing streak started on April 4, when the Hawkeyes dropped both games in a double-header against Purdue.

“It’s amazing in one week how different we look on the baseball field right now compared to how we were a week ago,” Dahm said.

During Iowa’s 11 victories on the year, the Hawkeyes have produced 112 runs, or just over 10 per game, compared with only 83 runs in their 20 losses, or 4.15 per game.

“Our offense just isn’t doing it,” senior third basemen Kevin Hoef said. “We just have to try to turn this thing around.”

Iowa will get an opportunity tonight to turn things around against Nebraska in Lincoln. Tonight’s game will be a golden opportunity for both teams — Nebraska is in the midst of a nine-game losing streak.

Following the contest with Nebraska, the Hawkeyes will travel to Evanston, Ill., to take on Northwestern. The Wildcats (7-23, 1-7) are the only team behind the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten standings. As the only non-fully funded team in the Big Ten, Northwestern is on a six-game Big Ten losing streak.

“It’s just going to take that one game, that one hit. I don’t care if it’s a bloop that all of sudden finds a way to bring in that run,” Dahm said. “We’re trying to grind it out but everything is hard right now.

“We just have to find a way to get these guys to relax a little bit. Something good is going to happen where they can relax and start playing some better baseball.”

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