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Iowa baseball looks to increase Big Ten wins against Huskers

BY JALYN SOUCHEK | APRIL 05, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa baseball team will square off against Nebraska in a three-game series this weekend, and the Hawkeyes will attempt to improve their cellar-dwelling Big Ten record. The series will begin tonight and conclude on April 7 at Banks Field.

The Hawkeyes haven’t had much success since beginning conference play —they are 1-5 in the Big Ten, 10-13 overall. Indiana swept Iowa last weekend after Northwestern took two of three from the Black and Gold a week earlier.

Jack Dahm’s squad will have yet another difficult task ahead of them in Nebraska. The Huskers are averaging 8 runs per game and are 5-1 during their Big Ten schedule, 11-17 overall.

“[Nebraska] is a very talented offensive team,” Dahm said. “They struggled early, but they’re playing very well right now. They’ve got a lot of momentum coming in here.”

Sophomore Sasha Kuebel, whose ERA is 5.08, will toss the first pitch in tonight’s contest.

Kuebel and company will have to be on top of their games in order for Iowa to beat Nebraska, and this may prove to be difficult. Iowa’s pitching is ranked 10th in the Big Ten with a combined ERA of 5.02.

Dahm said the days prior to this weekend’s series were spent working more on defense — another weakness for the Hawkeyes. They also have an opportunity to have two-straight days of practice on their home field for the first time this spring.

“It’s a big weekend for us. We just have to look at tape and how the pitchers are going throw and their tendencies,” sophomore outfielder Kris Goodman said. “And then focus on what we need to focus on and getting the things done defensively.”

Iowa was on a four-game losing streak before it defeated the Western Illinois on Tuesday, 10-6. Dahm noted that a more confident Iowa team took the field against the Leathernecks that night. He’s looking for that same confidence out of his lineup this weekend.

“It’s about getting ourselves ready to play,” Dahm said. “If we play free and easy like we did at times [against Western Illinois], you know we can compete with anybody and have a lot of success against anybody we go up against.”

In a sport that’s all about the numbers, junior Trevor Kenyon said the Husker’s position in the Big Ten isn’t something they take note of.

“We don’t really look at the numbers,” Kenyon said. “They’re just another team. We just have to come like we did [against Western Illinois]. Our hitters need to come and our pitchers need to come just like they have been and just dominate and just go pitch to pitch.”


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