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Kenyon provides relief for Hawkeye baseball

BY JALYN SOUCHEK | APRIL 12, 2013 5:00 AM

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Though the Iowa baseball team has hit a rough patch (11-16, 2-7 in Big Ten), junior Trevor Kenyon has done the opposite.

Instead, he’s rebounding from his rough start.

Kenyon, who played his first two seasons at Black Hawk Community College, struggled in the beginning the season, only hitting .154. Since returning to the starting lineup on March 30 against Indiana, he’s improved drastically.

In his eight starts back for the Hawkeyes, Kenyon has hit 15-for-34 (.441) and has accumulated 9 runs, 10 RBIs, four doubles, and a triple. He leads the team with a .362 average, 200 points higher than where he began the season.

“Earlier on, he hadn’t gotten the opportunities, I would say, but now he’s kind of built his way on the team to a major role,” senior pitcher Matt Dermody said. “He adds a lot of energy. He’s also a good offensive producer for this team. I think we really rely a lot on him.”

Iowa head coach Jack Dahm said he knew the team needed that energy when recruiting Kenyon. He also calls the former junior-college player gritty.

“He’s a guy that stands in there and has come up with some big hits for us, not only getting hits but extra-base hits,” Dahm said. “We just don’t have too many guys right now that are driving the baseball, and Trevor’s doing that.”

Kenyon isn’t just a powerhouse offensively — at first base, he’s one of the few to have gone error-free on a team that ranks second in errors in the Big Ten.

While at Black Hawk, Kenyon was a two-time first team all-conference selection. In his sophomore campaign he hit.397 with 7 home runs and 58 RBI, and broke the career doubles record. All while leading his team to two conference titles, a third-place national ranking, and two regional qualifiers.

“He’s very similar to a lot of [junior-college] transfers. It is different going to a Division-I program from a junior college from high school,” Dahm said. There’s a transition period as far as the focus that you need to have every day in practice and in the approach.”

Dahm said he’s followed Kenyon’s career throughout high school and at Black Hawk after coaching his older brother, Zach, in 2008-11.

“The one thing he could always do was hit,” Dahm said. “I thought that he could be a guy that could come in here and be a middle-of-the-order type of hitter and give us some pop and drive in some runs.”

And he has. Iowa has averaged nearly 6 runs a game since Kenyon was put back in the lineup. The prior 19 contests, the Hawkeyes averaged 4.4 runs a game.

Another reason Kenyon is thriving is because he’s such a being a tough out, Dahm said.

“He makes the pitchers work,” he said. “He’s going to swing at the first pitch if it’s a good pitch to hit, but yet, he’s also going to work them if they’re trying to pitch around him. He hasn’t chased too many bad pitches.”

Kenyon constantly looks for more ways to help his team. In the upcoming game against Kansas State, he said, he needs to produce more RBIs.

“This [opportunity] is a big deal to me. I’ve worked for it my entire life,” Kenyon said. “I went the [junior college] route and started off still knowing that I had a chance to come up here.”

“I’ve always wanted to get Iowa back on the map. Coming here, it just takes time, and hopefully, I can do my part.”


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