The Box Score: Inside Iowa baseball's statistics

BY JACOB SHEYKO | APRIL 01, 2014 5:00 AM

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Twenty-two games into the Iowa baseball season, we’ve reached the point where statistics are no longer a result of a small sample size but a good indication of how the team will remain for the rest of the season.

With that being said, the Hawkeyes, both individually and as a team, have separated themselves from the pack in numerous categories.

Strikeouts: Calvin Mathews — 41 (1st in Big Ten)

Calvin Mathews has been dealing all season long and as a result has established himself as the clear-cut ace of the Hawkeyes. \In 41 innings, Mathews hasn’t just struck out the most batters, he also leads the Big Ten in strikeouts looking and is fourth in ERA with a 1.91 mark. Even more impressive is that while dominating hitters, Mathews has walked only 9 batters.

Sadly for Iowa, not many Hawkeyes have been able to replicate this performance; the Hawks’ team ERA is 4.44, and opponents are hitting .264 against them as opposed to .199 against Mathews alone.

Team strikeouts: 166 (2nd in the Big Ten)

If there is one thing that the Hawkeye pitching staff has been able to replicate from Mathews, it’s strikeouts. The Hawkeyes are a long shot from Michigan, which leads the Big Ten with 214 strikeouts, but they are nonetheless second.

A big reason for this is not just their starters, who have racked up 113 strikeouts on their own, but also a good chunk of this can be attributed to Iowa’s trio of relievers — Tyler Radtke, Nick Hibbing, and Blake Hickman — who have 36 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings.

Stolen Bases: Jake Yacinich — 14 (1st in Big Ten)

First-year Iowa head coach Rick Heller has made it clear in his first couple of months that his team is going to run.

As a unit, Iowa has attempted 51 steals — second in the Big Ten. And of those attempts, they’ve swiped 38 bags, which is one stolen base behind Michigan for the top spot in the Big Ten.

Of all of Iowa’s base stealers, junior Jack Yacinich stands out. The Des Moines native has stolen a Big Ten best 14 bases, and even more to the pleasure of Heller, he has only been caught twice.

Expect these numbers to stay this way for the rest of the season, because Iowa has plenty of speed, particularly in the top of the order, where Yacinich and junior Eric Toole reside.

Both Yacinich and Toole get on base consistently and have the speed to generate runs for the Hawkeyes — last season Toole stole 22 bases on 28 attempts.

Stolen bases against: 15 (11th in the Big Ten)

This statistic can be confusing given that Iowa being last in this category is actually a good thing.
Where Iowa has been super-aggressive and had success on the base paths, their opponents have not replicated that success.

Iowa opponents are averaging just over one attempted steal per game thus far this year. This stat may say more about how well the Hawks’ pitchers check the runners on base rather than their catching prowess.

Don’t get it wrong; Iowa is catching nearly 35 percent of attempted base stealers — no mark to scoff at. But they have also allowed 11 passed balls, the most in the Big Ten.

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