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Baseball riding win streak to Tennessee

BY IAN MURPHY | MARCH 06, 2015 5:00 AM

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Iowa baseball will take its seven game win streak on the road to Murfreesboro, Tennessee for a three game series against Middle Tennessee State.

A double header Saturday and a single game on March 8 means the Hawkeyes could return to Iowa City the winners of 10 straight games.

But don’t tell the Hawkeyes about their win streak. Both head coach Rick Heller and his players said they prefer not to think about it when they play.

“Honestly, we really don’t think about it too much,” Heller said. “Obviously it’d be nice if we can keep it rolling, but the main thing is trying to play better each time out.”

The seven-game win streak began after an Opening Day loss to Kansas State. Since then, the Hawkeyes have been rolling, compiling a combined 34 runs to their opponents 16.

But like their coach, the Hawkeye players don’t think about the current streak.

“Win streaks are great, obviously, but it’s not something I can say we think about really,” redshirt senior Jake Mangler said. “In baseball you can’t look too far ahead or too far behind because any team can win on any given day.”

That appears to be true for Middle Tennessee State. In two of their first three series, the Blue Raiders won the first two games before dropping the third.

When the Blue Raiders hitters are on, they are on. Already this season, the Blue Raiders have run totals of 16, 19, and 15 in games.

The Hawkeyes are still searching for consistency with pitching and hitting lining up. Heller said the key to getting all cylinders firing at once is playing more games, especially for the hitting.

The park the Blue Raiders play in is hitter friendly, meaning the Hawkeye offense could click this weekend as well.

“You hate to make excuses for guys, but we really haven’t played in an environment that’s conducive to hitting so far this season,” Heller said. “A lot of the times you get out there, and it’s cold and drizzling, and it really makes it tough to get hits.”

For junior Tyler Radke, the solution was not one he could put his finger on, but he too would prefer to ignore the win streak.

“We just go out and play,” Radke said. “We’ve got a really good baseball team.”

Getting the bats to click will help the Hawkeyes maintain the win streak, and despite their reluctance to think about it, putting more checks in the W column than the L column can only mean good things for the Hawkeyes.

“One of the goals of this team is to possibly get an at large bid,” Heller said. “to do that you have to rack up some pretty hefty totals in the win column.”

Follow @IanFromIowa on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa baseball team.


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