OK, first of all I’m going to say I haven’t as much as attended an Iowa baseball game all season, let alone covered one. So it isn’t the bravest thing in the world to write something that may be perceived as critical about a team I haven’t dealt with face to face.
But a couple of the Hawkeyes’ statistics this year … I learned about them Sunday night and thought they were too unusual not to mention in a post.
Iowa has played 34 games this season, having won 14. In those 34 games they have accumulated totals of …
Now, home runs can be overrated in baseball. But I’ve never known a team that got a lot more mileage out of getting hit by the baseball rather than hitting it.
Of the 296 NCAA Division I baseball teams, Iowa was tied for 14th in getting hit by pitches through April 17. The Hawkeyes got plunked nine times in their three-game series at Penn State this weekend, so they could have moved into the top 10. I’m not doing the research. I will tell you Delaware State has a nation-leading 97 HBPs in its 38 games. It’s also 16-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Hawkeyes were hit by a team-record 86 pitches in 2008 and by 83 in 2007. That’s a lot more than taking one for the team.
Iowa, however, is 3-9 and in ninth place in the Big Ten this season. Of the 119 homers Big Ten teams have swatted this season, the Hawkeyes have but this one, at Austin Peay on Feb. 17:
That homer was hit by sophomore Nick Day of Solon. It was 27 games ago.
Here is the breakdown of Big Ten homers: Indiana 27, Illinois 24, Ohio State 12, Michigan State 10, Purdue 10, Nebraska 9, Michigan 8, Minnesota 7, Northwestern 6, Penn State 5, Iowa 1. Wisconsin doesn’t have baseball.
Only one of those 295 other D-I teams has as few or fewer homers than Iowa. That’s Loyola Marymount, with zero.
The LMU Lions, however, are 20-19, after winning Saturday and Sunday at San Francisco. The University of San Francisco, that is. I think the Giants could handle Marymount.
So, home runs aren’t everything. But no team in the majors has as few homers as the Miami Marlins, who have six. The Marlins are 4-15.
Iowa’s softball team has 24 homers in 43 games. Megan Blank has 10 of them (and 53 RBIs!). I thought there were more homers in baseball than softball. Shows what I know.
Meanwhile, the Iowa men’s golf team shared the team title Sunday at the 18-team Boilermaker Invitational at Purdue. Junior Stephen Ihm of Peosta, Iowa (the home of Hawkeyes announcer Gary Dolphin) was co-medalist.