Eric Toole (.306, 77 hits, 27 SB) ^
Jake Mangler (.291, 72 hits, 33 RBI) ^
Kris Goodman (.262, .402 slg%, 3 HR) ^
Nick Day (author of the memorable walk-off win in the Big Ten Tournament) ^
Dan Potempa ^
Sean Moore ^
Blake Hickman (9-2, 2.99 ERA) $
Brandon Shulista ^
Andrew Hedrick ^
Fenway Parks *
Taylor Kaufman ^
Nick Hibbing (4-1, 1.57 ERA, 8 Saves) ^
$ - Denotes MLB Draft
* - Denotes transfer
^ - Denotes graduation
Mason McCoy (Two-time JUCO All-American from Illinois Central CC) *
Zach Daniels (CR Kennedy) ^
Mitchell Boe (Joliet Catholic (IL)) ^
Daniel Perry (13th round draft pick, Lassen (CA)) ^
Luke Farley (Waterloo Columbus) ^
Cole McDonald (New Hampton) ^
Sam Lizarraga (CR Kennedy) ^
Shane Ritter (Plainfield South (IL)) ^
Zach Fricke (NIACC) *
Robert Neustrom (Sioux City North) ^
Kyle Shimp (Yorkville (IL)) ^
* - Denotes JUCO transfer
^ - Denotes freshmen
Catcher: JR Daniel Aaron Moriel (.271 BA 2015) / Frankos (.202 BA 2015)
1B: Tyler Peyton (.337 BA 2015), Grant Klenovich (.308 BA 2015) when Peyton pitches
2B: Mason McCoy (2015 Northwoods League MVP, 2-time JUCO All-American)
3B: Corbin Woods (.167 BA 2015)
SS: Nick Roscetti (.303 BA 2015)
LF: Eric Schenck-Joblinske (.140 BA 2015)
CF: Joel Booker (.235 BA 2015)
RF: Robert Neustrom
DH: Zach Fricke/Luke Farley
Friday Starter: Tyler Peyton (7-4, 3.03 ERA 2015)
Saturday Starter: Nick Gallagher (0-0, 2.18 ERA 2015)
Sunday Stater: Calvin Mathews (5-3, 2.45 ERA 2015)
With starters Tyler Peyton and Calvin Mathews returning to the weekend rotation the Hawkeyes stand a great chance of taking two games from each weekend. Peyton, who turned down MLB suitors to stay in Iowa City, will also play first base and figures to hit in the three hole again, bringing loads of B1G experience with him.
Out of the bullpen, the Hawkeyes return stalwarts Luke Vandermaten (2-0, 1.06 ERA) and lefthander Ryan Erickson (4-1, 2.79). Both seniors should eat up innings between starters and Radtke to close out games.
Heller has tabbed senior Tyler Radtke as the closer in 2016, a position he held in 2014 but lost last season due to injuries and inconsistent performances.
Offensively, McCoy will likely hit leadoff followed by senior Joel Booker. Booker started 2015 hot but cooled off late in the year. Iowa will need the toolsy outfielder to find consistency in 2016.
Neustrom and Schenck-Joblinske will man the corner outfield spots, proving Heller loves a speedy outfield. Neustrom, the 2015 Gatorade Player of the Year in Iowa, also provides the lineup with another lefthanded bat.
Roscetti returns to the Hawkeye lineup after a breakout junior campaign that saw him hit nearly .400 in conference play. #blessed with the best infield arm in the B1G, Roscetti will lead an infield with three new starters in McCoy, third baseman Corbin Woods, and sophomore Klenovich, who carries a big-time bat.
Moriel and senior Jimmy Frankos are the likely backstops. Frankos has battled injuries throughout his career and may not be ready to play this weekend, leaving Moriel as the everyday starter. If there was a weakness of the 2015 squad it was defense behind the plate, meaning Moriel and Frankos must be better if the Hawkeyes are going to return to NCAA Regional play.
We'll have a series preview and a game thread as we approach first pitch in Dallas. Until then, Go Hawks!