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IOWA BASEBALL VS KANSAS: PREVIEW AND GAME THREAD

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After a four game split with Houston Baptist University, 12-4 Iowa travels to Lawrence for a three-game series against Kansas.

Last Series: Iowa split a Saturday-Tuesday series at Houston Baptist University, dropping the first two games 7-1 and 5-1 before rebounding to win the final two 7-2 Monday and Tuesday.

Hawkeye Notables: Through six weeks of play, the Iowa pitching staff has been brilliant, sporting the nation’s seventh best ERA at 1.98 (good for second in the B1G behind Illinois). Starters Tyler Peyton, Blake Hickman, and Calvin Mathews allow less than three runs per game, with Mathews carrying the torch with a 0.42 ERA(!). The bullpen continues to shut down opponents late in games, bearing a 2.05 ERA.

Tyler Peyton (.356 AVG, 7 RBI, .404 OBP), Joel Booker (.344 AVG, 22 hits, 10 RBI), and Jake Mangler (.318 AVG, 10 RBI, .408 OBP) lead the way offensively. Senior Eric Toole has swiped ten bases, good for first in the Big Ten.

This Weekend: The Hawkeyes continue their spring break trip by traveling to sunny Lawrence, KS for a three game set with the Jayhawks. Kansas enters Friday’s tilt with an 8-12 record after taking two of three from Michigan last weekend, the first series win in 2015. Kansas opened the season with three losses at Louisiana State and followed by splitting four games at the Big 12/Pac 12 Challenge.

Kansas enters the weekend hitting .283 as a team, with Connor McKay (.359 AVG, 2 HR, .584 SLG), Colby Wright (.388 AVG, .488 OBP), and Michael Tinsley (.313 AVG, 2 HR, 15 RBI) all with batting averages above .300. Jayhawk hurlers sport a collective 5.97 ERA and their beach balls surrender a .308 batting average to opponents, leaving Hawkeye hitters drooling.

Game 1: Friday at 6pm CT. Pitching probables are Peyton vs. lefty Ben Krauth (3-2, 6.23 ERA).

Game 2: Saturday at 2pm CT. Pitching probables are Hickman vs. righthander Sean Rackowski (0-2, 6.65 ERA).

Game 3: Sunday at 1pm CT. Pitching probables are Mathews vs. TBA. Kansas will likely throw Drew Morovick (1-2, 5.01 ERA) or Hayden Edwards (1-2, 5.31 ERA).

Hawkeyesports.com will again offer audio ($) while Gametracker will provide free updates. Live streaming is available via ESPN3.  The fact that they're on ESPN3 is very nice -- these are the first games all season with any TV/online stream coverage all season, I believe.  So we'll finally get a chance to see Iowa baseball in action.