March 2015

Issue link: http://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/469096

Contents of this Issue


Page 118 of 138

119 Guzzo didn't tackle his first start alone. Frankos was there throughout the game, starting pitcher Calvin Mathews worked with him to slow the game down, and assistant coaches Scott Brickman and Jeff Clement were there every pitch of the way. "It wasn't easy, I had to bear down, but I had help from the older guys," said Guzzo. "It wasn't until I threw that first guy out that I was able to settle in and keep the tempo." Guzzo was so focused on his catching duties that his natural offensive ability showed up the plate. He collected a pair of hits in the game, going 2-for-4 with a run and RBI. He drove in the go-head run in the fourth inning for his first collegiate hit. "When you start thinking (at the plate), you're pretty much already out," said Guzzo, who was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Feb. 16. "I was so focused on catching; it was like I could just see (the ball) and hit it. Aer I got through the first few innings, that helped my hitting because I could just step in the box and do my thing." Guzzo's transition from practice to game action has been as seamless as the Hawkeyes could have hoped. He posted his second-straight two-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored in Iowa's 6-5 victory over Missouri State on Feb. 21. For the season, he is hitting .500 (4-for-8) with two runs and an RBI, has thrown out both would-be base stealers, and hasn't allowed a passed ball. e skepticism is gone; Guzzo is having fun contributing as a Hawkeye catcher. A ustin Guzzo's move to catcher was made with some skepticism, but the freshman is embracing his new role with the University of Iowa baseball team. Guzzo joined the Hawkeyes as a corner infielder from the Ontario Blue Jays, the top amateur baseball program in Canada. When UI head coach Rick Heller laid out his plan to transition Guzzo behind the plate, it was agreed upon, but with some hesitation. "At first I was at the 'I don't know about this' stage," said Guzzo. "I loved playing infield, but I knew if I embraced and enjoyed the process; it would be fun for me." ere were bumps in the road, especially during the fall and in the early portion of the winter. He has worked on blocking, receiving, and side-to-side flexibility, but is adjusting to playing nine innings in a crouched position. Guzzo sat and watched the first two games of the 2015 season while incumbent Jimmy Frankos earned the starting nod. Guzzo was oblivious when his number was called Feb. 15 against George Mason. "I was coming back from hitting, and our trainer asked if I was excited about my first start," said Guzzo. "I had no idea my name was even on the lineup card. "at got my adrenaline going and my heart was racing a little bit, but I thought to myself how long we had been practicing and this is what I had been working toward." MARCH SCHEDULE March 1 vs. Cincinnati March 6-8 at Middle Tennessee State March 11 AIB March 14-16 at Houston Baptist March 20-22 at Kansas March 25 Bradley March 27-29 Indiana March 31 Grand View

Articles in this issue

view archives of HAWK TALK - March 2015