March 2020

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25 I zaya Fullard is feeling like the Izaya Fullard from his freshman season at Kirkwood Community College and that's good news for the University of Iowa baseball program. Aer starting the 2020 season with six hits in his first 29 at-bats (.207 batting average), Fullard has settled in, posting five straight multi-hit games to raise his batting average to a team- leading .385 with a Big Ten-best 20 RBIs. "Early on in the season I had high expectations and I was trying to do too much," said Fullard. "I was (batting third in the lineup), so I was trying to hit more doubles and drive in more runs. Pitchers were pitching me a lot differently. "Realizing how they were pitching me, I tried to stay confident." Aer going hitless in nine at-bats in the first two games of the CambriaCollegeClassic against No. 8 North Carolina State and No. 20 North Carolina, Fullard's bat caught fire against No. 14 Duke and it hasn't cooled. Fullard finished 3-for-4 with a double, home run, three runs, and two RBIs in a come-from-behind win. His go-ahead two-run seventh-inning home run propelled the Hawkeyes to a 7-5 victory — Iowa's third win over a ranked opponent this season. "When we were in Minnesota, things turned around for me," said Fullard. "I tried to widen my stance to stay on my legs and stop breaking posture on the off-speed pitches. at small change helped me be on time for everything and gave me more confidence." Fullard followed with a 3-for-4, four-RBI, three- run game in Iowa's 15-2 win over Grand View on March 3. He had a double and his first career triple in the contest. He followed with two hits, two RBIs, and two runs scored in a 10-0 win over Western Michigan before exploding in a 22-2 rout of Georgetown. He was 4-for-6 with five RBIs and four runs scored, either tying of setting career-bests in hits, runs, and RBIs. During his five-game tear, Fullard is hitting .609 (14-of- 23) with 12 runs, 15 RBIs, and a .957 slugging percentage, courtesy of four extra base hits (two doubles, one triple, one home run). "Last year, there were times I felt good at the plate, but I never really felt like myself," said Fullard. "e last time I felt this good in the box was my freshman year at Kirkwood. I had a good year and felt like every at-bat I was going to get a hit. I was barreling balls up and seeing pitches well." During that 2018 season, Fullard hit safely nearly 50 percent of the time en route to NJCAA First- Team All-America honors. He batted .470 with a NJCAA-leading 102 hits, belting seven home runs, 14 doubles, and 76 RBIs. He struck out only 22 times in 215 at-bats. "Right now I feel like I am back to my freshman year self," said Fullard. "at was the best year I have had playing baseball, so I am excited about that." MARCH SCHEDULE March 13-15 at CSUN March 18 at Missouri March 20-22 Saint Mary's (Calif.) March 24 Milwaukee March 27-29 at Penn State

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