Triton Quartet Shines at Iowa
by Josh Sandin
Posted on: 2/12/2014 1:05:28 PM
IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa’s opening day roster will include some familiar faces for Iowa Central baseball fans. Four former Tritons figure to play prominent roles for Iowa this spring as Tyler Peyton, Dan Potempa, Will Kenny and Brandon Shulista will suit up for the Hawkeyes.
“This is a very neat opportunity for these guys,” said Iowa Central head coach Rick Pederson. “It is a credit to those guys that they are able to go to a recognizable Division I program and contribute right away.”
The Tritons’ biggest presence will be on the pitching staff. Peyton, a sophomore right-handed pitcher, has been named the No. 3 starter for the Hawkeyes. Shulista and Kenny will also factor into the mix as well. The trio combined for a 17-6 overall record last season at Iowa Central.
“I think that speaks volumes about (Triton pitching coach) Justin Meyer and the work he has done as well,” said Pederson. “In addition to these three guys, the number of pitchers he’s placed onto Division I rosters is staggering.”
Offensively, Potempa - who batted .291 with 10 doubles and three home runs last year - and Peyton - who batted .358 with 13 doubles and 36 RBI - will also see time in the Hawkeye’s lineup.
While transferring on to another school together was never the master plan for the quartet, the decision has worked out nicely. The trio hopes the comfort of familiar faces will help the success continue.
“Having other teammates from Iowa Central make the transfer to Iowa with me has been a great experience,” said Shulista, a junior right-handed pitcher. “It’s made the transition a lot easier.
“We were able to become acclimated without surroundings, and it helped lead to a great first semester,” said Kenny, a junior left-handed pitcher.
Though they will be in black and gold for Iowa’s season opener against Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tenn., on Feb. 14, the quartet will still take with them things they learned at Iowa Central.
“It all starts with the little things, and that’s what Coach Pederson preached every day,” said Potempa, a junior outfielder. “They way we broke things down (at Iowa Central) helped us prepare for Big Ten play.”
The list of Tritons in Iowa City will grow larger by at least one more next fall as Iowa Central sophomore Luke Vandermaten has already signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Hawkeyes next season.
“To have so many kids go on and play at that level is a very big point of pride for our program,” said Pederson. “I think it shows that we get our kids ready to compete and contribute right away at the Division I level.”
Since 1996, Iowa Central has sent 147 players onto continue their careers at the four-year level with 56 going Division I.
-Photo courtesy University of Iowa