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Iowa Baseball Sweeps Sparty, Grabs B1G Awards

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The Hawks take care of Michigan State but fall short of postseason play

Trenton Wallace is YOUR B1G Pitcher of the Year!

The Hawkeyes went into McClane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field and swept Michigan State right off the map. The Hawks won 7-1, 7-4, and 11-3. Iowa’s Friday night ace, Trenton Wallace, led the way going 7 innings and striking out 9 batters. Wallace ended the year with a 7-1 record with a 2.34 ERA. The Hawkeyes won nine straight series openers; Wallace starting the weekends off was a nice recipe for Coach Rick Heller’s crew. Here is one of three doubles on the day (game 2) by Iowa slugger Peyton Williams. Williams was hurt for a portion of this season. A healthy Williams is going to be the big bopper in Iowa’s lineup next season.

The Hawkeyes were playing nice defense as the season ended; they have an active streak of seven straight games without an error. Another active streak involves Iowa’s redshirt junior Izaya Fullard. Fullard has reached base in 27 consecutive games. The Hawkeyes ended the season with a 26-18 record, tying Indiana for 4th place in the Big Ten.

What If?

The B1G got three teams into the postseason (Nebraska, Maryland, and Michigan). Iowa fell just short. Michigan got in with one more win than the Hawks. The Hawkeyes need look no further than losing two of three Northwestern and Illinois before the final series of the year against Michigan State. On the plus side, Iowa won 5 games against the top two teams in the Big Ten (Nebby and Maryland). It’s a shame the Hawks didn’t make the postseason, but had they taken care of business, they were in.

Season Batting Statistics

As a team the Hawkeyes hit .261 with 36 HRs, 252 RBIs, a .416 Slugging Percengage, and a .385 On Base Percentage.

Ben Norman - Norman earned First Team All-Big-Ten. He was the third outfielder under Rick Heller to earn such an honor.

Norman had an incredible year for the black and gold!

Izaya Fullard - Iowa’s second baseman ended up slashing .296/.395/.444 on the season. This earned the redshirt junior a spot on the 3rd team All-Big-Ten list. Fullard will be one of the pieces that makes the Hawkeye offense go next year.

Fullard’s production took off this year!

Peyton Williams - First baseman Peyton Williams missed some time due to injury this year. He still slashed .295/.470/.582 on the year. Keeping him healthy next year will be huge. The redshirt freshman showed he more-than-belongs on the big stage.

Zeb Adreon, Austin Martin, and Matthew Sosa all had nice years at the plate. All three were seniors. The Hawkeyes will need to bolster their depth and have younger guys step up.

Season Pitching Statistics

Iowa’s pitching staff ended the year with an ERA of 4.68 with 175 walks and 390 strikeouts. To give you some perspective, Iowa’s opponents came in at 5.61 (ERA), 243 (walks), and 363 (K’s). For the most part Iowa’s pitchers kept the Hawks in the games. Limiting bases on balls and playing solid defense is part of Hellerball and it shows.

Iowa’s Trenton Wallace dominated this year. He was named the B1G Pitcher of the Year. The first-ever for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Wallace is just a redshirt junior. I’m not sure what his plans are for next year, but if you can pencil in a Friday ace, your season already looks pretty darn good.

Cam Baumann was Iowa’s second-best starting pitcher, going 5-5 with an ERA of 4.19. The redshirt junior can make some strides to give the Hawks a very solid Saturday starter. Duncan Davitt (5.55 ERA) and Drew Irvine (6.43 ERA) will both need to find more consistency as they combined for 19 starts but just 7 wins.

Dylan Nedved (redshirt junior) was Iowa’s closer this year and he will return. He posted a 4-1 record in 20 appearances, saving nine of them. Nedved also has the awesome factor as he is a pitcher and a position player. Nedved hit .240 with 23 RBIs on the year. Here’s Nedved showing off some leather.

Old-school anything is A-OK in my book. Nedved will look to improve on his 4.19 ERA next year out of the bullpen. Here Nedved induces a 6-4-3.

Grant Leonard - Senior relief pitcher Grant Leonard (4.72 ERA / 1 save) was Iowa’s recipient of the B1G Sportsmanship Award. Leonard was once Iowa’s closer; he is second all-time in saves in Iowa history. Leonard was allowed to play one more season for the Hawkeyes. It maybe did not go statistically the way he envisioned, but this award goes to show the respect the coaches, teammates, and opponents have for this young man.

Grant Leonard wins at life (and baseball)

The Hawkeyes had a nice, not spectacular, season. They lose quite a bit of production, especially on offense. It will be interesting to see what Trenton Wallace does. It’s a safe bet that Coach Rick Heller has a plan for replacing his outgoing seniors. Iowa also has some nice talent returning. 2021-22 should be another fun baseball team for the fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Go Hawks!