The Big Ten announced All-Big Ten teams and individual honors for baseball yesterday and the results were unsurprising -- but very satisfying! -- for Iowa baseball: six total honorees, including one first team player (SP Blake Hickman) and a trio of second team players (SP Calvin Mathews, RP Nick Hibbing, and OF Eric Toole). Iowa was shut out of the individual honors, mainly because Illinois was a total trophy-hog this year, claiming Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, and Coach of the Year honors. That's what happens when you go 21-1 in Big Ten play (the best B1G record ever in modern times -- by a mile) and end the regular season on a 26-game winning streak, I suppose.
Iowa coach Rick Heller did absolutely superlative work this year guiding Iowa to a sensational 38-14 record, including a wonderful 19-5 mark in Big Ten play. Unfortunately, he -- and Iowa -- had the misfortune of being excellent the same year that Illinois was just brain-meltingly good. That means the trophies are headed to Champaign, but we can certainly take comfort in what was a very good regular season by Heller & Co.
SP Blake Hickman
Hickman finished 9-1, including a conference-best 7-0 in B1G games. He posted a 2.75 ERA (2.45 in B1G play), with a .207 opponent BA (.187 opponent BA in B1G games, which ranked among the best in the league.
SP Calvin Mathews
RP Nick Hibbing
OF Eric Toole
Mathews had a team-best 2.08 ERA (3.23 in B1G games), 4th best in the Big Ten. He also held opposing batters to a .243 BA, which was among the best in the league.
Hibbing had 7 saves (6 in B1G games, tied for the best mark in the league), with a 1.67 ERA (0.74 in B1G action, 2nd best in the league) while holding opponents to a .187 BA (.157 in B1G action). He may have been the best reliever in the Big Ten other than Illinois' Tyler Jay, the Pitcher of the Year in the league who posted absolutely silly numbers (0.40 ERA in B1G play, .182 opponent BA, 62-6 K-BB ratio, to list a few)
Toole finished 6th in the Big Ten in hits (72) and narrowly missed the top 15 in BA (he hit .321; the #15 guy in the B1G hit .328), and was second in the league in stolen bases (27).
1B Tyler Peyton
SS Nick Roscetti
Peyton (who was also a very good pitcher for Iowa) led the team with a .360 BA, .439 SLG, and .449 OBP while racking up 49 hits, scoring 29 runs, and accumulating 28 RBI.
Roscetti was aces in conference play, hitting .391 (4th best in conference games-only) and slapping 36 hits (tied for 2nd best in conference games-only). His glove was also very good, posting a team-leading (and 6th best in the B1G) 73 assists this season.
Congrats to all of the honored Hawkeyes on tremendous seasons.