IOWA CITY, Iowa — Few Big Ten college baseball teams have as much momentum heading toward the Big Ten Tournament as Iowa right now.
The Hawkeyes (34-19, 15-9 Big Ten) closed out regular-season play by taking two of three from Illinois this weekend. Iowa, which won four straight Big Ten series, finished tied with Maryland for fourth place in the league standings. The Hawkeyes are seeded fifth in the Big Ten Tournament, which was announced Saturday afternoon, and will play the fourth-seeded Terrapins at 7:30 p.m. CT (8:30 p.m. ET) Wednesday in Bloomington, Ind.
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 20, 2017
Amplifying the regular-season ending victory was Jake Adams cementing his status in Iowa’s history books. The first baseman hit two home runs Friday to set the school single-season record with 24.
The 6-foot-2, 250-pound junior was a first-team All-American last year at Des Moines Area Community College after hitting .360 with 25 home runs, 75 RBI and 59 runs. Adams is currently tied for first nationally in home runs.
“After I hit that, I knew I made history,” Adams said after the game. “Coach (Rick) Heller congratulated me as I came through and my teammates all gave me hugs. It was a cool experience to be a part of.”
“Jake was amazing,” Heller said afterward. “The wind was howling in from left field, it was cold, and Jake hits two bombs into the teeth of the wind. I am happy for him breaking the record. He’s on a tear and he drove in a bunch of runs for us.”
Iowa has won nine of its last 12 Big Ten games and its 34 wins are the second-most by the program since 1990. But outside of a Big Ten Tournament championship, the Hawkeyes might need some help to reach the NCAA Tournament. Iowa ranks 93rd in RPI, a number that likely prevents it from an at-large bid.