Why Iowa fans need to appreciate Jake Adams, previewing the Big Ten baseball tourney and more
The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 7 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Wednesday, May 24.
Jake Adams Appreciation Day
Don’t do it. Yes, you. This is directed at you. It goes against your instincts, but there is something worthy of your attention in May.
And it’s on the diamond.
Sure, college baseball can be an afterthought in the Midwest. There are plenty of reasons people look past the sport, but there is no reason to overlook Jake Adams.
He has put together one of the most dominant and impressive all-around hitting season in Hawkeyes history. If ever time to appreciate Adams it needs to be Wednesday, following his Big Ten Player of the Year honor on Tuesday.
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 23, 2017
Adams isn’t having just a good hitting season. He almost won the Big Ten Triple Crown and is at or near the top of the league in most hitting categories:
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Indeed, it’s as if Adams is doing his best Mike Trout performance on Big Ten competition, lapping the rest of the field in most categories. His slugging percentage is .157 better than the next qualified hitter. He is 41 total bases and 9 home runs ahead of second place, as well.
The wildest part of his story? Adams should be playing at North Dakota, but the baseball program shut down before he enrolled, as Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman recently explained when he profiled the slugger.
Adams fell into Iowa’s lap and put together a year those around the game and program will talk about for years to come.
If you haven’t seen the Big Ten’s best hitter in action yet there is still a chance. Iowa faces Maryland on the first day of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.
Speaking of the Big Ten Tournament …
Iowa is going to need a deep run — or a championship — in the Big Ten tourney to make the NCAA baseball field. D1baseball.com didn’t include the Hawkeyes in its latest NCAA Tournament projection.
The first step on the path to a league tournament title and NCAA berth may be the hardest. Iowa will face Maryland’s Brian Shaffer, the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. He was the pitching version of Adams in the league this season, going 7-3 with a 1.67 ERA, 98 strikeouts and 17 walks in 97 innings.
Iowa will likely counter with Nick Gallagher, a second-team all-conference selection. Gallagher is 8-1 with a 2.59 ERA with 77 strikeouts and 21 walks in 83 1/3 innings.
Don’t be surprised if the pitchers dominate and the first team to scratch across a run holds the upper hand.
No more Game Time League
The Game Time League will not take place this summer. The league was the women’s basketball version of the Prime Time League with college and high school women’s basketball players coming together at the North Liberty Rec Center.
Randy Larsen, the league director, posted about the canceled 2017 season on the Game Time League website, citing a rule limiting only two players from a university team on each summer league team as a key factor for the move.
The new rule would make it nearly impossible for Iowa to place the majority of its roster in the league, the post stated. Larsen wouldn’t be able to fill the seven or eight teams it would need to place most of the Hawkeyes in the league.
So what will happen for women’s basketball players this summer? Expect them to spend more time scrimmaging against teammates on their college campus.