• Iowa finished the 2019 season with a 31-24 overall record, which marked the Hawkeyes’ and head coach Rick Heller’s sixth straight 30-win season. Iowa’s six straight seasons of 30 or more wins is the longest stretch since posting seven straight 30-win season from 1979-85.
• The Hawkeyes finished sixth in the Big Ten at 12-12 and qualified for the Big Ten Touornament for a record sixth straight season. Iowa is one of three schools — Indiana and Michigan — to qualify for the last six Big Ten Tournaments.
• Iowa finished 10-3 against top-30 opponents with wins over No. 19 Oklahoma State, No. 30 Nebraska, No. 18 UC Irvine, No. 21 Indiana, and a sweep of No. 23 Illinois. The Hawkeyes finished 10-8 against NCAA Tournament teams.
• From March 29 to May 4, the Hawkeyes claimed six straight series wins — the longest such streak since 2015. In that span, Iowa’s series victories were over No. 23 Illinois, Rutgers, Purdue, No. 30 Nebraska, Ohio State, and No. 18 UC Irvine.
• The Hawkeyes finished fourth in the Big Ten in batting average (.267), third in on-base percentage (.362), and seventh in slugging percentage (.374). Iowa also ranked fourth in the conference with 59 stolen bases — 20 more than a season ago.
• Junior closer Grant Leonard went a perfect 14-for-14 in save opportunities to set a new program record for saves in a single season. The 14 saves tied for the seventh-most in the nation as only six other closers across the country had more. Leonard’s record-setting year earned himself second-team All-Big Ten honors and a spot on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason List.
• Sophomore Izaya Fullard led Iowa in batting average (.307) and hits (61), while senior Chris Whelan led Iowa with a .430 on-base percentage. Fullard’s batting average tied for the 15th-best in the Big Ten and Whelan’s on-base percentage ranked sixth-best. Senior Tanner Wetrich led the Hawkeyes with seven home runs and junior Ben Norman led Iowa in steals (14) and RBIs (34). Norman’s 14 steals tied for the eighth-most in the conference.
• On the mound, senior Cole McDonald (6-3, 5.54 ERA) had a team-leading 83 strikeouts — the sixth-most in a single season at Iowa. McDonald’s 203 career strikeouts are the fifth-most in Hawkeye history. Junior Grant Judkins led Iowa with a 2.72 ERA, which was seventh-best in the Big Ten.
• The Hawkeyes have won 204 games in the Rick Heller era (2014-present), which is the fourth-best six-year stretch all-time. The Hawkeyes won 209 games from 1980-85, 207 from 1981-86, and 206 from 1977-82 under Duane Banks.
• Iowa finished the home schedule with a 19-7 record at Duane Banks Field, running its record to 91-27 at home since the start of the 2015 season. Iowa has 16 walk-off victories at Banks Field since 2015.
LEONARD EARNS ALL-BIG TEN HONORS
• Grant Leonard earned his first career All-Big Ten honor by being selected to the second team as a closer. He became Iowa’s 23rd All-Big Ten selection during Heller’s six-year tenure.
• A native of Mokena, Illinois, Leonard (2-3, 3.37 ERA) pitched 34 2/3 innings over 28 appearances, racking up a program record 14 saves in as many chances.
• From late march to late April, he owned a 14-inning scoreless streak where he went a perfect 6-for-6 in save opportunities with 14 strikeouts to only four walks.
MCDONALD SELECTED IN MLB DRAFT
• Senior right-handed pitcher Cole McDonald was selected by the Houston Astros in the 15th round of the 2019 Major League baseball First-Year Player Draft.
• As the 466th overall pick, McDonald is the 21st player selected under Heller and it marks the 13th consecutive year the Hawkeyes have had a player selected in the MLB Draft.
• From New Hampton, Iowa, McDonald went 6-3 with a 3.54 ERA in 15 starts at Iowa’s Friday night starter. In conference play, McDonald was 3-0 in eight starts with a 3.28 ERA.
• In his final start as a Hawkeye, McDonald allowed one run on five hits over eight innings with nine strikeouts to lead Iowa to a 4-2 victory over top-seeded and No. 21 Indiana.
• Junior catcher Austin Martin, who batted .294 and was named to the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award Watch List, led Iowa in multi-hit games (18) and multi-RBI games (8). Sophomore Izaya Fullard (14), senior Chris Whelan (14), senior Tanner Wetrich (13), and junior Ben Norman (13) also tallied double digit multi-hit games.
• Fullard posted team-best hitting and on-base streaks. His 12-game hitting streak was one better than Wetrich’s 11 gamer, while Fullard reached base 23 straight games. Whelan also had a 21-game on-base streak.
• Norman was the only Hawkeye to start all 55 games. The outfielder started 33 games in center field, 18 in right field, and four in left field, owning a .982 fielding percentage.
• Junior Trace Hoffman led Iowa with 29 appearances and five wins out of the bullpen, which tied for the seventh-most in the Big Ten.
• The Hawkeyes finished with a .969 fielding percentage — the sixth-best in the conference. Wetrich led Iowa with 130 assists, which ranked eighth in the Big Ten. Junior Zeb Adreon (.987 in 155 chances) and sophomore Izaya Fullard (.986 in 367 chances) led the Hawkeyes in fielding percentage.
• Iowa’s 46 double plays turned rank second-most in the Big Ten and 56th nationally.
• The Hawkeyes recorded 24 games of 10+ hits. Iowa’s seasons highs in hits (19) and runs (18) came against Evansville on March 9.
The Hawkeyes had seven players — Cam Baumann, Jack Dreyer, Luke Farley, Justin Jenkins, Grant Judkins, Cole McDonald, and Trenton Wallace — earn Academic All-Big Ten honors.
• Jenkins was named to the Dean’s List during both the fall and spring semesters.
• Iowa finished 19-9 in games decided by two runs or less.
• The Hawkeyes were 17-5 when they scored first.
• Iowa went 26-7 when allowing five or fewer runs.
• The Hawkeyes finished 10-4 when scoring 6+ runs and 7-0 when scoring 10+ runs.
• The Hawkeyes made their sixth straight Big Ten Tournament appearance — a program record — and the 14th in school history.
• Via a three-team tiebreaker, Iowa entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed.
• Behind a Cole McDonald’s gem and a three-run seventh inning, the Hawkeyes knocked off top-seeded Indiana, 4-2, to advance to the quarterfinals.
• Since 2014 when the Big Ten Tournament expanded to eight teams, No. 8 seeds are 5-9 all-time with the Hawkeyes owning all five victories (1 in 2014, three in 2016, and 1 in 2019).
• The Hawkeyes’ Big Ten Tournament and season came to an end after dropping games to fifth-seeded Nebraska and fourth-seeded Minnesota.
• Iowa has won at least one game in four of the five last tournaments and is 8-6 over the past three Big Ten Tournaments.
• Head coach Rick Heller owns a 10-10 career record in the Big Ten Tournament, including a Big Ten Tournament Championship in 2017 and a runner-up finish in 2016.
30 WINS X 6
With Iowa’s 7-5 win over Michigan State on May 10, Iowa reached the 30-win plateau for the sixth straight season. It is the program’s longest stretch since posting seven straight 30-win seasons from 1979-85.
2015: 41-18 (2nd-most wins all-time)
2017: 39-22 (5th-most wins all-time)
HELLER JOINS IOWA’S 200-CLUB
• In Iowa’s 8-7 win over Western Illinois on May 1, head coach Rick Heller became the fourth Hawkeye to reach 200 wins at the University of Iowa.
• It took Heller just six seasons to amass 200 wins, winning at least 30 games in each of his first six seasons, including a career-best 41 wins in 2015.
• Heller is only six wins shy of 900 career victories.
SIX STRAIGHT SERIES WINS
• After dropping its first Big Ten series at Indiana, Iowa found a groove, winning six consecutive series from March 29 to May 4. The six straight series wins were the most since 2015.
• The six-series winning streak started with a sweep of No. 23 Illinios and ended with a series win over No. 18 UC Irvine. In between, Iowa won four Big Ten series — two at home (Rutgers, No. 30 Nebraska) and two on the road (at Purdue, at Ohio State).
• Iowa was 13-5 during the streak with a .269 batting average and a 3.94 ERA.
B1G TIME PERFORMANCES
A look back at some of the best individual performances of the season:
• Junior Ben Norman finished a triple shy of the cycle on a 3-for-4 day with a home run and four RBIs against Pittsburgh (Feb. 16) for his first of two four-RBI games.
• Junior Grant Judkins threw six no-hit innings in his first start of the season against Marshall (Feb. 17), while adding 11 strikeouts.
• Senior Mitchell Boe walked four times in five plate appearances against Hawaii (Feb. 23), tying an Iowa single-game school record.
• Senior Tanner Wetrich hit Iowa’s first grand slam of the season in Iowa’s 6-2 win over Hawaii (Feb. 23) to complete the doubleheader sweep against the Rainbow Warriors.
• Freshman Duncan Davitt pitched three inning of scoreless relief with five strikeouts against No. 19 Oklahoma State (March 1) to help the Hawkeyes win game two, 5-4, and the series.
• Sophomore Izaya Fullard became the first Hawkeye to drive in five runs on a 2-for-4 day with a home run in Iowa’s 18-7 whomping of Evansville (March 9). Junior Zeb Adreon also tied teammate Chris Whelan for a school record three doubles in a single game.
• Judkins led Iowa to a doubleheader sweep and a series win over Cal-State Northridge (March 17) at home after delivering a game-winning, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Iowa a 5-4 walk-off win in game one, before pitching eight strong innings in a 3-1 game two victory.
• Senior Cole McDonald struck out a career-high 11 batters in Iowa’s Big Ten regular-season opener at Indiana (March 22).
• Four Hawkeyes drove in at least two runs in Iowa’s 17-9 series clinching-win over No. 30 Nebraska (April 30).
• Junior Justin Jenkins blasted a 12th-inning, walk-off home run against Milwaukee (April 23) to lift Iowa to a 5-4 win. The inning before Jenkins had an inning-ending double play on an outfield assist after a catch in center field to keep the game tied.
• Freshman Brendan Sher hit his first career home run at Ohio State (April 27) in Iowa’s 11-4 win en route to his first career Big Ten Freshman of the Week award.
• Sophmore Cam Baumann, senior Jason Foster, and junior Grant Leonard combined to throw a shutout against No. 18 UC Irvine for Iowa’s sixth straight series win.
• Senior Tanner Wetrich went 2-for-4 with two home runs and seven RBIs in Iowa’s regular season finale at Maryland (May 18). His three-run homer in the third and grand slam in the eighth were both game-tying home runs. Redshirt sophomore Tanner Padgett also had a day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a solo home run for his second four-hit game of the season to become the only Hawkeye to register two four-hit games.
• Starter Cole McDonald silenced Indiana’s home-run hitting offense for the second time this season in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The right-hander went eight innings, allowing only one run on five hits with nine strikeouts to lead Iowa to a 4-2 opening round win over the top-seeded Hoosiers.
CHRIS WHELAN, THE LEADOFF MAN
• Senior Chris Whelan saw his name appear in five different spots in the Hawkeyes’ batting order before returning to the top of the lineup April 2 against Clarke. Whelan was Iowa’s primary leadoff hitter in 2018.
• In 31 games from leadoff role, Whelan hit .330 (38-for-113) with a .432 on-base percentage, both of which led the team. Whelan was hitting .210 (13-for-62) with a .430 OBP in 25 games not in the leadoff spot.
• Whelan finished with a .288 batting average, which rose 88 points since March 26 when his average dipped to a season-low .200.
• Whelan led the team in on-base percentage (.430), walks (35), hit-by-pitches (12) — ranking top eight in the Big Ten of those categories. He also led the team in outfield assists with five.
• Whelan finishes his Hawkeye career as a .302 hitter with a .425 on-base percentage.
FRIDAY NIGHT MCDONALD
• In 15 total starts this season, Friday night starter Cole McDonald went 6-3 with a 3.54 ERA and a team-leading 83 strikeouts. His 83 punch outs tied for the 14th-most in the conference.
• In eight Big Ten starts, McDonald went 3-0 with a 3.28 ERA, striking out 48 in 49 1/3 innings. McDonald’s 48 strikeouts in league play were tied for the 10th-most.
• In six starts against ranked opponents, McDonald went 2-0 with a 2.47 ERA, while holding hitters to a .228 average.
• The senior from New Hampton, Iowa, turned his season around after going 1-3 with a 5.47 ERA in five nonconference starts.
• McDonald had a streak of five straight quality starts and led the Hawkeyes with nine total.
JUNIOR GRANT JUDKINS…
• finished seventh in the Big Ten with a 2.72 ERA.
• posted eight quality starts (vs. Marshall, vs. CSUN, at Indiana, vs. Illinois, at Purdue, vs. No. 30 Nebraska, at Ohio State, vs. Michigan State) in 15 chances.
• allowed four earned runs in only one of his 15 starts, while allowing two or fewer runs in 11 starts.
• pitched five or more innings in 13 of his 15 starts and he tallied four starts of seven or more innings.
• owned a team-best .230 batting average against, which ranked 14th-best in the Big Ten.
SHER NAMED BACK-TO-BACK B1G FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
• Freshman infielder Brendan Sher became the first Hawkeye ever to earn two consecutive Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on April 29 and May 6.
• Sher was one of three Hawkeyes to earn Big Ten weekly awards. Grant Judkins was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on February 18 and Zeb Adreon was named Big Ten Player of the Week on April 28.
NOW THAT’S A 2-OUT RALLY
During Iowa’s 17-9 victory over No. 30 Nebraska on April 20, the Hawkeyes scored eight runs in the fifth inning and five more in the sixth — all with two outs. Iowa had 16 two-out RBIs in the game, hit .565 with two outs, and had a .529 average with runners in scoring position in the game.
• The eight-run inning was Iowa’s largest of the season and the 17 total runs were the most scored in a Big Ten game since beating Purdue, 17-5, on May 17, 2014.
MASTERS OF THE MIDWEEK
• Iowa went 7-2 in midweek contests this season to move to 32-7 in midweek contests since the start of 2016.
DON’T COUNT ‘EM OUT
The Hawkeyes posted 16 come-from-behind victories this season, including four in walk-off fashion.
• Trailing 3-1 through three innings, Iowa came back against Western Illinois, scoring four runs in the fourth inning and three in the sixth to win 8-7.
• Iowa’s first walk-off home run since 2018 came off the bat of senior Justin Jenkins in the bottom of the 12th against Milwaukee. It was Jenkins’ second career home run that lifted Iowa to a 5-4 win.
• Junior Zeb Adreon added his name to the list of walk-off heroes with a single in the bottom of the ninth to beat No. 30 Nebraska in game one of the series.
• Junior Grant Judkins had a pinch-hit, RBI double, giving the Hawkeyes a 5-4 walk-off win over Cal-State Northridge on March 17. Iowa trailed 4-3 heading into the ninth.
• Iowa posted its second walk-off win of the season against Chicago State. Trailing 4-3 entering the ninth, Austin Martin’s RBI double tied the score at four and Ben Norman’s fly ball to center field was misplayed, giving the Hawkeyes their 11th win.
• The Hawkeyes have overcome deficits to win 49 games since the start of the 2017 season and posted 13 walk-offs. Twenty-four of those victories have come with Iowa trailing or being tied entering or through seven innings. Sixteen have come in the final at-bat.
• The Hawkeyes are 91-27 at home since the start of the 2015 season.
• Iowa won 20 games last season, the second-most in a single-season in school history, trailing only the 22 wins in 1977.
• Iowa has 16 walk-off victories at Duane Banks Field since the start of 2015.
MCCAFFERY’S DOUBLE DUTY
• Redshirt freshman multi-sport athlete Connor McCaffery made his Iowa debut against Cal-State Northridge on March 16 as a pinch hitter. McCaffery made his first career start in game three of the series, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles.
• In 22 starts and 32 games played, McCaffery batted .238 (20-of-84) with three doubles, one home run, five RBIs, and three stolen bases.
• McCaffery was a reserve guard for the Iowa men’s basketball team that nearly completed a 25-point comeback win over second-seeded Tennessee on March 24, but fell in overtime in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. McCaffery finished the season averaging 4.4 points and 3.0 assists in 34 games.
• McCaffery is believed to be the first Hawkeye since the late 1980s to play both basketball and baseball at Iowa since Randy Norton (79-82), Todd Berkenpas (82-85) Tom Norman (1979), and Kurt Stange (1983-86).
• Basketball-baseball combinations are rare. A select few who have done it recently are Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton and Washington State’s Mark Hendrickson as pitchers. Other notables are Chris Young (Princeton), Kenny Lofton (Arizona), and Tony Gwynn (San Diego State).
Three seniors — Mitchell Boe, Cole McDonald, and Chris Whelan — and redshirt junior Kyle Shimp were voted team captains in January. Shimp is a team captain for a second straight season.
• UI head coach Rick Heller is one of nine coaches all-time to lead three different NCAA Division I teams to regional play.
• Heller recorded his 800th career win against Lehigh on March 12 at the Snowbird Classic in Florida. Heller won his 200th game at Iowa on May 1 in a victory over Western Illinois.
• The Hawkeyes have won 30 or more games in each of Heller’s six seasons as the helm of the program. It’s a first for the team since winning 30 or more in seven straight seasons from 1979-85.
• Heller has led the Hawkeyes to two NCAA Regional appearances; the program had three regional appearances in its history prior to his arrival.
• Heller is fourth in school history in career wins with 203 at Iowa, including the second (41) and fifth-most (39) in school history.
• Heller led Iowa to its first Big Ten Tournament title in 2017 — the first conference title since 1990 — and he guided the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament title game in consecutive seasons. Iowa has advanced to the league tournament in six straight years for the first time in program history.
• Heller has coached at least one first-team All-Big Ten selection in five of his first six seasons, and has 21 Major League Baseball Draft picks in six seasons — the most in a six-year stretch in school history.
• Iowa had a school-record six All-Big Ten selections in 2015 and five in 2017. The Hawkeyes have had 23 All-Big Ten honorees in six seasons under Heller.
• Iowa has posted winning streaks of nine games (in 2015) and eight games (in 2017) — the longest streaks for the program since 2012.
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