IOWA CITY, Iowa — Seniors Justin Jenkins, Grant Judkins, Grant Leonard, and Austin Martin have been voted team captains for the 2020 University of Iowa baseball season, it was announced Thursday by head coach Rick Heller.
Jenkins, an outfielder from Terre Haute, Indiana, started 22 games in 2019, where he was a .260 hitter with 12 runs and six steals. Jenkins had a career-high three hits in the Hawkeyes’ Big Ten Tournament opening round victory over No. 21 Indiana last May.
Judkins, a right-handed pitcher from Pella, Iowa, returns as the leader of the Iowa starting rotation. Last season as the Sunday starter, Judkins went 4-7 with a 2.72 ERA with 65 strikeouts over 82 2/3 innings. Judkins was the Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 19 and he finished the season ranking in the top 14 in the Big Ten in ERA, batting average against, and innings.
Leonard, a right-handed pitcher from Mokena, Illinois, returns for his second season as the Hawkeyes’ closer. The reliever was a second-team All-Big Ten All-Big Ten selection in 2019 after tallying a single-season school record 14 saves. Leonard, who was named to the NCBWA Midseason Closer of the Year list, was 2-3 with a 3.37 ERA in 28 appearances.
Martin, a catcher from Altoona, Iowa, started 53 games — 49 behind the plate — during his first season as a Hawkeye, where he hit .294 with 10 doubles, 30 RBIs, and 29 runs scored. Martin had a team-leading 18 multi-hit games in 2019 and he hit safely in 34 contests.
The Hawkeyes begin official team practices Friday. Iowa opens the regular season at the Snowbird Classic on Feb. 14, facing Kent State in Punta Gorda, Florida.
Iowa’s home opener is set for March 3 against Grand View at Duane Banks Field. Season tickets for the team’s 23 home contests are available at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.