IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa redshirt junior Trenton Wallace has been named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, it was announced Sunday on the Big Ten Network. Wallace is one of three Hawkeyes to earn All-Big Ten honors.
Wallace and senior outfielder Ben Norman were named first-team All-Big Ten honorees, while redshirt junior Izaya Fullard was selected to the third team as a second baseman. Senior Grant Leonard was also recognized as Iowa’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient.
Wallace is the first player in school history to earn Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors. Starting pitcher Brett Backlund was the Big Ten Co-Player of the Year in 1992; the league began recognizing the Pitcher of the Year in 1994.
Wallace is the second Hawkeye to earn one of the league’s top honors under head coach Rick Heller, joining Jake Adams, who was the unanimous Big Ten Player of the Year in 2017. Wallace is the third starting pitcher and Norman is the third outfielder under Heller to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Heller has coached 10 first-team All-Big Ten players in his Iowa tenure and 26 All-Big Ten selections.
Wallace, a southpaw from Rock Island, Illinois, was superb in his first season in Iowa’s weekend rotation. As the Friday night ace, Wallace finished the regular season with a 7-1 record and a 2.34 ERA in 13 starts with a league-leading 106 strikeouts.
The fourth-year Hawkeye has allowed 20 runs (19 earned) on 54 hits over 73 innings this season. He allowed two or fewer runs in 10 starts, had eight or more strikeouts in 10 starts and he posted eight quality starts.
Iowa won eight straight series openers dating back to April 2 with Wallace on the mound and the Hawkeyes won all but two series openers this season. His 106 strikeouts are the second-most in a single-season in school history, trailing only Jim Magrane’s 110 strikeouts in 1999.
Norman has been one of Iowa’s top offensive players throughout the season. He is leading the team in batting average (.311), runs (35), home runs (10), RBIs (51), hits (51) and steals (12), while ranking second in doubles (14) and triples (3). His 51 RBIs lead the Big Ten and his three triples are tied for second.
The Des Moines, Iowa, native has hit safely in 33 games and reached base safely in 37 contests this season with 15 multi-hit and 15 multi-RBI contests. Norman will tie the school games played record today against Michigan State, as it will be his 220th career game (with it being his 119th consecutive start). Norman also ranks seventh all-time in career doubles (46), 11th in career steals (46) and 14th in career singles (131).
After a slow start, Fullard came on strong to earn third-team All-Big Ten honors. He is second on the team with a .296 average, while ranking second in hits (47) and fourth in doubles (8). The North Liberty, Iowa, native has eight doubles, five home runs, 20 RBIs and 22 runs scored. Over his last 23 games, Fullard has hit .323 (32-of-99) with 12 multi-hit games, 19 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
Leonard, a relief pitcher from Mokenna, Illinois, was Iowa’s recipient for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The distinction is presented to student-athletes who display sportsmanship and ethical behavior, are in good academic standings, and demonstrate good citizenship outside of athletics.
The Hawkeyes close out the regular season Sunday, facing Michigan State at 12:05 p.m. (CT) at McClane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field.