IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team was picked to finish third in the Big Ten Conference Preseason Poll in a vote of the league’s 13 head coaches, it was announced Thursday by the league office.
Nebraska was selected as the preseason favorite followed by Michigan, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State and Indiana. Only the top six teams were released.
Three Hawkeyes — senior Dylan Nedved and redshirt sophomores Peyton Williams and Adam Mazur — were named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors List.
Nedved, a reliever from Shawnee, Kansas, went 4-1 with a 4.19 ERA and nine saves during the 2021 season. The nine saves were tied for second in the Big Ten and were the fourth-most in a single season in school history. Nedved will serve as a team captain in 2022.
During an injury plagued 2021 season, Williams posted a .295 average with 15 doubles, six home runs and 27 RBIs. The Johnston, Iowa, native led the Big Ten in walks (34), while ranking third in OBP (.470), tied for third in doubles (15) and seventh in slugging percentage (.582). The first baseman is tabbed as the ninth-best draft prospect in the Big Ten by Perfect Game.
Mazur, who will take the ball for Iowa’s season opener, joins the program following a two-year stay at South Dakota State. The Minnesota native went 3-9 with a 5.50 ERA in 16 starts with the Jackrabbits before shining last summer in the Cape Cod League. He earned all-league honors after going 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA in six starts for the Wareham Gateman. Mazur is ranked as the No. 2 draft prospect in the Big Ten by Perfect Game and a top-100 prospect by MLB.com.
The Hawkeyes open the 2022 season at the Swig & Swine Classic from Feb. 18-20 in Charleston, South Carolina. Iowa will face Air Force in the regular-season opener on Friday at 11 a.m. (CT).