University of Iowa baseball player Jake Adams didn’t get insulted.
The Hawkeyes’ slugger was named the Big Ten’s Player of the Year, but he wasn’t named to the 17-player first-team of the Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division I All-American baseball teams. Adams was a second-team pick.
How could this be, fans of Adams and Iowa could easily wonder. Adams shares the NCAA lead for home runs with Morehead State’s Niko Hulsizer with 27. Hulsizer’s season is over, by the way. Iowa plays Houston Friday night in an NCAA regional opening-round game.
Well, there’s only one first baseman on the first team, and that’s Brent Rooker of Mississippi State. Who happens to share Collegiate Baseball’s Player of the Year award with pitcher/outfielder Brendan McKay of Louisville.
Rooker, the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Year, is hitting .404 with 21 homers and 76 RBIs, and has walked 44 times. Adams is hitting .339 with 27 homers and 70 RBIs, and has 29 walks.
On top of that, the competition Rooker played against was superior to that of Iowa’s.
However, you can also look at Adams’ second-team pick as quite a feat when you realize 81 players were named to the three honor squads, and the junior from Brandon, S.D., is the only Big Ten player among them.
Iowa hasn’t had a player who was a first- or second-team All-American since Brad Carlson was a Baseball America second-teamer in 1999.
Adams will get tested by a fellow second-team All-American Friday night in Houston, assuming he faces Cougars pitcher Trey Cumbie. The lefthander is 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA, and has allowed slightly less than one walk or hit per inning.
Houston third baseman Jake Scheiner also is a second-team All-America.
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Texas A&M, another of the four teams in the Houston regional, has a first-teamer in second baseman Braden Schewmake.