With one seismic swat after another, Jake Adams has turned a dream season into something historic.
The Iowa first baseman launched his 22nd homer of the year Thursday night at Illinois, tying the program record set by John Knapp in 1986. Adams has been on a tear all year but has cranked up the power over the last week, having crushed six homers over his last five games.
Adams entered last weekend’s series versus Ohio State with 16 long balls, then proceeded to launch one in each of the three games. He followed that up with two homers in Tuesday’s comeback win over Omaha before crushing No. 22 to deep left in the third inning.
Since landing in Iowa City after a whirlwind of a summer, Adams has been an instant spark in the middle of Rick Heller’s lineup. He entered Thursday as the Big Ten leader in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage and OPS, along with being near the top of the conference in a number of additional categories.
Adams was in a bit of a homer slump last month — he went deep just twice in 14 games between April 15 and May 7 — but the burly South Dakota native has picked things right back up.
“As we got warm weather, I knew he’d heat back up,” Heller said after Sunday’s win over Ohio State. “The only time he’s slowed down is when we had six or seven games in a row with the wind blowing in 30 miles an hour and cold weather.
“But he’s back to normal. He’s just a great hitter.”
The Hawkeyes have clinched a Big Ten Tournament berth, meaning Adams has at minimum four games left to break the record.
Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.