Iowa's two-way star Peyton to return for senior season

Zack Creglow

Iowa baseball standout Tyler Peyton has opted to return for his senior season instead of signing with the Cincinnati Reds, who drafted him Wednesday in the 33rd round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

"Choosing between school and professional baseball was one of the most difficult decisions I have encountered," Peyton said in a prepared release sent out Thursday by the university. "I feel that returning for my senior season is the right choice for me.

"It's an indescribable feeling to be a Hawkeye, and I want to have one more year with this coaching staff and in this program. I'm focused on earning a degree from the University of Iowa; that played a big part in my decision."

Iowa junior Tyler Peyton grew up in Grimes as a Hawkeye fan and always wanted to play Division I baseball in the Midwest.

This is welcomed news for coach Rick Heller, who led Iowa to one of its best seasons in school history in 2015. Peyton, a Grimes native, was a third-team All-American selection by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and

Peyton was vital in Iowa's 41-18 campaign in 2015. He was the Hawkeyes' Friday-night starting pitcher (going 7-4 with a 3.03 ERA) and he also played first base (hitting a team-best .337 with 31 RBIs).