Iowa baseball's Adam Mazur named Big Ten pitcher of year; Keaton Anthony earns top freshman honors
IOWA CITY — If Iowa baseball was going to have the 2022 season it wanted, names who hadn't contributed in Hawkeyes colors before were going to have to do so in a big way.
Tuesday, two of those players who did so were rewarded in a big way.
The Hawkeyes took home two major Big Ten season awards, with right-hander Adam Mazur being named conference pitcher of the year and outfielder Keaton Anthony earning freshman of the year. Iowa would not be in position to make its first regional since 2017 without those two.
Mazur was also named a first-team all Big Ten selection, along with first baseman Peyton Williams. Anthony was a second-team all-Big Ten selection, along with southpaw reliever Ben Beutel. Brody Brecht joined Anthony on the all-freshman team, as well.
We'll start with Mazur, who's been everything Iowa envisioned and then some after it secured the South Dakota State transfer from the portal. Mazur followed the footsteps of 2021 Big Ten pitcher of the year Trenton Wallace and locked down Friday nights, giving Iowa the confidence it could start off any weekend with a win.
Mazur went 7-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 14 regular-season starts. The right-hander posted nine quality starts racked up 90 strikeouts with only 26 walks over 88 2/3 innings. Mazur was particularly dominant during conference play, where he went 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA in eight Big Ten starts. His ERA (2.59), win total (5) and innings total (55 2/3) in league play all led the Big Ten.
Anthony, meanwhile, is just the second player in program history to win freshman of the year, joining C.J. Thieleke in 1994. After a hamstring injury limited Anthony to just one game in 2021, the Georgia native took off in a big way this season.
Anthony hit .360 with 20 doubles, 14 home runs, 53 RBIs and 43 runs scored during the regular season. Ten of Anthony’s home runs came in Big Ten play. His doubles total is the second highest in program history. He was named Big Ten freshman of the week six times during the regular season.
Anthony's success paired nicely with Williams, who hit .356 with 38 RBIs, 51 runs scored and 31 extra-base hits. The Johnston product hit safely in 37 games and reached safely in 45 contests.
Beutel became a key cog in the backend of Heller's bullpen, going 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA and four saves over a team-high 26 appearances. He's piled up 36 strikeouts with only four walks over 27 innings. Brecht was a solid relief arm as well, racking up 44 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.
The Hawkeyes (31-17) were scheduled to begin Big Ten Tournament play Thursday morning against Penn State in Omaha.
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.