Rick Heller

Rick Heller

Just a few years ago it was a one bid league but as the Big Ten Baseball Tournament gets set to open in Target Field several teams have hopes of playing in the NCAA Regionals. In his second year at the helm Rick Heller has led Iowa a second place finish in the regular season and a number 15 national ranking.

The Hawkeyes open this afternoon against seventh seeded Ohio State. “A few years ago everyone started to make a commitment to baseball and the money started trickling down to baseball. Different teams came into the league — Nebraska came in with some tradition and a great field and a lot of people followed suit, and it has just really blown up from there,” Heller says.

Heller says his team is looking forward to playing in Target Field, a big league park. The Hawkeyes are 38-14 and Heller says he is proud of the buzz that baseball has created on campus.

“It has been a lot of fun, a lot of excitement, a lot of positive feedback for our program. I felt like when I was first hired that if we could showed some signs that the Hawkeye fans would come out and support us like they do all the other sports, and they do, it has been a lot of fun,” Heller says.

The Buckeyes are 35-18 and are one of the other teams looking for an NCAA bid.