Baseball News Archive 2016-2017

Baseball team sends 14 sophomores to the next level

Fourteen members of the 2015-16 Hesston College baseball program have signed letters-of- intent to continue their athletic careers at four-year schools. Next destinations for the group represent all three levels of NCAA, as well as NAIA programs.

The list includes:

Daulton Horton (Denton, Texas) – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Cody Widman (Olathe, Kan.) – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Collin Loutensock (West Valley, Utah) – Newman University (Wichita, Kan.)
Jake Shelby (McKinney, Texas) – Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Texas)
AJ Chalupka (Flower Mound, Texas) – University of the Ozarks (Clarksville, Ark.)
Bryce Elder (Ottawa, Kan.) – University of the Ozarks (Clarksville, Ark.)
Andrew Berry (Mulvane, Kan.) – University of Saint Mary (Leavenworth, Kan.)
Caleb Geary (Scottsbluff, Neb.) – Hastings (Neb.) College (Track)
Conner Gillihan (Spring Hill, Kan.) – Missouri Valley College (Marshall, Mo.)
Luis Marinez (Santo Domingo, D.R.) – Ecclesia College (Springdale, Ark.)
Hayden Pentecost (Wichita, Kan.) – Benedictine College (Atchison, Kan.)
Alex Perez (Justin, Texas) – Sterling (Kan.) College
Brandon Shoemaker (Tomball, Texas) – Bethany College (Lindsborg, Kan.)
Jimmy Yandell (Moore, Okla.) – Bethany College (Lindsborg, Kan.)

“I’m so proud that we have 14 student-athletes committed to attend four-year institutions to continue their academic and athletic careers,” said Hesston coach Kyle Howell. “This group will continue to make great strides both on and off the baseball field.”

Campus community mourns loss of student

The Hesston College campus community is mourning the untimely loss of student Justin Velazquez. Justin had just finished his freshman year at Hesston, where he was also a member of the baseball team. He passed away Saturday morning, June 4, while playing baseball in his hometown in Puerto Rico. Our prayers are with Justin’s family in the days and weeks to come.

Services planned

The funeral for Justin Velazquez will be on Friday, June 10, at 11 a.m. in a Mass at Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Church at Camp Alegre in Hatillo, P.R. There will be a tribute for Justin at his hometown baseball field in Barceloneta, P.R., at 1 p.m., following the service. The burial will happen immediately following the tribute at Barceloneta New Cemetery.

Cards and flowers can be sent to:
Vivian Mora/Justin Velazquez
Call Box 2020
Suite 201
Calle Pomarrosa #234 Parcelas Imbery
Barceloneta, PR 00617

The college will hold a service in Justin’s honor at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.

Baseball season ends at districts

The Hesston College baseball team saw its 2016 season come to a close with a pair of losses (14-5 to Western Oklahoma State, 12-4 to Longview) at the May 19 district playoff. Hesston defeated Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) in a best-of-five series to advance to the district level. The Larks finished 21-36 in coach Kyle Howell’s first season.

Seven Hesston players earned all-region recognition following the season, including Region VI Player of the Year Alex Perez (Justin, Texas) and Pitcher of the Year Collin Loutensock (West Valley, Utah). Howell was named Coach of the Year.

First-team selections include Larks’ centerfielder Perez, Loutensock, Bryce Elder (catcher – Ottawa, Kan.) infielders Andrew Berry (Mulvane, Kan.), Kyler Cox (Little River, Kan.) and Jake Shelby (McKinney, Texas).

Freshman pitcher JC Ortega (Spring, Texas) was an honorable mention selection.

Larks claim Region VI crown

The Hesston College baseball team captured the 2016 NJCAA Region VI title on Sunday, May 1, following a 8-7 win over Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) in game four of the five-game series.

The Larks entered the day up 2-0 following a Saturday home sweep. BMC staved off elimination in game three with a walk-off home run, but the Larks rallied for the exciting game-four win. In the final game, Hesston built a 6-2 lead through four innings before BMC put a five-spot on the board in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Lions a 7-6 lead.

In the Hesston sixth, Bryce Elder (Ottawa, Kan.) and Charles Elam (Spring Hill, Kan.) reached base with consecutive walks. Alex Perez (Justin, Texas) then blasted an extra-base hit to the gap, scoring Elder to tie the game. Elam was thrown out at the plate, but Perez reached third on the play. Kyler Cox (Little River, Kan.) put the Larks ahead with a sacrifice fly to left.

Hesston closer Cody Widman (Olathe, Kan.) tossed two shutout innings to nail down the series. Widman struck out three, including the final batter.

Hesston Baseball advances to the district level, held May 19-21 in Missouri.

Sweep puts Hesston Baseball a win from Region VI title

The Hesston College baseball team saw its win streak reach six with a pair of post-season wins (5-2, 15-11) over Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) on Saturday, April 30.

Collin Loutensock (West Valley, Utah) was dominant in game one, tossing a complete-game one-hitter and setting the tone for a big day for the Larks.

After a win in a marathon-like game two, Hesston Baseball enjoys a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-five series that moves to Salina on Sunday, May 1.

Larks walk off with weekend series sweep

The Hesston College baseball team completed a four-game weekend sweep of Wentworth Military Academy (Lexington, Mo.) by taking two games on Sunday, April 24. The Larks won 10-3 in game one before a thrilling walk-off 5-4 win in extra innings in game two to improve Hesston to 18-33 on the year.

Kyler Cox (Little River, Kan.) went 2-for-3 with a run and three RBI in the opener. Bryce Elder (Ottawa, Kan.) scored two runs in a 1-for-3 day. Larks’ righty Brandon Shoemaker (Tomball, Texas) got the win on the mound with four and a third innings of work. Shoemaker yielded five hits and just one earned run while fanning two.

In the nightcap, Hesston put the finishing touches on a great weekend of baseball when Elder singled home the winning run in the eighth inning for a 5-4 win.

Tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Shoemaker got the inning started with a single, followed two batters later by an Andrew Berry (Mulvane, Kan.) single that put runners on first and second and set the stage for Elder’s heroics.

On a 1-1 pitch, Elder singled to left that brought home the winning run. Cody Widman (Olathe, Kan.) tossed three shutout innings out of the pen to get the win. Widman struck out two and gave up just a pair of hits.

Hesston Baseball awaits a best-of-five series with Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) that will determine this year’s NJCAA Region VI winner.

Larks sweep Wentworth behind pair of gems

The Hesston College baseball team picked up two wins (3-2, 1-0) over Wentworth Military Academy on Saturday, April 23. Although the double header went a combined 15 innings, just two Hesston pitchers toed the runner, as sophomore Collin Loutensock (West Valley, Utah) and freshman Matt Gregory (New Caney, Texas) each tossed complete games in the sweep.

In the opener, Loutensock scattered seven hits and three walks while striking out seven. Daulton Horton (Denton, Texas) went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Leadoff hitter Alex Perez (Justin, Texas) continued his big year, scoring twice on a hit and a walk.

Gregory was dominant in the 8-inning nightcap, as the righty allowed just two hits and fanned nine. Perez added a double and a single in four at bats. Jake Shelby (McKinney, Texas) had three hits including a double.

TJ Flemming (Wichita, Kan.) singled with one out in the eighth and reached third via a stolen base and ground out to second. With two outs, freshman Justin Velazquez (Barceloneta, P.R.) singled in the winning run to secure the sweep.

The Larks improve to 16-33 on the year and look to take two more when they finish the weekend series with Wentworth on Sunday, April 24 at 1 p.m.

Loutensock’s complete game leads Larks to win

The Hesston College baseball team split with Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) on Saturday, April 16, winning 8-2 in the opener before BMC won 6-5 in the nine inning nightcap.

Hesston sophomore hurler Collin Loutensock (West Valley, Utah) went the distance in game one, allowing just two runs on six hits. Loutensock fanned four in the win.

Alex Perez (Justin, Texas) had a big day from the leadoff spot, going 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, three stolen bases and four runs scored. Kyler Cox (Little River, Kan.) had two doubles in three at bats with two RBI and a run scored. Daulton Horton (Denton, Texas) knocked in two on a 2-for-4 day.

The Larks forced extra innings in the nightcap with a three-run top of the seventh inning, but BMC scored the winning run in the ninth to salvage the split.

Hesston hosts Barton CC (Great Bend, Kan.) for a 5:30 p.m. nine-inning single game on Tuesday, April 19.

Berry, Shelby lead Larks to win

The Hesston College baseball team got back in the win column with a 6-5 victory over Central Christian JV (McPherson, Kan.) on Wednesday, April 13.

Sophomores Andrew Berry (Mulvane, Kan.) and Jake Shelby (McKinney, Texas) enjoyed big days for the Larks. Berry went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a home run, while Shelby had three hits in four at bats with two runs scored or 3 RBI.

On the mound, Hayden Pentecost (Wichita, Kan.) went four innings, scattering five hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Ethan Timmermans (Ontario, Quebec) also fanned six in relief. JC Ortega (Spring, Texas) recorded the last four outs to get the save.

Hesston hosts Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) for a 7 p.m. single game on Friday, April 15.

Larks sweep Bethany JV

The Hesston College baseball team picked up a pair of home wins (5-4, 8-4) over Bethany College JV (Lindsborg, Kan.) on Tuesday, April 5, upping its season record to 12-24.

Connor Gillihan (Spring Hill, Kan.) threw four innings of solid relief to get the win. The sophomore lefty allowed four hits and one unearned run and struck out two. Jake Shelby (McKinney, Texas) went 2-for-2 with a run scored. Andrew Berry (Mulvane, Kan.) went 2-for-3 and scored a run.

In game two, the Hesston offense exploded for 15 hits and overcame an early 4-1 deficient to claim the sweep. A three-run sixth iced the win for the Larks. Brandon Shoemaker (Tomball, Texas) went the distance to pick up the win, allowing just five hits while striking out six.

Justin Velazquez (Barceloneta, P.R.) went 4-for-4 in game two with three runs scored. Charles Elam (Spring Hill, Kan.) doubled and singled in four at bats and knocked in three.

Alex Perez (Justin, Texas), Daulton Horton (Denton, Texas) and Shelby had two hits each.

The Larks travel to Southeast CC (Beatrice, Neb.) for a four-game, two-day series April 9-10 (Sat-Sun).

Larks sweep Dawson at home

The Hesston College baseball team made short work of Dawson CC (Glendive, Mt.) on Thursday, March 17, sweeping the doubleheader (6-0, 13-2) to improve to 10-15 on the year.

Skyler Frizzell (Bartlesville, Okla.) enjoyed a career day on the mound, tossing a complete-game two-hitter in the opener with 14 strikeouts and just one walk. Frizzell faced only 24 batters in the win.

Nelson Martinez (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) went 2-for-3 with a RBI double that capped off a five-run fourth inning. Luis Caraballo (Hormiguero, P.R.) was 2-for-3 with a walk. Jake Shelby (McKinney, Texas) reached base three times and swiped two bases.

Hesston scored early and often in game two en route to a easy win. Kyler Cox (Little River, Kan.) delivered a two-out, two-run double in the first that highlighted a four-run inning. Hesston scored in every inning, including two in the fourth on an Andrew Berry (Mulvane, Kan.) two-run blast. Berry also tripled and knocked in four for the game. Alex Perez (Justin, Texas) tripled and singled in four at bats.

Collin Loutensock (West Valley, Utah) went the distance on the mound, striking out eight with two earned runs given up.

Larks sweep home doubleheader

The Hesston College baseball team swept a pair of games (5-2, 11-1) over Central Christian College JV (McPherson, Kan.) on Tuesday, March 3, improving its season record to 7-10.

Hesston scored three runs late to pull away from a 2-2 game in the opener before scoring early and often in the game two romp.

AJ Chalupka (Flower Mound, Texas) threw five frames in the opener, allowing two earned runs on four hits before JC Ortega (Spring, Texas) took the mound and tossed two innings of shutout ball to get the win in relief.

Jayro Rivera (Mayaguez, P.R.) had a double and three RBI, while Justin Velazquez (Barceloneta, P.R.) homered and knocked in three in the game two blowout. Hayden Pentecost (Wichita, Kan.) threw three shutout innings with three strikeouts and no hits allowed to start and win the nightcap.

The Larks travel to Northern Oklahoma College (Tonkawa) for a noon doubleheader on Saturday, March 5.

Larks salvage weekend series with game-four win

The Hesston College baseball team got a 9-7 win in the final game of a 4-game weekend series with Pratt (Kan.) CC, Feb. 20-21.

Sophomore AJ Chalupka (Flower Mound, Texas) pitched into the fourth inning to get the win. Jordan Gesling (Lenox, S.D.) tossed three shutout frames for the save, allowing just a hit and a walk while fanning five.

Alex Perez (Justin, Texas) continued his hot start to the season out of the leadoff spot with a triple and a home run in four at bats. Jake Salinas (Rockwall, Texas) homered, walked and scored twice. Cole Sturgeon (Newton, Kan.) went deep as well, knocking in three and scoring twice. Jayro Rivera (Mayaguez, P.R.) doubled and knocked in two in four at bats.

Hesston Baseball is 4-7 on the year with a trip to Redlands CC (El Reno, Okla.) upcoming on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Bats carry Larks to win in home opener

The Hesston College baseball team rallied past York (Neb.) College JV for a 10-5 win in the Larks’ home-opener under first-year skipper Kyle Howell.

Trailing 4-3 after five, Hesston put up four runs in the bottom of the sixth followed by two more an inning later.

Five Hesston pitchers saw action, with Jace Robinson (Houston, Texas) earning the win after four innings of relief. Brandon Shoemaker (Tomball, Texas) tossed a hitless ninth to close the door on the Larks’ second straight win.

Shortstop Jake Shelby (McKinney, Texas) had three hits and scored twice in four at bats. Nelson Martinez (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) also went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Daulton Horton (Denton, Texas) and Bryce Elder (Ottawa, Kan.) had two hits each. For the game the Larks collected 13 hits and swiped three bags.

Hesston Baseball hosts Pratt (Kan.) CC for a 12 p.m. double header on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Hesston Baseball ends Texas trip with a win

The Hesston College baseball team scored early and often en route to a 13-8 road win at Richland (Texas) College on Sunday, Feb. 7. Sunday’s win was the final game of a four-game season-opening series against the four-time NJCAA National Champion Thunderducks.

Sophomore right-hander AJ Chalupka (Flower Mound, Texas) pitched into the seventh inning in front of a decidedly pro-Hesston crowd to earn the win. Chalupka is one of ten Hesston players native to the Lone Star State.

Jake Salinas (Rockwall, Texas) had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI. Salinas’ three-run blast in the second extended Hesston’s lead to 6-0. Jake Shelby (McKinney, Texas) singled and doubled twice in six at bats, knocking in three.

In Friday’s opener, Hesston took a one-run lead into the seventh inning before falling 6-5 in extra innings. Richland took both ends Saturday’s doubleheader.

1-3 on the year, Hesston Baseball travels to Independence (Kan.) CC for a 12 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 13.