Baseball News Archive 2017-2018

Where are they now? Hesston baseball players Go Everywhere

NJCAA baseball is the big time with players getting drafted while others moving on to other schools to continue their academic and athletic careers. At Hesston College, it is no different. The coaching staff does an amazing job helping players reach their potential and continue to have an opportunity to play baseball for at least two more years.

“This list of players and their commitments gets me so excited!” says Head Coach Kyle Howell, “It’s the conclusion of their careers here at Hesston but the start of their next stage and journey.”

Here is where last two years of players are playing baseball this season:



  • Daulton Horton – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  • Cody Widman – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff


  • Collin Loutensock – Newman University
  • Jake Shelby – Tarleton State University


  • AJ Chalupka – University of the Ozarks
  • Bryce Elder – University of the Ozarks


  • Andrew Berry – University of Saint Mary
  • Caleb Geary – Hastings College (Track)
  • Conner Gillihan – Missouri Valley College
  • Luis Marinez – Ecclesia College
  • Hayden Pentecost – Benedictine College
  • Alex Perez – Southeastern University
  • Brandon Shoemaker – Bethany College
  • Jimmy Yandell – Bethany College



  • Pietro Oliva – Savannah State University**
  • Carter Hohn – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff*


  • Andrew Aldana – Missouri University of Science & Technology
  • Kyler Cox – Fort Hays State University
  • Charles Elam – William Jewell College
  • Isaiah Martinez – Southwestern OK State University
  • Jayro Rivera – Barber Scotia College
  • Jake Salinas – Southeastern OK State University


  • Sam Carrillo – Sul Ross State University
  • Jayden Banks – LeTourneau University


  • Nelson Martinez – Hannibal LaGrange College
  • Pietro Oliva – Central Baptist College**

** Dual Signee
* Committed but will attend Driveline (Seattle, WA)

Baseball settles for split with North Arkansas College

After winning both games on Saturday vs. North Arkansas College (6-4, 11-1), Larks baseball dropped Sunday’s doubleheader to the Pioneers (4-1, 14-12), splitting the four-game series.

Hesston will be disappointed not to have won the series as they saw a 10-1 lead in Sunday’s second game disappear. In Saturday’s 6-4 win, freshman shortstop Jacques Palmer (Arlington, Texas) knocked in two runs during a six-run inning, boosting the Larks past NorthArk. Sophomore Jayden Banks (Lawton, Okla.) was perfect at the plate going 2/2 with a walk. In game two, sophomore Jonathan Law (El Paso, Texas), redshirt freshman Drake Sturgeon (Newton, Kan.) and freshman catcher Jeremy Deckinger (Wichita, Kan.) each had two RBI as the Larks scored five runs in the third inning to blow the game open. Pitchers Jonathan Law and Carter Hohn (Overland Park, Kan.) picked up the wins on the mound for the Larks.

After building an early 6-1 lead in the third inning, freshman Jonathan Law added four more runs with a towering grand slam to make it 10-1 Hesston. North Arkansas Community College responded, bringing the score quickly to 11-8 in the Larks favor. The Pioneers scored six more unanswered runs to bolt ahead 14-11 in the sixth inning. Hesston would add one run to make it 14-12 but couldn’t get any closer, as NorthArk hung on to force a series split in Hesston. Sophomore pitchers Jordan Gesling (Lennox, S.D.) and Roman Arnold (Denton, Texas) picked up losses on the mound. The Larks lost the first game 4-1 on Sunday.

“Our guys played hard this weekend, especially for only having nine position players,” Head Coach Kyle Howell commented. “Offensively we are performing at a high level and our starting pitching keeps getting better. Our bullpen, which has been a strength for us, wasn’t sharp but I’m confident they will improve going into the last weekend vs. Wentworth Military.”

Next – Hesston’s final road game at Independence (Kan.) Community College (April 25) has been cancelled due to KJCCC conflict. The Larks will return to Oswald field April 28 and 29 to host their final series of the season vs. Wentworth Military Academy in a four-game set.

Baseball falls to Cougars

Hesston Baseball lost 12-4 to Barton Community College Tuesday night in Great Bend.

The Cougars jumped out front early and enjoyed a double digit lead at 12-2 in the 5th inning. Sophomore Jonathan Law (El Paso, Texas) cracked a solo home run and Hesston College added another run in the inning to pull within 12-4. No more runs were scored as both bullpens pitched efficiently in the later innings.

Barton CC (34-13) has won seven straight after dropping the visiting Larks (11-36). Hesston College will return to the field on Friday April 21, when they welcome North Arkansas Community College. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

Larks baseball falls to T-Birds

Hesston College baseball were swept by visiting Cloud County Community College 6-2, 16-6 on Tuesday night at Oswald Field on the campus of Hesston College.

After taking a 1-0 lead in game one, the Larks gave up three runs in the second inning on a two-run single by T-Birds sophomore Jacob Grady. The T-Birds would hold a 4-2 lead until the seventh inning when the Larks forced in a run on a bases loaded walk, followed by an RBI single to take the score to 6-2 in favor of Cloud County.

Hesston was unable to hang with the T-Birds in the nightcap, as Cloud County got that bats going, early and often. The T-birds made quick work of the Larks going up 9-0 through two innings, scoring 15 of its 16 runs in the first three innings. The Larks pitching staff gave up 23 hits over the two-game set with Cloud County. Hesston’s hurlers will look to get back on track with a busy schedule next week.

Sophomore David Johns recorded the win for Cloud County on the mound. Hesston freshman Andrew Huckaby (Conway, Mo.) picked up the loss for the Larks.

Next: Baseball takes on Redlands CC (El Reno, Okla.) on Monday, April 17. The Larks split with the Cougars on March 28 in Hesston, dropping the first game 9-2, before winning 5-4. First pitch from El Reno will be at 1 p.m.

Larks take one from Southeast CC Storm

Drake Sturgeon hits a 3-RBI double in the seventh inning of Saturday’s second game.

The Hesston College baseball team split with Southeast Community College (Beatrice, Neb.), winning 8-6 Saturday afternoon before falling by the same score in game two. The Larks dropped both games on Friday night to the Storm: 6-4, 15-5.

Friday Game 1:
Southeast jumped out front, grabbing a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning. The Larks started to chip away at the Storm, scoring a run in the bottom of the third and two more in the fifth to bring the score to 4-3 Southeast. Hesston squared the ball game up at 4-4 with another run in the sixth inning. Southeast responded with a pair in the seventh inning to take a 6-4 advantage, going on to win the first matchup. Redshirt freshman catcher Drew Aldana (El Paso, Texas) had two RBI in the loss for the Larks.

Game 2:
Hesston College went ahead 1-0 in the first inning, before the Storm exploded for a 10-run third inning to take control of game two. Southeast went on to win comfortably, 15-5.

Game 1: Win 8-6
Freshman catcher, Jeremy Deckinger (Wichita, Kan.) blasted a 2-run walk off home run to break a 6-6 score, propelling the Larks past the Storm in a tight game one.

Game 2: After Southeast (Neb.) took a 7-1 lead, the Larks rally fell short, losing 8-6. With the Storm leading 8-3, Drake Sturgeon hit a bases clearing double to cut the Southeast lead to two run game at 8-6. The Southeast CC bullpen came on and was able to put out a couple fires, as the Larks failed to capitalize on base runners in scoring position. Freshmen Andrew Huckaby (Conway, Mo.) and Isiah Martinez (North Crowley, Texas) came on to relieve pitcher Roman Arnold (Denton, Texas) who took the loss for the Larks.

“I’m really proud of how our kids battled,” Head Coach Kyle Howell commented following the game. “Such a cool moment for Jeremy Deckinger to hit that walk off home run. We got down early in game two and our kids almost pulled off the come back.”

Next up: The Larks will return to Oswald Field on Wednesday, April 12, for a double header with Cloud County Community College. First pitch will be at 4 p.m. against the T-Birds.

Larks fall to Jets

Hesston College baseball dropped a double header to the Northern Oklahoma College-Enid Jets 6-5 in the first game, 10-3 in the nightcap at Oswald Field on the campus of Hesston College.

Freshmen Joel Ogletree (Norwood, Mo.) and Jacques Palmer (Arlington, Texas) each had two hits in game one, Palmer with two RBI in the one-run loss. The Larks batters were held at bay in the second game as the Jets K. Patterson punched out eight Hesston batters on the mound.

“We continue to have that one play not to go our way in games. Sometimes it’s a great play we don’t make, and sometimes it’s an error we do make. Those greatly impacted us today. I love our effort and fight though. We’ve prioritized winning every pitch. I’m glad to see them continue to compete,” Head coach Kyle Howell commented.

Next – the Larks (9-27) will look to get back in the win column when they take on Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa in a two-game set on Sunday April 2. The Larks and NOC-Tonkawa matched up about a week ago (March 23) as the Larks fell 8-7, 14-2. First pitch from Enid will be at noon.

Mavs rally in game one, sweep Larks

The Hesston College baseball team built a 4-1 lead early, only to fall to the Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa Mavericks 8-5, 9-2 in games played in Enid.

Hesston fell behind 1-0 in the second inning, but rallied with four runs in the top of the third to pull ahead 4-1. The Larks enjoyed a 5-2 lead in the fifth inning, before Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa answered scoring six runs in the sixth to go on top 8-5, eventually holding on for the win. 3B Pietro Olivia (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) went 2-3 at the plate with three RBI and a run scored in the losing effort for the Larks.

In game two, it was a four-run fifth inning that lifted the Mavericks on top 8-1 over the Larks, breaking open a 4-1 ball game. Jhon Santos knocked in three runs in the win for Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa. Larks sophomore Jake Salinas (Rockwell, Texas) had the one RBI on the night. Both teams finished with six hits.

The Larks (9-29) will travel to Independence to take on the Pirates in one game only on Tuesday, April 4. First pitch from Independence CC will be at 2 p.m. Hesston College and the Pirates matched up back in February (Wichita) as Independence CC defeated the Larks 13-5, 3-1 at games played on the campus of Newman University.

Johnson walk off hit leads Larks past Redlands

Freshman Dallas Johnson (Warrenton, Mo.) hit a game winning RBI double in the bottom of the 7th inning as the Hesston College baseball team came from behind to defeat Redlands Community College (El Reno, Okla.) 5-4 on Tuesday evening at Oswald Field.

On a cold and windy night, the Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and added a run in the second to go ahead 2-0. Hesston began to chip away and took a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning. After a lone run in the top half of the seventh inning that tied the game at 4-4, the Larks responded with the game winning hit.

With the win, Hesston snaps a 14-game losing streak in which they faced several top schools including nationally ranked Johnson County Community College and New Mexico Military Institute. Redlands defeated the Larks 9-2 in game one at Oswald Field.

Next – The Larks (9-25) will host Northern Oklahoma College-Enid on Friday, March 31. The Larks fell to the Jets both times they played last month in Oklahoma. First pitch from Oswald Field will be 4 p.m. Second game is expected to begin around 6 p.m.

Big fifth inning leads Cavs past Larks

Larks baseball traveled east to Overland Park and lost to the #17 Johnson Community College Cavaliers 12-1 on Tuesday afternoon at JCCC baseball complex. Johnson County scored six runs in the fifth inning to go ahead 9-0 and win comfortably.

An RBI single in the first and one in the second gave JCCC an early advantage over the Larks. The Cavaliers had 19 hits on the day compared to only four hits for the Larks. Hesston College committed 3 errors.

Sophomore Drake Sturgeon (Newton, Kan.) provided Hesston’s lone run in the top of the sixth inning. Redshirt sophomore Carter Hohn from Overland Park was the starting pitcher and took the loss for the Larks. Cavaliers pitcher B. Kinkaid went five innings striking out nine Larks to pick up the win on the mound for Johnson County.

Next – baseball (8-18) takes a week off for spring break before returning to the Kansas City area for a weekend series (March 24-25) with Metropolitan Community College-Longview. First pitch will be at 1 p.m.

Cougars claw Larks

The Hesston College baseball team lost to Barton Community College Cougars 11-6 on Wednesday evening at Oswald Field at Hesston College. The game, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was pushed back to Wednesday due to weather.

The Cougars jumped out in front 4-0 in the top of the first inning and never looked back. Barton added a run in the second and two runs in the third to take an 7-0 lead. The Larks committed five errors on the night allowing the Cougars to capitalize Hesston’s miscues. ”Pitching and defense really let us down today. I thought the offensive group did a good job. Pietro Oliva and Drew Aldana really hit well, but it wasn’t enough to overcome our mistakes,” Head Coach Kyle Howell said.

Freshman DH Jeremy Deckinger (Wichita, Kan.) knocked in three runs and freshman 3B Pietro Olivia (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) was 3/4 at the plate adding two RBI in the loss to the Cougars. Freshman pitcher Harry Park (Frisco, Texas) took the loss for the Larks on the mound.

Next up: Hesston College (8-17) will welcome Northern Oklahoma College- Tonkawa for a doubleheader on Friday, March 10. First pitch from Oswald Field will be at 4 p.m. Second game is expected to begin around 6 p.m.

Baseball swept by Broncos

The Hesston College baseball team was swept in a four-game series by the host New Mexico Military Institute Broncos over the weekend in Roswell, New Mexico.

On Saturday the Larks fell 6-1 in the opening game and 9-1 in game two. On Sunday, after getting shutout 10-0, the Larks got the bats going in the final game putting up nine runs, giving the team some momentum heading back home for the Barton game. It wasn’t quite enough as New Mexico Military won 13-9.

“It was a pretty disappointing weekend for us. We didn’t put complete games together. Jordan Gesling (soph., Lennox, S.D.) continues to pitch well, and freshman Dallas Johnson (Warrenton, Mo.) is having a good freshman year at the plate,” Head Coach Kyle Howell commented. “New Mexico Military is a very good team, coming off a regional appearance in 2016 where they knocked off the #1 team in the country. This was a great opportunity for us.”

The Larks (8-16) will regroup and return home to play the Barton Community College Cougars in a one-game set. First pitch from Oswald Field will be at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8.

Baseball splits weekend series with Pratt

Saturday at Oswald Field, Hesston College

In game one, the Larks got on the board with a second inning RBI to tie things at 1-1 after red shirt freshman catcher Drew Aldana (El Paso, Texas) led things off with a single. 

The Beavers scored four runs in the third inning to take a 5-1 lead then Larks sophomore pitcher Jordan Gesling (Lennox, S.D.) pitched a quick 1-2-3 top of the fourth. Hesston tacked on a run in the fourth inning to make it 5-2, before Pratt tallied two runs each in the fifth and sixth inning to take a comfortable 9-2 lead. The Beavers notched four more runs in the final inning to go on to win 13-2.

Red shirt freshman pitcher Carter Hohn (Overland Park, Kan.) pitched a one hitter, but the Larks came up short in a 2-0 loss in the second game vs. the Beavers. Pratt scored in the third inning and again on a Larks error in the seventh. Hesston was unable to get the bats going and provide support for a strong pitching performance from Hohn.

Sunday at Pratt Community College

A 10-run fourth inning was enough for the Larks as they outlasted the Beavers 14-5 to take game one in Pratt. 

Freshman pitcher Jacob Harris (El Paso, Texas) took the mound in game two Sunday. The Beavers scored a pair of runs in the second inning to go up 2-0. The Larks loaded the bases in the fourth inning but only plated one runner. They made up for it in the fifth inning scoring four runs to race ahead 5-2. Pitcher Dylan Schoknecht (Woodstock, Ga.) came on in the sixth to relieve Harris. The Beavers cut the lead to 5-4 with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ben Van Diest put Pratt CC on top 6-5 with a 2-run home run to right field.

Hesston College went back in front benefiting from two Pratt errors to take a 7-6 lead in the top half of the seventh inning. Those runs proved to be the difference as the Larks swept the Sunday series and evened up the four-game weekend tilt with the Beavers.

“I was really proud of the way our guys responded after dropping two games at home,” Head Coach Kyle Howell commented. “Anytime you can win multiple games on the road it’s something you have to feel great about. I thought our rotation (Gesling, Hohn, Law, Harris) did a tremendous job putting out team in a position to win this weekend. We saw contributions from a ton of guys.”

The Larks improve to 7-9 overall and will have the week off before returning to Oswald field. Next – Saturday, February 25, double header vs. Southwestern Iowa community College. First pitch is set for noon.

Larks sweep Bethany College

Game 1 Friday @ Oswald Field

Friday’s home opener started on a somber note as Hesston players and coaches and the campus community remembered 2016 Lark infielder Justin Valazquez with a ceremonial first pitch. Vivian Mora, Justin’s aunt, threw the first pitch to Velazquez’s boyhood and college teammate Jayro Rivera. Velazquez, a freshman on last year’s team, passed away on the baseball field, playing the game he loved in his native Puerto Rico, during the summer of 2016.

Freshman Joel Ogletree (Norwood, Mo.) hit a 2-run double to left field, and Drake Sturgeon (Newton, Kan.) connected on a sacrifice fly as the Larks scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the first inning to defeat the Bethany College Swedes JV 3-0.

Pitcher Jacob Harris, a freshman from El Paso, Texas, got the start for the Larks and recorded the win. Redshirt freshman Carter Hohn (Overland Park, Kan.) came into the game in the 4th inning and picked up the first save of the year, including a quick 1-2-3 top of the 7th to retire the Swedes.

Game 2

Bethany College took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. The Swedes tacked on a couple more runs in the top of the third inning before the Larks began to rally. A seven-run fourth inning, all with two outs, saw Hesston College surge in front 7-3. The Larks added an insurance run in the bottom of sixth to win 8-3. Sophomore pitcher Jordan Gesling (Lennox, S.D.) picked up the win for Hesston College.

Game 3 Saturday @ Oswald Field

With Hesston College leading 4-0 after three innings, the Swedes scored five in the 5th inning to pull ahead. The Larks responded with five runs in the bottom half, pushing the lead to 9-5. Bethany added three runs in the 8th to make things interesting, but the Larks prevailed 9-8, securing the series win. Jonathan Law recorded the win and Sam Carillo got a save. Both are sophomores from El Paso, Texas.

Game 4

Freshman outfielder Jayden Banks (Lawton, Okla.) connected on a clutch home run, the first of his collegiate career, to put the Larks up 8-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hesston tacked on a final run to win 9-3 and complete the four-game sweep of the Swedes JV. It was a solid series for the Larks. Hesston College is back to .500 (5-5) before going back on the road.

“It was great to see contributions from a ton of guys this weekend,” Head Coach Kyle Howell commented. “Our offensive coaches (Spitz, Dawson, Seltzer) really did a great job with our kids this week. Hopefully this momentum will carry forward into a great week in Oklahoma.”

Up Next: Wednesday, February 15, the Larks travel south to take on Northern Oklahoma College-Enid in a two-game set. First pitch from David Allen Memorial Ballpark will be at 1 p.m. Game two against the Jets will start at 3:30 p.m.

Baseball drops two in Wichita

Hesston College baseball dropped both games to the Independence (Kan.) Community College Pirates 13-5 and 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon at McCarthy Field in Wichita. The doubleheader, originally scheduled to be played in Independence, was moved to Newman University.

In game one, the Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, and added two more in the third to take a 4-0 lead. Hesston College got on the board with a run in the bottom of the fourth, and three runs in the fifth inning to pull within 6-4. Independence responded with a quick four runs to go up 10-4. The Larks loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning but were only able to plate one runner and trailed 10-5 heading into the seventh. The Pirates scored a few insurance runs in the seventh inning to defeat the Larks 13-5.

A pitchers duel, game two went to Independence 3-1. Hesston dropped to 1-5 on the early season and will look to get back in the win column this weekend. Baseball will return to Hesston for a home opening weekend four-game series Friday and Saturday vs. Bethany College JV. First pitch vs. the Swedes from Oswald Field will be 3 p.m. Friday. Saturday games start at noon.

Larks baseball opens season in Texas

The Hesston College baseball team opened up their 2017 campaign in Dallas, Texas, going 1-3 against the Richland Community College Thunderducks last weekend.

The Larks started well in game one Friday afternoon, as the offense exploded with 16 runs defeating Richland CC 16-14 in extra innings. Freshman infielder Jacques Palmer (Arlington, Texas) went 4-6 at the plate and freshman pitcher Dylan Schoknecht (Woodstock, Ga.) recorded the first win of the season for Hesston College. In the second game, the Thunderducks wore down the Larks winning 7-2 to split the Friday series 1-1. Richland got the best of the Larks Saturday taking both games, 7-3 and 8-3, as the Thunderducks grabbed early inning leads in both games. Andrew Aldana (El Paso, Texas) was mentioned by coach Howell as one of the top performers. “He played really well.” Aldana is expected to start for the Larks behind the plate this season.

“Offensively I thought we were good, and gave ourselves a chance to win,” Howell commented. One area the coaching staff will focus on in the coming weeks is overall command from the pitchers. “We struggled to throw strikes all weekend. We have to pitch better. No excuses.”

Richland, a school the Larks saw four times last year (going an identical 1-3), looks to be a strong team in 2017. “Richland is an improved team from 2016 and I think we are too but we’ve got to be a more complete team going forward.”

Up next – Hesston College baseball will hit the road to Wichita for a neutral site double header on Tuesday, February 7, with the Independence (Kan.) Community College Pirates. First pitch from McCarthy Field at Newman University will be at 1 p.m.