As two-time defending Horizon League champions, the Valparaiso baseball program isn’t resting on its laurels, as many Crusaders are preparing for next season by spending their summer sharpening their skills in collegiate wood-bat leagues from coast to coast.
Rising seniors Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) and Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru) are competing for the Lakeshore Chinooks in the prestigious Northwoods League. The Chinooks are currently in first place in the south division with a 14-7 record.
Junior Spencer Mahoney (LaGrange Park, Ill./Lyons Township) has traveled to the Pacific Northwest, as he is playing for the Matsu Miners in the Alaska Baseball League.
Senior Cole Webb (Tulsa, Okla./ Union), junior Mark Johnson (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) and junior Kyle Schneider (Mishawaka, Ind./Penn) have teamed together to play in the Far West League for the San Francisco Seals. The team travels throughout northern California, Oregon, and Alaska.
Junior Ben Mahar (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) and sophomore Trevor Haas (Mt. Prospect, Ill./Hersey) are both pitching for the Terre Haute Rex in the Prospect League.
Redshirt sophomore Grant Yoder (Fort Wayne, Ind./Snider) and junior Zack Walsh (Batesville, Ind./Batesville) are leading the Dayton Docs in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. The Docs are currently in second place with a 7-3 record.
Senior Andrew Bynum (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View) has returned to the Kansas Jayhawk League for his second season with the Dodge City A’s.
Sophomore Dalton Lundeen (Streamwood, Ill./Streamwood) has continued his pitching success with the Crystal Lake Cardinals of the Chicago Suburban Baseball League.
Redshirt freshman Ellis Foreman (Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point) has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and is now starting for the Austin Shockers in the Centex Collegiate Baseball League located in the heart of Texas.
Two Crusaders are playing locally in the Midwest Collegiate League. Rising senior Andy Burns (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville) is leading off and playing shortstop for the Lexington Snipes and redshirt freshman Scott Jerge (Munster, Ind./Munster) is pitching with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen.
Incoming junior college transfer Joppi Martin (Irvine, Calif./University) is playing for the Cal Knights in the Orange County Collegiate League located in southern California.
A trio of returning sophomores - Jake Hanson (Yorkville, Ill./Aurora Christian), Drew Hasler (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) and Jeff Edwards (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson) - have joined together to play in the Northeast for the Newark Pilots of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
Rising senior Sean Kennedy (Gurnee, Ill./Warren Township) and redshirt sophomore Michael Morman (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) will both look to return this fall after recovering from injuries this past season.
All of the Crusaders will look to continue their success on the diamond throughout the rest of the summer before heading into the 2014 season at Valpo.