Around the horn with local college ballplayers
There are many locals playing college baseball and softball from the NCAA Division I to NAIA and junior college levels.
Here’s a roundup of how locals performed this past spring.
At the NCAA Division I level, Columbia’s Shane Wilhelm made three appearances with the University of Missouri, pitching one and two-thirds innings.
Fellow Columbia High School graduate Cameron Touchette was a graduate student for Kent State. The lefthanded-swinging outfielder hit .363 with a .436 on base percentage, 36 runs, 30 RBIs, 69 hits and seven stolen bases in 52 games.
Kelly Metter of Columbia hit .265 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 39 games for the Missouri State softball squad.
Chelsy Pena, also of Columbia, had three hits in 28 games with two RBIs at Southeast Missouri State University.
Keeler van Breusegen, yet another former Eagle, hit .220 with 18 hits and four RBIs in 36 games at Bradley University.
At the NCAA Division II level, Dupo High School graduate Austin Francis was a senior catcher for McKendree University. He hit two home runs and scored 12 runs in 22 games.
McKendree teammate Mark Branz, a Gibault grad, made five pitching appearances (one start), striking out eight in five innings with a 3.60 ERA.
Columbia’s Brennen van Breusegen played outfield for the University of Central Missouri. He hit .333 with six RBIs and six runs in 17 games.
Hamilton Anderson of Columbia, a Vianney High School grad, is a catcher at Drury University. He hit .333 with a home run and five RBIs in 11 games.
At Lindenwood University, Red Bud’s Kyle Hentis went 4-3 with 48 strikeouts and a 3.61 ERA in 12 appearances totalling 47-plus innings.
Valmeyer’s Cole Juelfs was also on the Lindenwood roster but did not see action.
At Maryville University, Valmeyer southpaw Philip Reinhardt was redshirted and expects to pitch next season.
At Quincy University, Gibault grad Tim Reinholz was likewise listed as a redshirt freshman.
The Quincy softball team features Waterloo’s Taylor Downen and Valmeyer’s Chelsea Hooker. Downen, a catcher, hit .350 with 41 hits, three home runs, 15 RBIs and 19 runs in 38 games. Hooker, an outfielder/catcher, hit .211 with a home run, nine RBIs and 12 runs in 36 games.
Columbia’s Lexi Touchette hit .241 with five doubles in 23 games at Maryville.
Her former Eagles teammate, Calli Wibbenmeyer, hit .253 with two home runs and 18 runs in 26 games at Rockhurst University.
At the NCAA Division III level, Columbia’s Mitch Daniels was a solid offensive contributor for the Webster University baseball team.
Gibault’s Trevor Davis, a senior pitcher, went 1-1 in nine appearances (three starts) with a 2.79 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 29 innings at Monmouth College.
New Athens grad George Schneider, a freshman outfielder, hit .235 with 18 RBIs and 12 runs in 33 games at Greenville University.
Waterloo twins Ty and Trey Kueper enjoyed solid sophomore seasons on the Fontbonne University baseball team. Ty, an infielder, hit .286 with three home runs, 30 RBIs and 25 runs in 36 games. Trey, a catcher, hit .270 with 18 runs in 22 games.
Former Dupo softball standout MyKenzie Kloess hit .270 with 11 runs and seven RBIs in 22 games at Monmouth College.
Gibault’s Sidney Wightman was a key member of the Eureka College softball squad. She hit .242 with four RBIs in 22 games and also made 18 pitching appearances (seven starts), recording three saves and four complete games in 60-plus innings.
At the NAIA level, Valmeyer’s Easton Wallace enjoyed success at William Woods University. He hit .312 with a .406 on base percentage and smacked five home runs to go along with 28 RBIs and 24 runs in 40 games.
Waterloo’s Miranda Brown, a senior catcher/infielder, collected two hits and had an RBI in six games at Missouri Baptist University.
The junior college ranks featured several locals this past spring.
At Southwestern Illinois College, freshman catcher Riley McCarthy of Valmeyer played in 17 games, collecting three hits and driving in two runs.
Joe Range of New Athens, a freshman pitcher, threw seven-plus innings at SWIC, striking out three in five appearances.
At Southeastern Illinois College, Waterloo’s Nathan Albrecht hit .258 with 25 RBIs and 30 runs in 57 games. He also made six pitching appearances (five starts), amassing 17 strikeouts in 23-plus innings.
His teammate was Cole Steibel of Prairie du Rocher, who hit .285 with three home runs, 32 RBIs and 19 runs in 53 games and made nine pitching appearances (all starts), going 2-1 with 52 strikeouts in 44 innings.
The John A. Logan softball squad features Columbia’s Aryn Henke, who had an amazing freshman season. She received Second Team All-Region 24 honors after hitting .435 with 12 home runs, 61 RBIs, 63 runs and 21 stolen bases and played in the NJCAA National Tournament in Yuma, Az.
The SWIC softball squad featured Waterloo’s Taylor Kaufmann, Heather Albers and Madison Limestall as well as Columbia’s Jordan Cygan. Kaufmann hit .298 with five home runs, 25 RBIs and 18 runs in 41 games. Albers hit .275 with 11 RBIs and 10 runs in 32 games. Cygan had 12 hits, nine RBIs and nine runs in 41 games. Limestall made 10 pitching appearances (four starts), striking out 12 in 23-plus innings.