Diamond stars shining at college level

Former Waterloo High School standout Cole Milam is pitching at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville this spring.

A number of former local high school baseball standouts are shining on college diamonds this spring.

Five are competing at the NCAA Division I level.

Kent State senior outfielder Cameron Touchette of Columbia is hitting .333 in three games for the Golden Flashes (6-4).

Another Columbia High School graduate, Mizzou freshman righthander Shane Wilhelm, is 1-0 in three pitching appearances (all in relief) for the Tigers (6-5) with a 4.26 ERA in six-plus innings.

Vanderbilt junior righty Erik Kaiser, a Waterloo High School grad with a mid-90s fastball, is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three relief appearances for the Commodores (10-3). He has nine strikeouts in four innings pitched.

Fellow WHS grad Cole Milam, a senior righty, is 1-0 with a save and a 0.00 ERA in two relief appearances for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (5-5), including nine strikeouts in four-plus innings.

A third WHS graduate playing Division I baseball is Jordan McFarland, who transferred from Arkansas to Missouri State for his senior season. McFarland has a hit in seven games played with the Bears (5-6).

Competing at the NCAA Division II level is Columbia’s Brennen van Breusegen, who is a redshirt freshman at the University of Central Missouri. The outfielder is hitting .257 in 13 games (10 starts) for the Mules (14-3) with four RBIs, five runs and a team-leading nine stolen bases.

Also playing Division II ball are Kyle Hentis of Red Bud and Tyler Brinkmann of Waterloo, who are members of the Lindenwood University baseball squad. Hentis, a senior righty, is 4-0 with a 0.36 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched as a starter for the Lions (12-1). Brinkmann, a sophomore outfielder, has not yet seen action.

Waterloo’s Keegan Baxmeyer, a Freeburg High School grad who starred at Southwestern Illinois College for two years, is a senior outfielder at Missouri S&T. He’s off to a great start, hitting .385 with a home run, seven RBIs, nine runs and four stolen bases in 12 games (all starts) for the Miners (5-7).

Four locals are playing Division II baseball at McKendree University. Austin Francis of Dupo, a junior catcher, is hitting .250 with a home run, three doubles and four RBIs in eight games for the Bearcats (2-6). Gibault graduate Mark Branz, a freshman pitcher/infielder, has a 0.00 ERA with three strikeouts in one-plus innings pitched. Fellow Gibault grad Preston Oberkfell is also on the roster but has not seen action. CHS grad Andrew Hoguet, a senior lefty, has pitched three innings.

Lastly, CHS grad Noah Riley, a freshman pitcher, and Vianney grad Hamilton Anderson, a freshman catcher from Columbia, are members of the Drury University baseball team. Riley has not yet seen the field for the Panthers (10-5). Anderson has gone 0-for-2 at the plate in three games (one start).

There are four locals playing NCAA Division III baseball this spring. 

WHS grads Trey and Ty Kueper are playing at Fontbonne University. Ty, a freshman catcher, is hitting .286 in three games for the Griffins (5-5). His twin brother, a freshman infielder, has a run scored in two games played.

CHS grad Mitch Daniels is a redshirt freshman at Webster University. He is 0-for-3 at the plate in two games for the Gorloks (3-2-1).

Gibault grad Trevor Davis, who played baseball, basketball and soccer at SWIC before transferring to Monmouth College for hoops and baseball, will begin his junior season with the Fighting Scots baseball squad this weekend in Florida. 

At the NAIA level, former Valmeyer High School great Easton Wallace is playing at William Woods University after two seasons at Kaskaskia College. Wallace, an infielder, leads the team with a .404 average in 13 games (all starts). He has a home run and 11 RBIs for the Owls (7-8).

Two locals are playing ball at SWIC this spring. VHS grad Cole Juelfs, a shortstop/pitcher is hitting .280 with three RBIs in six games played. Red Bud’s Lucas Tobin is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in five innings pitched for the Blue Storm (3-3).

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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