Southpaw Belicek Bolsters Rotation

WASHINGTON, Pa.-The Washington Wild Things ink a deal with LHP Trevor Belicek, college teammate of FL All-Star Trevor Foss.  After splitting time with the Atlanta Braves and the Baltimore Orioles, the southpaw looks to reunite with Foss to create a dynamic duo within the pitching staff.

Belicek had an illustrious career with the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders from 2012-2015, posting 23 wins for the program. During his senior campaign he punched out 111 batters in 87 innings and dominating the Southland Conference with a 2.87 ERA. Trevor was selected in the 16th round of the 2015 June Draft by Atlanta and made an additional 9 starts with the Braves. Over his two year career pitching professionally, Belicek fanned 125 hitters over 145 innings and collecting 12 wins. His quality performance with the Braves raised his reputation as a sleeper prospect and Belicek was included in a May 23rd trade of LHP Brian Matusz from Baltimore to Atlanta.

“Trevor headlined the starting pitching market for us this off-season. Experienced LH starters are rare and we are excited about his addition. The relationship between Foss and Belicek played a big role in the acquisition and I know they are embracing the challenge of being a 1-2 punch here in Washington. We anticipate Trevor to be an impactful arm in our rotation.”, General Manager Steven Zavacky reported.

Buy all your tickets this season at www.washingtonwildthings.com or 724-250-9555! #Celebrate15 with the area’s dedicated Minor League team.

Deblieux Returns As Traverse City Veteran

Traverse City, MI — The Traverse City Beach Bums are excited to announce the return of speedy outfielder Jeff DeBlieux,

DeBlieux will take the place on the roster as the team’s veteran player which was occupied by Jose Vargas the last two years.

“We look forward to Jeff as our leader on and off the field,” said Manager Dan Rohn, “Along with his aggressiveness on the bases and his solid defense in the outfield, Jeff will be a catalyst for the team.”

The Beach Bums kick off the season on May 6th, with the 12th Annual FANfest, allowing fans their first look at the 2017 Beach Bums team.  Gates open at 11am, team BP starts at noon and a Blue/Gold inter-team scrimmage starts at 1 pm.  Players will be available for a meet and greet after the scrimmage.  Single game tickets go on sale as part of the FANfest with a park only special of buy 10 chairback tickets – get 5 free.

Opening night 2017 is Friday, May 19th when the Beach Bums take on their division rivals the Lake Erie Crushers.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm and Tom Willms will have the call starting at 6:45pm with the Budweiser pre-game show on 101.9-FM The Bay and online at tcbeachbums.com.

The Beach Bums business offices are currently open 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.

Rascals Retain Young Pitching Talent

O’FALLON, Mo.- Though the year has changed, the Rascals pitching staff is comparable to 2016 and looks to pick up right where they left off towards the end of last season’s campaign. As a staff, the hurlers lowered their ERA every month and return three members of the starting rotation and five bullpen arms from the final roster that advanced to the Frontier League Championship Series. This week’s positional preview will focus on the potential starters and how many options former pitcher and current manager Steve Brook has.

The Rascals 2016 FLCS top pitcher in Tim Koons returns for his fourth year in O’Fallon and is currently 3rd all-time in games started for the club with 50. Since making his professional debut out of Oakland University on June 21st, 2014, Koons has held a 21-11 record with a 4.24 ERA. The right-hander set the Frontier League record in win percentage by going 11-0 in 2015 and had his best game on the 4th of July against the Florence Freedom in Kentucky tossing a one-run, nine strikeout complete game. One year later in a bigger spot, such as game two of the Frontier League Championship Series, Koons pitched the best game of his career taking a perfect game into the seventh inning and a no-hitter into the eighth inning. All of this coming with no room to breathe in a 1-0 game, the Rascal finished the game with his first career complete-game shutout and struck out a career high ten.

Along with Koons, southpaws Austin Warner and Dan Ludwig return for their second year with the Rascals. Warner was signed on June 29th and became one of the most electric rookie pitchers in the league. After being used as a long reliever in July, Warner was officially placed in the starting rotation on August 6th and showcased his skills by winning four consecutive games allowing just six earned runs in 23 2/3 innings. The rookie from Bellarmine University also made himself known in the Frontier League by recording a pair of eleven strikeout games on August 19th against Windy City and in game one of the divisional round against the Southern Illinois Miners. Overall, Warner finished the year 5-2 with a 4.00 ERA in eight starts and 13 appearances.

Warner wasn’t the only hurler to join the Rascals starting rotation towards the beginning of August as Brook traded first baseman Willi Martin to the Southern Illinois Miners in exchange for southpaw Dan Ludwig. The Naperville, Ill. native made his Rascals debut on August 10th and threw 5.1 innings of scoreless baseball to record his first Rascals win, eighth overall, against the Florence Freedom. He went on to start four more games during the regular season for his new club and his final three is a stretch he wants to remember as he went 2-0 allowing just four earned runs in 23 1/3 innings including a complete game against Gateway on August 24th.

Aside from Koons, Warner and Ludwig, three other members on the roster made at least one start. Left-hander Lucas Laster started a pair of games before moving to the bullpen and eventually leaving the team due to an injury in June. In 2015, Laster was named to Baseball America’s Top Independent League Prospects list and is in the hunt to get back to his successful ways.

Josh Wright made ten starts, scattered throughout the year and finished with a record of 3-2 with a 5.36 ERA. The right-hander also made five appearances out of the bullpen and was known for his sharp 12-6 curveball. Despite only making one start, Reese Gregory is the only other current arm who has started a game in a Rascals uniform.

Moving on to the eight new arms that Brook has brought in, four of them have starting experience. Southpaw Hector Hernandez is the most experienced out of them all having made 141 appearances, 91 starts in affiliated ball and reached as high as Triple-A with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. The experienced arm first broke into professional baseball in 2009 when he was drafted in the 10th round out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy at the age of 18. In 576.1 innings, Hernandez has a record of 32-30 with a solid ERA of a 3.89. However, Hernandez has only started nine of his 38 games over the past two years after starting 78 of 93 to begin his career so it is up in the air to see how he will be used.

The other three arms are former Chicago Cub minor leaguer Jordan Brink, Pacific Association hurler Chris Cummins and Middle Tennessee State standout Nate Hoffman. Brink was an 11thround draft pick by the Cubs in 2014 out of Fresno State University and made 19 appearances, five starts with a record of 3-2 and a 3.94 ERA. All five of his starts came with the Arizona League Cubs and when he was with the Eugene Emeralds (Class-A Short Season, Brink was only used out of the pen.

Southpaw Chris Cummins has started 29 games in his four year professional career spanning over four different leagues. He has made appearances in the American Association in 2012 and 2015, Florence Freedom of the Frontier League in 2014, Pecos League in 2015 and last year made 16 starts with the Pittsburg Diamonds of the Pacific Association and went 7-7 with a 3.35 ERA.

Nate Hoffman is the lone arm on the staff that hasn’t appeared in a professional game and he looks to follow in the footsteps of Warner and Koons in the fact that their first professional action came with River City out of college. After transferring to Middle Tennessee State from Madison College in 2015, Hoffman earned a spot on the Second Team All-Conference-USA by compiling a 4-1 record with a 3.61 ERA. As a senior, Hoffman garnered one more award, C-USA pitcher of the week on April 1st, but nine starts into his season he went down with an injury and wasn’t able to continue as the teams ace.

The Rascals season begins on May 12th as they host the Normal CornBelters at 6:35 p.m. Tickets start at just $5 and to get an entire view of the schedule and to purchase tickets visit http://rivercityrascals.com/tickets/individual/.

2017 Grizzlies Easter Egg Hunt

SAUGET, Ill.- The Gateway Grizzlies 15th annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place on Saturday, April 15 at GCS Credit Union Ballpark. Along with the event, this will also mark the first time fans can purchase single game tickets for the 2017 Grizzlies season! Expect the Easter Bunny, Izzy the Grizzlie, Lizzy the Polar Bear and more! Best part – IT’S FREE!

ALL season ticket holders (mini-plan, half-season and full-season) are encouraged to pick up their season tickets at this time as well. If season ticket holders don’t pick up their season tickets at this time, the Grizzlies will personally deliver them to their homes at a later date, prior to opening day.

This will also be the first chance in 2017 for fans to get inside the Grizzlies team store and dig into some delicious ballpark food as the concession stand will be open for the event.

The Grizzlies invite ALL families in the local area to this great event.  Over 3,000 fans have attended this event in year’s past. The event is FREE and includes numerous great activities for kids and families.

The Hunt consists of over 10,000 eggs – all with a little surprise inside! More information about the other activities at the Easter Egg Hunt will be released at a later date closer to the event.

Admission to the event is free. Registration will begin at 9:00 A.M, with the egg hunt kicking off around 9:30 A.M. The egg hunt will be separated by age groups, with the complete list below.


Groups (in the order they will hunt):

1-2 year olds (1 parent per child)

3-4 year olds (1 parent per child)

5-6 year olds

7-8 year olds

9-10 year olds

11-12 year olds

Season Ticket Holders

Freedom Introduce 2017 Coaching Staff

FLORENCE, Ky. — The Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, and manager Dennis Pelfrey have finalized the team’s coaching staff for the 2017 season.

Two new coaches will join the club this summer, bringing a wealth of added expertise to Pelfrey’s staff.

Hayden Kelley joins the Freedom as the new bullpen coach and catcher. The Tampa, Fla. resident played one season at Miami-Dade Community College before a three-year run at Division I University of South Florida, where he graduated last spring.

“Hayden comes to us as a converted outfielder to catcher,” Pelfrey said. “This will be a unique addition to our club. As we love to have (both) a bullpen coach and catcher, Hayden will assume both of those roles while continuing to train and become a catcher. He has taken advantage of an opportunity. I don’t know of any other opportunities like this one, and he’ll work with one of the best bullpens in our league and our pitching coach, who was a fantastic catcher.”

He continued, “I believe Hayden will make huge strides in his career by dedicating this season towards his craft, while being an asset for the Freedom in 2017.”

The second new member of the coaching staff is hitting coach Zac Mitchell, who played under Pelfrey for the Freedom in 2015. In addition to his role as hitting coach, Mitchell, who hails from Memphis, Tenn., will be the team’s defensive coach.

“Zac is beginning his coaching career with us, and we are excited to have him,” said Pelfrey. “He was one of my favorite players to coach in professional baseball and as a player he brought much more than his baseball knowledge to the clubs he played on. He was a great teammate and did everything he could to help the team win.”

Pelfrey added, “Along with (Mitchell’s) knowledge of the game, the ability to coach all aspects of defense, tremendous work ethic, I believe sharing his knowledge of the approach as a hitter will be his most impactful as a coach.”

Brian White, who joined the coaching staff midway through the 2015 season, returns to the Freedom as pitching coach, and will also serve as the club’s strength and conditioning coach this season.

The Freedom home opener of the regular season is on Wednesday, May 17. Group tickets and season ticket plans are currently on sale for the 2017 campaign. Fans can guarantee seating for premium promotional dates by calling the Freedom at 859-594-4487.

Jacob’s Village Game Set For May 5 Against Florence

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters and Jacob’s Village are partnering up for the 12th time by hosting an exhibition game on May 5 at 6:35 p.m. to benefit Jacob’s Village.

As a part of the benefit, the Otters will host a “Diamond Dash” sponsored by Tracy Zeller Jewelry in honor of Mother’s Day. The dash will give every woman over the age of 18 a chance to go onto the field following the seventh inning to dash for a $1,000 Tracy Zeller Jewelry shopping spree.

The game will also include free popcorn (while supplies last), door prizes, clowns and more.

Tickets for this year’s game may be purchased at all G.D. Ritzy’s locations, Bosse Field and Jacob’s Village beginning Friday.

The mission of Jacob’s Village is to develop a safe, walk-able neighborhood community where people with disabilities and older adults can find meaningful relationships, housing that is affordable and accessible, and activities that encourage active minds and bodies.

For more information, visit their website at www.jacobsvillage.org.

Evansville will open the regular season in Marion, Ill. May 12 against the Southern Illinois Miners at 7:05 p.m. and will celebrate Bosse Field’s Opening Night May 19 against the Gateway Grizzlies at 6:35 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Group packages and season tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686. Single game tickets are on sale now–including Opening Night 2017 and Championship Weekend games. Visit evansvilleotters.com to purchase tickets.

If you’re interested in being a member of our championship team, please call or text 812-760-8610 for part-time employment opportunities.

Crushers Sign 3

April 12- With Spring Training now less than 2 weeks away, the Lake Erie Crushers have added 3 powerhouses to their 2017 roster. The Crushers have signed Outfielder- Brandon Murray, Pitcher-Adam Quintana and Catcher-Tanner Lubach to contracts for the 2017 season.

Murray was born in the Bahamas and played college baseball at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.  He hit .306 his junior season with 9 home runs and a team high 54 RBI.

Tanner Lubach played college ball at Nebraska. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 9th round of the 2015 draft, subsequently, spending 2 years in the Angels system, before signing with the Crushers this week.

Adam Quintana pitched for the High Desert Mavericks, in the affiliated California League, during the 2016 season.  The former Texas Ranger farm-hand went 8-4 last season with a 4.34 Earned Run Average.

The Crushers currently have 33 players scheduled to report to spring training April 26th at Sprenger Health Care Stadium. The final roster for opening day, which is Friday May 12th against the Joliet Slammers, will be scaled down to 24 men.  Tickets to all Crushers games are on sale now and can be purchased at the Sprenger Stadium Box Office, by calling the Crushers at 440-934-3636, or on-line at www.lakeeriecrushers.com.

Sweeney Inks Contract With Otters

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters have signed outfielder Chris Sweeney to a contract for the 2017 season.

Sweeney, a Mountain Top, Pa. native, joined the Otters in 2014 after playing in the Kansas City Royals’ organization during the 2013 season.

“Chris is one of the great defensive center fielders in the league,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “His catch in the championship series running into the fence was evidence of that.

“He is also a formidable bat in the middle of the lineup and he has the ability to leave the yard.”

In three seasons with Evansville, Sweeney ranks first all-time in home runs with 48 and third in RBIs with 142.

“He is a leader by example and he works extremely hard to improve his game,” McCauley said. “We look forward to having Chris back to help make a run at another championship.”

Last season, Sweeney hit .224 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs. He has a .253 batting average in 241 games with Evansville.

The Otters have also signed right-handed pitcher Taylore Cherry along with catchers Sam Roberson and Mitchell Ho.

Cherry played for the University of North Carolina before being drafted in the 32nd round of the MLB Amateur Draft by the Chicago White Sox organization in 2015.

In two seasons playing affiliated baseball, Cherry was 2-7 with a 2.79 ERA.

Roberson is a product of Southeastern Louisiana University, where he earned third team All-Southland Conference honors as a senior in 2016. He batted .288 with 12 doubles. He was also selected to the NCAA All-Regional team as a junior.

Ho played at Western Michigan University and made the MAC second team as a designated hitter.

Evansville will open the regular season in Marion, Ill. May 12 against the Southern Illinois Miners at 7:05 p.m. and will celebrate Bosse Field’s Opening Night May 19 against the Gateway Grizzlies at 6:35 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Group packages and season tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.
Single game tickets are on sale now–including Opening Night 2017 and Championship Weekend games. Visit evansvilleotters.com to purchase tickets.
If you’re interested in being a member of our championship team, please call or text 812-760-8610 for part-time employment opportunities.

Schwarber Bobblehead Coming to Florence Freedom

On Saturday, June 17 Middletown Middie alum, turned World Series hero Kyle Schwarber, will be iconized with his own bobblehead donned in the uniform of his high school baseball team.

The Florence Freedom, Greater Cincinnati’s minor league team, will take on the Joliet Slammers at UC Health Stadium at 6:05pm. Fans can reserve a one of a kind Kyle Schwarber Middletown Middies bobblehead online at FlorenceFreedom.com in advance of game day.

The Freedom are hosting this night in partnership with Middletown High School. A portion of each package will go back to support the new baseball/softball complex for the Middies.

Schwarber bobbleheads will be limited and are currently available only to fans that purchase the special ticket/bobble package through FlorenceFreedom.com. The bobbleheads are sponsored by ESPN 1530 and JTM Food Group.

In addition to the Kyle Schwarber bobblehead, fans will be treated to an appearance by the Zooperstars! between innings on the night of the event.

Gates for the Saturday, June 17 game will open at 5:05pm, with the Freedom hosting Joliet, a Chicago suburb club, at 6:05pm. The bobbleheads will be available for pick up on the concourse to those fans who purchased them in advance.

The Freedom are presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions and are members of the professional Independent Frontier League, playing all home games at UC Health Stadium located at 7950 Freedom Way, Florence, KY 40142. The Freedom can be contacted via phone at 859-594-4487 or online at FlorenceFreedom.com.

Former Chicago Cubs Prospect Headlines Slammers 2017 Roster

Joliet, IL —The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy are excited to announce the Slammers 2017 roster is starting to take shape. The addition of Joseph Ortiz, a former Chicago Cubs prospect, may help the Slammers build on their 2016 campaign where they were named East Division Champions.

Ortiz, a native of Caracas, Venezuela is entering his first season with the Joliet Slammers. He spent his 2016 season pitching for Tiburones de La Guaira of the Venezuelan Winter League. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Texas Rangers at the age of 16. Ortiz pitched in 32 Major League Baseball games for the Rangers in 2013. He also pitched for the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs, in 2015.

“Joe is coming off an injury and wants to show Major League teams he’s healthy,” said Manager Jeff Isom.  “We are looking at him to anchor our pitching staff.  He could be a starter or a receiver for us- that is still up in the air.  But to get a pitcher with experience that Joe has, it’s exciting for our club.  He is one of four players to play in the major leagues and come to the Frontier League.”

The Slammers also have some local products making their Frontier League debuts this season. Zach Jones, a Northwestern graduate from Glenview, will be playing outfield and first base for Manager Jeff Isom.

Maxwell Biedrzycki, a graduate from the University of Illinois in Springfield and native of nearby Plainfield, will be adding some depth to the Slammers pitching staff.

Justin Kovalsky, a graduate of Judson University and native of Bolingbrook, will be helping Isom’s infield depth as he can play both catcher and third base.

Returning from last year’s East Division championship team is Marc Flores. Flores joined the Slammers in the second half of the 2015 season. In 2016, he played in 95 games and had 12 home runs and 62 RBIs. He was selected in the 30th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox.

The 2017 Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft will be held April 24-25 at GCS Ballpark, home of the Gateway Grizzlies. All 12 teams will be present, along with scouts from multiple MLB franchises.

The Slammers open the 2017 season on the road on Friday, May 12 against the Lake Erie Crushers. They return home on Tuesday, May 16 against the Traverse City Beach Bums for the home opener. Individual tickets go on sale Monday, April 17. Groups and season ticket plans are on sale now. For more information call the Slammers Box Office at (815) 722-2287.

About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy play at the Slammers Stadium downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League.  The Frontier League is a 12-team league entering its 25th season of play in 2017.  Visit the Slammers online at www.jolietslammers.com or call the ticket office at 815-722-2287 for more information! Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jolietslammers or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers!

Otters Kick Off Season With Fan Fest

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters kicked off the 2017 season Saturday at Bosse Field with a Fan Fest sponsored by Action Equipment that included instruction from pitching coach Max Peterson and hitting coach Bobby Segal.

“Excited that the season is coming around,” Peterson said. “It gets the community involved.”

Local signees Conner Porter (Castle) and Wade McNabb (Memorial) also provided instruction and they took time to meet fans throughout the event.

“A lot of kids showed up so it’s good for the community,” Porter said. “It’s a really great opportunity.”

Fans also took self-guided tours of Bosse Field and posed with the Frontier Cup.

The event coincided with the first day of single game ticket sales.

Evansville will open the regular season in Marion, Ill. May 12 against the Southern Illinois Miners at 7:05 p.m. and will celebrate Bosse Field’s Opening Night May 19 against the Gateway Grizzlies at 6:35 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Group packages and season tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.

Stop by the Heritage Federal Credit Union Home Show presented by the Evansville Courier & Press at Old National Bank Events Plaza Saturday and Sunday to take advantage of special Championship Weekend specials.

If you’re interested in being a member of our championship team, please call or text 812-760-8610 for part-time employment opportunities.

Wells Steps Down, Barrett Promoted

GCS Credit Union Ballpark (Sauget, IL)– Randy Wells has stepped down as head pitching coach of the Gateway Grizzlies. Wells made the decision after realizing the time commitment would affect the time he spends with his family.

“I knew going in what the requirements were but feel that it’s unfair to the organization and my family to not do the job to the fullest,” Wells said. “I knew that with Richard Barrett on staff, capable of stepping in to do the job, it was a good move for me and it was the right decision for me to step down. This decision allows me to spend time with family and my son this summer. With the age that my son is at, I want to be around as much as I can after being away for winter and spring baseball.”

Grizzlies’ General Manager Steve Gomric respects Wells’ realization.

“As the General Manager and a father of two, I understand where Randy is coming from,” Gomric said. “The time commitment for me in the summer is substantial. If I had to travel with the team, I couldn’t imagine how I would raise a family.”

Grizzlies’ manager Phil Warren also explained his understanding of Wells’ situation and expressed his excitement in still keeping Randy involved with the organization.

“I support Randy’s decision. The travel involved with coaching at the professional level is demanding,” Warren said. “I’m excited that Randy will still be involved with us. He will be coaching our catchers on a volunteer basis at home games.  He will also fill in as a volunteer bench coach during home games. Our players will most certainly benefit from his coaching.”

The Grizzlies have promoted Richard Barrett to head pitching coach for the 2017 season. Barrett was recently hired as the assistant pitching coach after serving as a volunteer instructor for the Grizzlies in 2016.

The former closer spent six years in independent baseball and holds two franchise records for the Grizzlies, including most games pitched and most saves.

“Richard will excel in this role.  I look forward to his contributions, on and off the field,” said Warren. “I expect Richard will establish himself as a professional coach, as well as influence our culture at the Gateway Grizzlies.”

Barrett is looking forward to his first season as head pitching coach.

“I’m very excited about taking over the head job. I have to thank the Grizzlies and Phil for giving me this opportunity. I know it’s going to have its ups and downs, but I’m more than ready to handle it,” Barret said. “Working with Randy Martz and Phil last year really helped me see the ins and outs of managing a team. With that being said, there’s more to learn and experience every day, but most of all, I’m ready to take the reins and lead these guys in the right direction.”

Grizzlies’ Opening Day is May 12th at GCS Credit Union Ballpark against the Florence Freedom. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm. Season and group tickets are now on sale! For more information, call the Grizzlies’ box office at 618-337-3000.

ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find – affordable, family, fun in a comfortable ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.

ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is celebrating its 25th year as a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 12 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year. 

Frontier League Championship MVP Returns

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters have signed Frontier League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Hunter Ackerman to a contract extension.

Ackerman shined for the Otters in the winner-take-all FLCS Game 5 last September, pitching 7 2/3 innings while allowing just one hit and striking out five batters.

“His dominant performance in game five of championship series is one of the best playoff games I’ve ever seen,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “Excited to have Hunter back for this season.

“He really showed he’s capable of being a top starter in the league.”

In three postseason starts for the Otters last season, Ackerman went 2-1 with 16 strikeouts and a 1.61 ERA.

During the 2016 regular season, Ackerman was 7-6 with a 3.76 ERA.

“Hunter is a reliable starter that will log innings for us,” McCauley said. “He gives us a chance to win every time out.”

Ackerman was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft by the Chicago Cubs. He spent three years in the Cubs’ organization before coming to the Frontier League with the Schaumburg Boomers.

”He has a real chance to get himself back into an organization,” McCauley added. “He truly loves baseball and enjoys the competition.”

Evansville will open the regular season in Marion, Ill. May 12 against the Southern Illinois Miners at 7:05 p.m. and will celebrate Bosse Field’s Opening Night May 19 against the Gateway Grizzlies at 6:35 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Group packages and season tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.

Plus, don’t forget that 2017 single game tickets go on sale at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 in conjunction with Fan Fest presented by Action Equipment. Stop by to take advantage of special Championship Weekend specials.

If you’re interested in being a member of our championship team, please call or text 812-760-8610 for part-time employment opportunities.

OTTERS RELEASE GIVEAWAY AND THEME NIGHT SCHEDULE

The Evansville Otters have released the 2017 giveaway and theme night schedule.

Championship Weekend (May 19-21) will kick off the regular season as the Otters will celebrate the 2016 Frontier League title team.

Evansville will host Opening Night at Bosse Field on Friday, May 19 at 6:35 p.m. and afterwards fans are encouraged to stay for a post-game fireworks show. On Saturday, May 20, the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a poster commemorating the franchise’s second championship. Saturday’s game will also have a post-game fireworks show.

The Otters will have 10 more fireworks nights aside from Championship Weekend June 22-24, June 30, July 7, July 21, July 28, Aug. 11 and Aug. 18-19.

On Wednesday, May 31, the first 1,000 fans will receive a poster celebrating the 1940s decade at Bosse Field. Other decade poster giveaway dates include June 7 (1950s), June 14 (1960s), July 26 (1970s), Aug. 9 (1980s), Aug. 23 (1990s) and Aug. 30 (2000s).

Evansville will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie “A League of Their Own” on Saturday, July 8 with a special doubleheader beginning at 5:35 p.m. Early arriving fans will also receive a hat courtesy of Heritage Federal Credit Union.

The Otters will honor former manager Greg Jelks on Sunday, Aug. 20—the 30th anniversary of his MLB debut. Jelks compiled a 236-223 record in five years with the Otters while winning the 2006 Frontier League title. Jelks died earlier this year while traveling back home to Australia.

Fans will be able to collect another souvenir as the first 1,000 fans through the gates at the Saturday, Aug. 12 game will take home a pennant.

The Otters will host the 125th Deaconess Celebration on Saturday, June 24 at 6:35 p.m.

The Indianapolis Colts will visit Bosse Field Friday, July 21. Colts’ cheerleaders and team mascot, Blue, will be on hand as the Otters play the Washington Wild Things.

Additional theme nights include Pet Supplies Plus Bark at the Park (May 21), Deaconess Strike Out Stroke Night (May 31), Riley’s Children Foundation Princess and Superhero Night (June 23) and Harry Potter Night (Aug. 18).

Plus, the Otters will host Fellowship Night on Sunday, July 23 and VA Clinic Military Appreciation Night on Saturday, Aug. 12. Deaconess Heart Night will be Wednesday, July 26.

Before the regular season begins, the Otters will host the annual Jacob’s Village Benefit game on Friday, May 5 at 6:35 p.m. Evansville’s final exhibition game will be Wednesday, May 10 at 10:05 a.m. for Education Day.

The full promotional schedule can be found at evansvilleotters.com/promotions.

Evansville will open the regular season in Marion, Ill. May 12 against the Southern Illinois Miners at 7:05 p.m. and will celebrate Bosse Field’s Opening Night May 19 against the Gateway Grizzlies at 6:35 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Group packages and season tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.

Plus, don’t forget that 2017 single game tickets go on sale at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 in conjunction with Fan Fest presented by Action Equipment. Stop by to take advantage of special Championship Weekend specials.

BOOMERS’ PATRICK O’SULLIVAN HIRED BY SAN DIEGO PADRES

The Schaumburg Boomers, presented by Wintrust Community Banks, are pleased to announce that Patrick O’Sullivan has been named the new Hitting Coach for the Dominican Summer League Padres, the rookie league affiliate of the San Diego Padres based in the Dominican Republic.

O’Sullivan spent the 2016 season as the hitting coach for the Schaumburg Boomers and served five years in the same position with the Southern Illinois Miners and Rockford Aviators. During the 2016 season, O’Sullivan coached Boomers outfielder Paul Kronenfeld to a Frontier League top 10 spot in home runs with 10 and a start in the Frontier League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.

As O’Sullivan prepares for the new transition, he reflects back with great admiration on the coaches and players that he had the opportunity to coach under, including Schaumburg’s Manager, Jamie Bennett, and Pitching Coach, Tony Smith.  “I have a great amount of appreciation and gratitude to the Schaumburg Boomers organization, Jamie Bennett, the Salvi Family, and Pete Laven. I cannot thank everyone enough for their support, leadership, and friendship,” said O’Sullivan. “There is a lot of talent returning to Schaumburg this season, and I am excited to continue following the team and watching as they grow. They are going to do big things this year in the Frontier League.”

“The Boomers, as an organization, are proud to see Pat land a great opportunity with the San Diego Padres organization,” Boomers General Manager Dave Chase said.  “Just as we see players join affiliated teams it is awesome to see coaching staff make the move as well.  We wish the best to Pat.”

Originally drafted in the 34th round of the 1999 MLB Draft, the former New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles farmhand finished his career with an exceptional .317 average over 12 professional seasons. Over six Triple-A seasons he hit .322 with 90 home runs. When he retired as a player at the end of the 2010 season, he was 13th on the active minor league home run list with 200.

The Boomers 2017 season kicks off on Friday, May 12th as the Schaumburg Boomers begin their 2017 journey with three straight days of Fireworks. The Boomers will host the Traverse City Beach Bums at 6:30 p.m. Season Tickets, Group Outings, and Boomer Bundle ticket packages are all available now by calling (847)461-3695.

More Info: The 2013 & 2014 Frontier League Champions and 2013 & 2016 Organization of the Year, the Schaumburg Boomers are an independent professional baseball franchise based in Schaumburg, IL. Named after the Greater Prairie Chicken, which once roamed throughout Schaumburg and the surrounding areas in the 19th century, the Boomers excel in providing fun, affordable family entertainment and the best customer service in the business. For more information, visit www.boomersbaseball.com.