June 14, 2017

Former Pioneer Ryan Selected in MLB Draft

CHICAGO, Ill. --- The Prairie State College Athletic Department was pleased to recently learn that former Pioneer Connor Ryan (Lockport H.S.) was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth round (227th pick overall) of the Major League Baseball Draft out of the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).

Ryan, a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher, played for the Pioneers during the 2014 season.  He was both an All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and NJCAA Region IV selection. 

Ryan is just the second Prairie State second PSC baseball player in program history to be selected in the MLB Draft, joining Kevin Reiher (Atlanta Braves, 2014).


June 12, 2017

Thomas to Continue Career at Alcorn State

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. --- Playing baseball in an NCAA Division I program has been the dream of Prairie State College sophomore Brandon Thomas (Bishop McNamara H.S.) since he was a ten-year-old little leaguer.

Thomas’ dream became a reality Tuesday when he signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his collegiate career with Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi.

“Signing this Letter of Intent is a big accomplishment for me,” Thomas said.  “Looking back from the time that I was ten years old I had wanted this.  I’m just glad that all my hard work has paid off.

“Now it’s time to just keep pushing forward to see how good I can become.”

PSC head coach Mark Hernandez, was thrilled, to say the least, about Thomas’ big day.

“Brandon entered our Prairie State College baseball program as an accurate-throwing outfielder with a documented throwing velocity of 78 MPH (miles per hour),” PSC head coach Mark Hernandez said. “After struggling to be an everyday player at the collegiate level, Brandon accepted a challenge to convert into a pitcher.  His transition displayed weekly progressive arm strength development during our structured, outdoor throwing velocity program.

“At the conclusion of our fall long-toss program, Brandon attended a showcase and his throwing velocity was again documented, but this time at 90 MPH.  As a result, Brandon put himself on the recruiting list of numerous four-year programs.  Brandon’s competitive mindset drives his athletic development and our PSC Baseball family anticipates great student-athlete success for him at Alcorn State University.”

Alcorn State is an NCAA Division I institution and the baseball program is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).


May 17, 2017

Bruns Signs with William Penn University

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. --- One of the primary missions of any NJCAA athletic program is to help its student-athletes move on to the next level of competition, hopefully at a four-year institution.

The Prairie State College baseball program accomplished this mission as sophomore outfielder/pitcher Nick Bruns (Lincoln-Way East H.S.) recently accepted a scholarship to continue his collegiate career at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Bruns, a two-year standout starter for PSC head coach Mark Hernandez, earned first-team All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference honors following the 2017 campaign.

“Nick has been a team captain and dominate pitcher in our program for two seasons,” Hernandez said. “Nick’s commitment and hard work as a student-athlete has been recognized and rewarded by the Skyway Conference coaches.

“Nick’s dominating success provided options and he will continue playing college baseball for veteran hall of fame coach, Mike Laird.  Our entire baseball family is proud to have Nick move forward as an award-winning baseball alumni from Prairie State College.”

Bruns a hard-throwing right-hander, struck out 54 hitters in 49.2 innings of work in 2017, good for a 9.79 strikeouts per nine-innings average.

William Penn University is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).


May 3, 2017

Pioneers Fall to South Suburban in Road Tilt

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. ---   The Prairie State College baseball team was unable to pick up a win against one of its biggest rivals Wednesday afternoon as the Pioneers fell to NJCAA Region IV foe South Suburban 9-3.

Despite the setback, PSC did pick up an outstanding effort from freshman third baseman Dakota Nieto (Blissfield H.S., Mich.).  The 217-pound Nieto turned in a 3-for-4 afternoon with a run and an RBI

The crown Jewel of Nieto’s day came courtesy of a long fifth-inning solo home run to left field, which cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 7-1.

Nieto proved to be the lone Pioneer to register double-digit hits as PSC pounded out eight safeties in the tilt.

Freshman right fielder Chase Colding (Southfield-Lathrop H.S., Mich.), freshman second baseman Twozadod Gabriel (Whitmer H.S., Ohio), freshman catcher Patrick Arndt (Chseterton H.S., Ind.), freshman first baseman Jalen Austin (Lakeview H.S., Mich.)and freshman shortstop David Sorrell (Boone Grove, H.S. Ind.) all recorded a hit.

The Pioneers will be in action next of Thursday when they travel to Rockford for a doubleheader against the Rockford University JV (4 p.m.).


April 18, 2017

Pioneers to Host MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Skill Competition

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. --- The Prairie State College baseball team will host an MLB Pitch Hit & Run/Junior Home Run Derby on Sunday, April 30 at 12 p.m. at the Pioneer Recreation and Sports Park (North Campus).

The competition is open to girls and boys ages 7-14 and there is no charge to register.

Anyone interested in competing in either event can register at or  For additional questions, contact PSC Coordinator of Sports Information, Chris Kuchta at (708)-709-3950.


March 29, 2017

Lake County Downs PSC

GRAYSLAKE, Ill. --- As it has all season long, the Prairie State College baseball team turned in its typical hard-fought, all-out effort Wednesday, but unfortunately, in the end it just was not enough.

The Pioneers dropped its nonconference tilt with Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference foe Lake County by a 5-4 final count.

With the setback, PSC saw its season record move to 4-18.

PSC picked up an outstanding effort from freshman catcher Patrick Arndt (Chesterton H.S., Ind.) who turned in a 2-for-3 showing with a double, RBI and two walks.

The 6-foot-1, 218-pound Arndt gave PSC a 2-1 lead with a third-inning, RBI two-bagger which scored freshman center fielder Brandon Durr (Thornwood H.S.)

The Pioneers also owned a 4-2 lead in the fifth before Lake County stormed back to tie the tilt before pushing across the winning run in the decisive eighth.

PSC picked up a solid starting effort from sophomore pitcher Nick Bruns (Lincoln-Way East H.S.).  The 6-foot, 212-pound Bruns worked the contest’s first six frames, allowing four runs (none earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out six.

PSC will be in action next on Friday when it travels to Sugar Grove for a road date with Waubonsee (3 p.m.).


March 28, 2017

Kankakee Downs PSC on Road

KANKAKEE, Ill. --- The Prairie State College baseball team was unable to garner a win Tuesday afternoon, falling to perennial NJCAA Region IV power Kankakee by a 15-0 final count.

With the setback, PSC moved to 4-17 on the season.

Despite not registering a hit in the contest, PSC freshman center fielder Brandon Durr (Thornwood H.S.) did reach base three times, drawing a walk while recording a hit by pitch.

The Pioneers will be in action next on Wednesday, when they travel to Grayslake for a nonconference tilt again Lake County.


March 24, 2017

Pioneers Earn Split Against Lake County in Skyway Opener

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. --- The Prairie State College baseball team split a pair of games in its Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference opener against Lake County Friday afternoon.

The Pioneers dropped a tough 12-0 decision in Game 1, before bouncing back to claim the nightcap by a 7-6 final count.

Friday’s Game 2 win pushed PSC’s season record to 4-16 overall and 1-1 in league play.

Freshman center fielder Chase Colding (Southfield-Lathrop H.S., Mich.) was the lone Pioneer to collect multiple hits in the opener, going 2-for-2 with a stolen base.

Colding also picked up another pair of hits, as well as two RBI in Game 2.

Sophomore third baseman Grant Lindsey (T.F. South H.S.), (2-for-4, RBI, run), freshman center fielder Brandon Durr (Thornwood H.S.), (2-for-4, RBI, run) and freshman catcher Patrick Arndt (Chesterton H.S., Ind.), (2-for-4, RBI, run) all made strong contributions.

Trailing 6-5 in the top of the seventh inning, it was freshman pinch hitter Jalen Austin (Lakeview H.S., Mich.) who delivered the heroics, coming off the bench to rip a decisive two-run single.

PSC pounded out 11 hits in the nightcap.

The Pioneers will hit the field next on Monday when they travel to Grayslake for a nine-inning affair with Lake County (3 p.m.).

Pioneers at the Next Level

These former Prairie State College baseball players are currently attending four-year institutions.

  • Bobby Sheppard - University of Buffalo
  • Mark Kane - Jamestown College, North Dakota
  • Dan Ohde - Jamestown College, North Dakota
  • Jeremy Hernandez – Calumet College of St. Joseph
  • Josh Johnson – University of Illinois Springfield
  • Peter Krygsheld – Trinity Christian College
  • Jim Miller – Ashford University, Iowa
  • Pat Nelson – Jamestown College, North Dakota
  • Keith Plocharczyk – University of Illinois Springfield
  • John Rafferty – Murray State University
  • Ryan Rasmas – McMurry University, Texas
  • Joe Sadowski – Clarke University, Iowa
  • Brendan Spongberg – Purdue University North Central
  • Jimmy Topps – University of Buffalo
  • Joe Ucho – Central Michigan University
  • Sam Cook – Friends University, Kansas