News and Announcements

Position Player of the Week
Thomas Kempf, Bancroft
1B — Jr. — University of Dubuque

For the first time this summer, the Bancroft Bandits have a Player of the Week winner! University of Dubuque’s Thomas Kempf was named Position Player of the Week! On the week, Kempf went 4-11 (.364) with a home run while driving in four runs. He also crossed the plate three times himself.

“He is a great kid, works hard and every at-bat he grinds and goes to the plate with a purpose,” Bandits head coach Dave Walsh says. “When he is hitting, the whole team hits around him!”

Kempf helped lead the Spartans of Dubuque (26-17) to Division III Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) regular season title, conference tournament title, and winning a game in the regional round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Kempf hit a solid .345 on the year and driving in 32 runs for the Spartans.

This upcoming week has the Bandits (4-12) and the Lakers (14-2) squaring off twice. July 4th in Bancroft (6:35 first pitch) and July 5th in Albert Lea (6:35 first pitch).

Pitcher of the Week
Cesar Capellan, Albert Lea
RHP — Jr. — Eastern New Mexico

For the third consecutive week the Lakers have Player of the Week honors, but the first pitcher to be named Pitcher of the Week. The Eastern New Mexico University right-hander, Cesar Capellan, was named Pitcher of the Week as voted on by the League’s coaching staffs after dominating in his start this past week. Capellan (6’4), is a native of Bonoa, Dominican Republic.

During his start this week, Capellan went a solid 6.0 innings and picked up the win for the Lakers; helping Albert Lea to extend their win streak into double digits. In his six innings of work, he punched out nine hitters while only surrendering four hits and two runs!

“Cesar has done a great job for us and is a shut down power arm. He’s a professional baseball type arm with a good fastball and good breaker,” says Lakers head coach Michael Keeran. “If he can be more consistent from inning to inning he could do some pretty special things!”

On the summer, Capellan has been a real reliable guy on the mound for the Lakers. He has started four games and has a record of 3-0 with an ERA of 2.49. A strikeout to walk ratio of 2.4:1 (26 Ks and 11 BBs).

This upcoming week has the Lakers (14-2) and the Bandits (4-12) squaring off twice. July 4th in Bancroft (6:35 first pitch) and July 5th in Albert Lea (6:35 first pitch).

Don’t miss the quality PCBL baseball action; follow the league on Twitter — @Pioneer_Ball.

Article written by Steve Carlson, Simpson College (IA).

Position Player of the Week
Joey Ponder, Albert Lea
INF — Jr. — Waldorf University

Though the week was shortened by rain, the Pioneer Collegiate Baseball League’s action wasn’t slowed on the field. The position player of the week honors go to Albert Lea Laker, Joey Ponder. Ponder (5’9/170), the Mission Viejo, California native saw his bat come to life, despite the rain doing its best to have no baseball all week.

In the only game of the week for the Lakers (12-2 overall, 11-2 PCBL), against Carroll at Hayek Field, Ponder posted a 4-4 line. He hit his second home run of the summer and also had a double. With the bat coming alive, he also drove in 5 runs for the Lakers in route to the 11-1 win over the Merchants (6-8); and helping the Lakers maintain the lead in the PCBL standings.

“Joey is a good player and put everything together (this week). He was on fire at the plate; and is always a good glove in the field,” said Laker head coach Michael Keeran. “He was clutch constantly throughout the game vs Carroll and I hope he carries this into the second half of the season. I’m very proud of this team right now.”

Although the Waldorf Warrior has seen his fair of struggles at the plate this summer, the head coach of the Lakers believes this is a turning point for Ponder. Coming into this week Ponder came in with 1 HR and 2 RBI.

Pitcher of the Week
Tanner Wauhob, Storm Lake
RHP — Jr. — Concordia University (NE)

This week’s pitcher of the week honors go to Storm Lake Whitecap, Tanner Wauhob. Wauhob (5’11), the Sioux City, Iowa, native threw a gem against the Merchants throwing a no hitter! The no hitter helped lead the Whitecaps (6-5) into second place in the PCBL, switching places with Carroll, after beating Carroll twice this rain shortened week.

The Concordia University (NE) Bulldog started four games for the Bulldogs this year, while appearing in three games out of the pen. He pitched 14.2 innings and striking out 8 batters.

The Whitecaps head into this week on a 4-game winning streak, second only to the Lakers 7-game win streak in the league.

_ Article written by Steve Carlson — Simpson College (IA)_

Playoffs Open Today!

Posted by Pioneer League at Jul 30, 2017 9:19AM PDT

The 2017 playoff season is upon us as today kicks off a wild week of playoff action.

Later this afternoon, the 5th seed Albert Lea Lakers will take on the 4th seed Bancroft Bandits in a one-game winner take all contest. The winning team will take on the the 1st seed Carroll Merchants in a best-two-out-of-three series that will begin tomorrow in Carroll.

On the other side of the bracket, the 3rd seed Sioux Falls Gold will take on the 2nd seed Storm Lake Whitecaps in their own best-two-out-of-three series that will begin on Monday.

The two teams that win their best-two-out-of-three series will play in another two-out-of-three series for the league title. That series will begin on Thursday and run through Saturday.

Playoff Schedule:

(5) Albert Lea at (4) Bancroft – 4:00PM

(Winner of AL/BAN) at (1) Carroll – 7:05PM – Game 1
(3) Sioux Falls vs (2) Storm Lake – 7:05PM – Game 1 – Location TBD

(Winner of AL/BAN) vs (1) Carroll – 7:05PM – Game 2 – Location TBD
(3) Sioux Falls vs (2) Storm Lake – 7:05PM – Game 2 – Location TBD

(Winner of AL/BAN) vs (1) Carroll – 7:05PM – Game 3 – Location TBD *if necessary
(3) Sioux Falls vs (2) Storm Lake – 7:05PM – Game 3 – Location TBD *if necessary

League Finals – Game 1 – Location TBD

League Finals – Game 2 – Location TBD

League Finals – Game 3 – Location TBD *if necessary

Gold Blank Bandits

Posted by Pioneer League at Jun 27, 2017 9:35PM PDT

Sioux Falls 1 Bancroft 0

On most nights, scoring just one run won’t be enough to get a team in the win column, on Tuesday night, it was all the Sioux Falls Gold needed to defeat the Bancroft Bandits.

Just two days after putting up 25 runs on the Albert Lea Lakers, the Bandits were shut down by the Sioux Falls Gold pitching staff.

Tyler Mitzel and Brody Hagel-Pitt combined to hold Bancroft to just 2 hits. Because Mitzel didn’t complete five innings, Hagel-Pitt ended up picking up the win, throwing five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and facing the minimum number of batters.

Mitzel only allowed a pair of baserunners, one reaching on a base hit and one reaching on an error. Mitzel struck out six while Hagel-Pitt sat down four hitters.

Cole Jensen scored the game’s only run, scoring on a Bancroft error in the 7th inning.

The Gold only had three hits of their own, Lucas Barry, Trent Herman and Matt Morgan picking them up. Sioux Falls had multiple chances to break the game open but ended up stranding 12 runners on the evening.

Colin Brophy and Joey Machuga had the only hits for the Bandits in a losing effort.

The Gold improve to 5-7 with the win while the Bandits drop to 6-6. These two teams will meet again tomorrow night to wrap up their two game set.

Wednesday Wrap-Up 6/14

Posted by Pioneer League at Jun 14, 2017 11:05PM PDT

Albert Lea 3 Bancroft 2

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Two big flies was all the offense the Albert Lea Lakers would need to hold off the Bancroft Bandits in another tightly contested game at Hayek Field.

A two-run home run from Darek Sargent and a solo shot from Jamell Newson was enough to beat the Bandits as Oracio DeLeon threw a gem on Wednesday night.

In just 107 pitches, DeLeon spread out seven Bancroft hits over the course of the entire game, allowing just two runs and striking out a season high nine batters. The key for the pitcher was getting ahead in the count. He started with a strike to 25 of the 34 batters he faced, thats a 74% first-strike percentage.

Sargent’s only hit of the game came in the third inning as his home run broke the scoreless tie.

Bancroft responded with a RBI single from Alex Remy, his hit scored Colin Brophy who led off the fourth with a triple.

One inning later, Delta State’s Jamell Newson launched a solo home run to give the Lakers their two-run lead back again, 3-1.

Once again, the Bandits had an immediate answer. Brophy’s second extra base hit of the night found him on second with one out.* Joey Machuga* belted the offering from DeLeon and scored Brophy to make the game 3-2.

That would be as close as the Bandits would get as DeLeon appeared to get better as the game went on. He only allowed two baserunners in the final two innings and struck out the 1-2-3 hitters in the top of the 8th.

The right-hander gets his first win as a Laker and takes home the honor of throwing the first complete game in franchise history.

Six different players each registered a hit for both teams. Albert Lea continues their busy week as they head to Carroll tomorrow for a date with the Merchants. The Bandits will head back to Bancroft and patiently wait for the Lakers to visit them on Friday night.

Sioux Falls 14 Storm Lake 4

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – They said one inning can lose you a ballgame, well for the Sioux Falls Gold, one inning won them their game tonight against the Storm Lake Whitecaps.

An 11 run second inning propelled the Gold to a dominant 14-4 win against the Whitecaps on Wednesday night.

Lucas Berry led the offensive attack for the Gold, he went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBI. He also scored three runs. Patrick O’Donnell had a pair of hits of his own, including a double, two runs scored, and two RBI. Cole Jensen reached base four times as he had two hits, a walk and was also hit by a pitch.

Ben Moran got the start and the win for the Gold, he threw five innings, gave up five hits, walked two, struck out four while allowing just a single run.

Casey Berg and Andrew Kasperbauer led the Storm Lake offense as they each logged a pair of hits. Berg added a pair of walks to his stat line while Kasperbauer knocked in a run.

Cade Moring took the loss on the hill as he allowed 11 runs, only 5 earned, over the course of three innings. He gave up five hits and relinquished six free passes.

The Whitecaps will be off until Friday, thats when they host the Carroll Merchants at Memorial Park. The Gold will have to wait until Saturday when the travel to Carroll for a battle with the Merchants.