News and Announcements
League leading Bancroft Bandits (14-3) will be two pitchers short when they resume action this week after a pair signed professional contracts.
Right hander Nile Ball will be making the jump from collegiate summer ball in northern Iowa to Sioux City Explorers of the American Association of Independent Baseball. While its just a 150-mile trip to Sioux City, the level of competition be a step up as the AAIPB is considered by most as “high” independent league.
The 22-year old Ball will take the place of pitcher Jason Garcia who had his contract purchased from Sioux City by the Tampa Rays organization. He played his 2019 college season at the University of North Carolina Pembroke.
His summer teammate, lefty Ryan Byrd, is also is on the move – to Belgium. He will suit up for the Mont Saint-Guibert Phoenix of the top league in the country. Byrd is a 2019 graduate of Southern Illinois University Evansville.
With a new season is set to begin May 31 the Pioneer Collegiate Baseball League would like to introduce the managers of each team!
Albert Lea Lakers
Nate DeChaine – Assistant Coach, Morningside College
Michael Keeran – Assistant Coach, Valley City State University
Cody Williams – Assistant Coach, Mount Mercy University
Fort Dodge Gypsum Miners
Connor McLeod – Assistant Coach, Iowa Central Community College
Storm Lake Whitecaps
Michael Bowles – Assistant Coach, Ottawa University – Arizona
2018 was a banner year for the Albert Lea Lakers. The team finished with a PCBL all-time best record of 29-5 in the regular season before posting a 4-1 mark in the playoffs on their way to the league championship.
This season the Lakers will have a new bench boss in Nate DeChaine, a student assistant at Morningside College. He replaces Michael Keeran, who will be behind the bench of the Bancroft Bandits this summer.
Opening day is set in Bancroft! The Bandits are scheduled to begin their summer season with a non-league game May 30 against the Chillicothe Mudcats. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
PCBL action kicks off on Friday, May 31 when the Bandits travel to Albert Lea to face the defending league champion Lakers. Bancroft will get their first look at the new team the following night when the Lakers will be at Bancroft Memorial Ballpark.
The Pioneer Collegiate Baseball League announced in January the addition of a new team to be based in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Now that team has a name – the Gypsum Miners! The name is a nod to the old minor league team which competed in the Iowa State League from 1904-1906.
— Pioneer Baseball League (@Pioneer_Ball) March 20, 2019
Established in 1904 as the Gypsum Eaters, the Class D minor league outfit finished their first season at 57-52 which was good enough for fifth place in the eight-team league. For year two the team was renamed the Gypsumites and finished second at 73-49. In their final season of 1906 the Gypsumites went 68-49 to finish in third place.