News and Announcements


In just its second season, the Pioneer Collegiate Baseball League (PCBL) is ready to host its first league all-star game. The event will take place on Sunday, July 22 at Merchants Park in Carroll, Iowa.

Day-long festivities include a player skills showcase beginning at 11 AM. A home run derby is scheduled for 2:30 PM to be followed by the game which will feature teams made up of PCBL players from four-year schools taking on Junior college all-stars.

2018 PCBL team rosters

Team University
Robin Allen, Albert Lea – Eckerd College
Isaak Bustamante, Bancroft – Nyack College
Cesar Capellan, Albert Lea – Eastern New Mexico University
Cole Edgens, Albert Lea – William Carey University
Brady Harpenau, Storm Lake – Briar Cliff University
Mitchell Keeran, Albert Lea – Waldorf University
Matt Krambeck, Ames – Des Moines Area CC
Thomas Krause, Albert Lea – North Dakota State University
Jake Lotz, Carroll – Lewis University
Reed Pegram, Ames – William Jewell College
Christian Pena, Storm Lake – Eastern Illinois University
Joey Ponder, Albert Lea – Waldorf University
Peyton Renning, Storm Lake – Buena Vista University
Jacob Rosales, Carroll – Missouri Baptist University
Ben Swords, Carroll – Webster University
Anthony Torreullas, Bancroft – Nyack College
Keanu Van Kuren, Albert Lea – Texas Southern University
AJ Vasquez, Bancroft – Nyack College
Spencer Wyant, Storm Lake – Morningside College

Jesse Bloom, Albert Lea – McCook CC
Alexi Cazarin, Carroll – Scott CC
Josh Dudden, Albert Lea – Central Arizona CC
Reed Feeley, Albert Lea – Bellevue University
Luke Files, Bancroft – Hines CC
Alex Fischer, Storm Lake – Indian Hills CC
Wyatt Folsom, Carroll – Scott CC
Hampton Hall, Carroll – Scott CC
Spencer Hanson, Ames – Des Moines Area CC
Jameson Hart, Storm Lake – Indian Hills CC
Luke Hastings, Albert Lea – University of Mobile
Peyton Krugler, Ames – Iowa Central CC
Sean Rooney, Albert Lea – De Anza CC
Liam Spence, Albert Lea – Central Arizona CC
Sam Steinmeyer, Carroll – Iowa Lakes CC
Zacc Whisler, Carroll – Scott CC

The Pioneer Collegiate Baseball League (PCBL) is to hold its first-ever all-star game, Sunday, July 22. Being held at Merchants Park in Carroll, Iowa, home of the Carroll Merchants. The day includes a player combine, a home run derby, and all-star game. All teams in the PCBL will be represented, talent from the Albert Lea Lakers, Bancroft Bandits, Carroll Merchants, Peak of Ames, and Storm Lake Whitecaps!

The all-star game is set-up as four-year players versus two-year players; a set-up used to make it easier on collegiate coaches and scouts in attendance. The day is designed for the ball players to showcase their talent on the field in front of both college coaches (for junior college players) and professional baseball scouts.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

11:00 – 11:20am — 60-yard dashes
11:20 – 11:35am — Outfielders throwing [3 to third, 2 to home]
11:35 – 12:00pm — Infielders [backhands, front hands, slow rollers]
12:00 – 12:10pm — Catchers [5 throws to second base]
12:10 – 12:50pm — Batting practice [tentatively 3 rounds of 5]
12:50 – 1:30pm — Bullpens [15 pitches for pitchers not in the game]

Lunch Break———-

2:30 – 3:15pm — Home Run Derby
3:15 – 3:45pm — Home Run Derby Finals
[8 swings, anything not a home run is an out]

4:05pm — First Pitch of the All-Star Game

Be sure to follow the Pioneer League on Twitter to keep up to date with action around the league: @Pioneer_Ball

Position Player of the Week
Mitchell Keeran, Albert Lea
OF — Jr. — Waldorf University (IA)

The bat not only comes roaring alive this week for the position player of the week, Mitchell Keeran, but it becomes HOT! Keeran, who plays his college ball at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa, puts on a monster showing this week despite missing a game due to illness!

He his a staggering 8-12 (.667) on the week, while also drawing five walks and being hit by a pitch once. The week was highlighted by the THREE home runs he hit for the Lakers; his first home runs of the summer. The homers helped him drive in six runs. He also hit a double and stole a base. Opponents could not find a way to get him out this week as he also scored four runs for the Lakers.

“Mitch is a great ball player and got hot for us this week. He’s a big reason why we’ve had the offensive production we’ve had and he showed his power this week and didn’t miss his pitch,” said Lakers head coach Michael Keeran. “He’s a fun guy to coach because of his passion and heart for the game. I’m very proud of him and this team for the way they compete night in and night out.”

On the summer, Keeran has hit for an average of .354 with an excellent on-base percentage of .488! He has a continuously found a way on for the Lakers and is second on the team in runs scored at 19. A team player who finds any way on base to help Albert Lea score runs.

The Lakers are scheduled to play six league games this week. Wednesday at Hayek Field against Bancroft (6:35), Thursday at Hayek Field against Carroll (6:35), Friday at Storm Lake (7:05), Saturday double-header at Hayek Field (Game 1 at 4:05, Game 2 at approx 7:05), and Sunday at Ames (4:05).

Don’t miss any of the action! Follow the Pioneer League on Twitter – @Pioneer_Ball.

Pitcher of the Week
Cole Edgens, Albert Lea
RHP — Sr. — William Carey University (MS)

The Pitcher Player of the Week goes to Laker, Cole Edgens, after a stellar complete game shutout against Bancroft earlier in the week. Edgens, who played his college ball for the Crusaders of William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, threw a lights out game that was two hits away from a no hitter.

In his start this week against the Bandits, Edgens threw the full nine innings only giving up two hits while striking out NINE Bancroft hitters! Only surrendering 2 walks and his defense making plays behind him helped him drop his ERA from 1.01 to 0.79 and picking up his 5th win of the summer.

“I think Cole is one of the most quiet yet determined competitors I’ve ever met. He throws all of his pitches for strikes and is in the zone,” said Lakers head coach Michael Keeran. “He outworks everyone and that’s why he’s so good. He’s an amazing young man and has been a privilege to coach.”

Edgens has been a solid starter for Albert Lea this summer. In his five starts, he is 5-0 with an ERA under one of 0.79! In 35.2 innings pitched this summer, he has only surrendered 3 earned runs on a mere 23 hits [.65 hits per inning pitched]! Hitters have had a hard time figuring his stuff out as he is third on the Lakers pitching staff in strikeouts sitting at 33, while only walking a total of 6 batters [5.5:1 K/BB ratio].

The Lakers are scheduled to play six league games this week. Wednesday at Hayek Field against Bancroft (6:35), Thursday at Hayek Field against Carroll (6:35), Friday at Storm Lake (7:05), Saturday double-header at Hayek Field (Game 1 at 4:05, Game 2 at approx 7:05), and Sunday at Ames (4:05).

Don’t miss any of the action! Follow the Pioneer League on Twitter – @Pioneer_Ball.

Article written by Steve Carlson, Simpson College (IA)

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)