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)

Position Player of the Week
Josh Dudden, Albert Lea
UTL — Fr. — Central Arizona CC

The inaugural player of the week honors, as voted on by the league’s head coaches, for the week of June 11th to June 17th. This week’s position player of the week honors goes to Albert Lea Laker, Josh Dudden. Dudden (5’10”/180), a utility infielder for the Lakers, plays his college ball at Central Arizona Community College and finished his freshman year in 2018.

During the week, Dudden batted .333 going 7-21. In that run, he hit two home runs and two triples while racking up 8 RBIs. He walked once and stole two bags, helping guide the Lakers go 5-0 on the week. Head Coach of the Lakers, Michael Keeran, had this to say about Dudden: “He does a great job of hitting with runners in scoring position. He has a great swing and has a high IQ for the game. In my opinion, he has the best swing in the league and is a Division I talent.”

On the summer, Dudden is batting a solid .385 and slugging, over double his batting average, at .789! He has two home runs, three triples, and two doubles which all have contributed to his team leading 14 RBIs. Not only is he swinging the bat well, he’s finding other ways on base to put pressure on the defenses of the PCBL. He is 8-10 on stolen base attempts and has an on-base percentage (OBP) of .429.

Pitcher of the Week
Jake Lotz, Carroll
LHP — Fr. — Lewis University (IL)

The inaugural player of the week honors, as voted on by the league’s head coaches, for the week of June 11th to June 17th. This week’s pitcher of the week honors goes to Carroll Merchant, Jake Lotz. Lotz (5’10”/170) pitches for Division II institution, Lewis University (IL), members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). While at Lewis this spring, Lotz appeared in 13 games out of the pen for the Flyers.

The left-hander threw 7.1 innings and struck out six batters on the week. As well, Lotz also picked up two saves for the Merchants. He helped guide the Merchants to two wins on the week, splitting the week going 2-2.

Article written by Steve Carlson – Senior at Simpson College (IA).


The Albert Lea Lakers sign Liam Spence from Central Arizona College! Liam is a 6’2 175 Lb, freshman IF from Geelong, Australia. Liam is currently hitting an impressive .392 with 2 HRs, 6 2B’s, and 2 3B’s. He is the starting 2B for Central Arizona. Liam’s brother Josh Spence, pitched in the Major Leagues for the San Diego Padres for 2 seasons.
“Liam is a great pick-up and a complete steal this close to summer season. I am very fortunate Coach Perez from Central Arizona helped us out. I think Liam is going to have a great summer for us, he’s used to swinging wood. In Australia, and in Central Arizona’s conference, wood bats are regularly swung. He’s a great middle infielder with good hands, and has a lot of speed on the bases. He’s got good pop in his bat and hits for average very well. I’m excited to have him. He’s going to be a spark plug for us in the top of the order. He has a bright future in the game of baseball, and I am excited to have him!” – Coach Keeran

Come watch Liam this summer at Hayek Field! Welcome to the #LakeShow Liam!

Australian RHP signs with Albert Lea

Posted by Albert Lea Lakers at Mar 3, 2018 10:33AM PST ( 0 Comments )

Australian RHP Mackenzie Pearson signs with the Albert Lea Lakers! The sophomore from Gold Coast, Australia is currently the game one pitcher for the Waldorf University Warriors. Pearson had a notable start against Peru State going 5 innings striking out 7 while only giving up 2 runs. The 6’0 175 lb Pearson is expected to make an impact for Waldorf this season.
“Mac is a guy who’s had a little bit of an up and down season so far for Waldorf, but I think he’s going to be someone who improves with game experience. He’s going to get a lot of experience being in Waldorf’s rotation. I think he has a bright future for Waldorf and will be a key component of their success. I am happy to have him play for us this summer, and I think he’ll be a guy who can give us some depth. We’ve got a lot of talented pitchers so I don’t know yet if he will be in our rotation or bullpen, but either way he will help us win ball games. Tautges, Schuermann, and Hughes are all really good coaches at Waldorf so I am sure Mac will be ready to go against some of the best by summer.” – Coach Keeran
Pearson will join current Waldorf teammates Mitchell Keeran, and Joey Ponder in Albert Lea this summer.
Everyone welcome Mackenzie Pearson to the #LakeShow!