Thursday, March 22, 2018

Men's Baseball: UIS baseball team hits national rankings for first time

The University of Illinois Springfield baseball program has climbed into the national rankings in its eighth season of existence.

UIS is ranked 25th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division II poll released Wednesday.

It is 19th in the Perfect Game national rankings. Hero Sports has the Prairie Stars No. 13 out of 262 teams in its ratings. UIS received votes in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper national poll. It also is No. 9 in the 10-team Midwest Region.

The Stars have had a red-hot start to the season after losing their first three games. Their overall record is 17-4 and they’re riding a nine-game win streak.

They have the most wins of all 15 Great Lakes Valley Conference teams. So what got them here? 

“We’ve taken a good pitching staff and taken a good offense, and added impact players to that,” UIS fifth-year coach Chris Ramirez said.

“The big jump has been our pitching staff,” Ramirez said. “Those guys have been unhittable. It’s been the starting pitchers, then we go to the bullpen and those relievers have been just as tough. The story is when you take all those good players that we had coming back and add in Justin Revels, Andrew Dean and Alec Altmeyer to the pitching staff. All three went Division I out of high school.”

The Stars also have the conference’s best batting average. UIS is hitting .318, no other GLVC team is above .298.

“We knew we had Michael Rothmund, last year’s Division II home run leader, back and Cole Taylor, the All-American, back, and we had Myles Hann and John Sechen,” Ramirez said. “We’ve added Jack Schaff and Nick Stokowski.”

This spring could be shaping up to be UIS’ best with seven weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Stars set the school-record for wins at 33 last season. They also won a record-setting 19 GLVC games.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on March 21, 2018.

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UIS to host Easter egg hunt

The University of Illinois Springfield baseball team will host its annual Easter egg hunt on March 31.

UIS plays Robert Morris University in a nine-inning game at 2 p.m. at UIS Field. The hunt begins immediately after the game.

Children 10 and younger can participate in the hunt with the baseball team. Children age 5 and younger will be divided into a different group.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on March 21, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Men's Baseball: DII rankings: Mar. 21

A new team was added to the D-II rankings mix as the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars made their Perfect Game Top 25 debut.

Their inclusion comes on the heels of UIS’ nine-game winning streak, which has been punctuated with a pair of shutout wins. Had it not been for an unfortunate ninth-inning error, the Prairie Stars may be riding an amazing 17-game winning streak as they’ve only lost one contest since dropping their first three.

The pitching for UIS has been flat-out phenomenal.

While several players have been upping their game, a big reason for UIS’ dramatic pitching improvement has been the addition of Justin Revels and Andrew Dean to the rotation.

Revels, who began his career at Grand Canyon, has only allowed three earned runs in his five starts and has a sub 1.00 WHIP with his 0.93 ERA.

Dean, who also formerly played D-I ball at Texas Southern, is putting up similar numbers. In his last outing, a complete game road shutout against Rockhurst, he was still reaching the 90s with his fastball.

The team is batting .318 with Nick Stokowski and Michael Rothmund looking like All Americans in the making.

This article appeared on the website, on March 21, 2018.

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