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Heartland Community College baseball has had 106 players move through its program, and all 106 have gone on to attend a four-year school and complete a four-year degree. Of those 106, 93 student-athletes have moved on to play baseball at four-year programs, and of those 93, 66 have gone on to NCAA Division-1 programs with 13 continuing on to play professional baseball. 8 former Hawks still actively play with various professional baseball clubs today.

Below are the future Hawks looking to add to these impressive statistics.

Future Hawks

2014 HCC Commits

  • Travis Auer, U-High
  • Michael Bainbridge, Marian Catholic HS
  • Alex Balter, Western HS (FL)
  • Hunter Cook, Pendelton Heights, IN
  • Matthew Dwyer, Brimfield-Elmwood HS
  • Mitch Ellis, Melbourne, Australia
  • Max Gray, Lawrence North, IN
  • Myles Hahn, McCutcheo,n IN
  • Ian Hall, El Paso/Gridley
  • Tyler Hasper, Waubonsie Valley
  • Alex Hitney, St. Laurence
  • Collin Ridout, Johnsburg HS
  • Reed Rogers, Normal West HS
  • Noah Sadler, Mukwonago, WI
  • Connor Sorge, West Des Moines Valley, IA
  • Andrew Sykes, Valpariaso, IN
  • Kolton Vermillion, Rantoul
  • Daniel Wasinger, El Paso, TX

2014 Awards

All-American Third Team:

  • Nolan Lodden

All-Region 24 Team:

  • Derek Bangert
  • Pat Cashman
  • Nolan Lodden

M-WAC Co-Freshman of the Year:

  • Derek Bangert

All-Conference First Team:

  • Derek Bangert
  • Nolan Lodden
  • Frank Waliczek

All-Conference Second Team:

  • Pat Cashman
  • Jared Hendren

Academic All-Americans:

  • Jacob Hendren - Superior
  • Jared Hendren - Superior
  • Nolan Lodden - Exemplary

Academic All-Conference:

  • Jacob Hendren
  • Jared Hendren
  • Tanner Hudson
  • Nolan Lodden
  • Corbin Woods
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Baseball

Heartland Hawks Baseball 2014 Media Guide Cover

2012 3rd Place, 2013 4th Place, 2011 6th Place at NJCAA Division-II World Series!!!!

2011, 2012, 2013 Region 24 Tournament Champions!!!

5 Straight M-WAC Regular Season Championships (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)!!

40 plus victories for 6 straight seasons!!

Heartland baseball has gone 325-78 in its 7 year history while being Nationally ranked each year and reaching the NJCAA D-II World Series three of the last four years!


News Stories

Hendren twins adjusting to new surroundings

7/23/14 - Jacob and Jared Hendren (Leroy, Ill/Universtiy) are enjoying their new adventure 3,600 miles and 18 hours away from home playing collegiate summer baseball for the Mystic Schooners of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

"I'm glad I got the opportunity to come out here," Jared said. "Our first time East. We're from a small town in Illinois. I've never seen this many trees and hills and water in my life. I'm used to cornfields and stuff like that."

They've not only adjusted to new surroundings, but also to higher quality baseball as they have both contributed to Mystic's success. Jacob is one of the team's best relievers, allowing just two earned runs in 18.2 innings while striking out 25 and walking eight. He has a team-best four saves.When it comes to Jared Hendren, speed is a vital part of his game, as he stole 37 bases at Heartland last season and has nine with Mystic.

"Jared is a very athletic kid," aid Mystic manager Phil Orbe. "He's batting .333 in July. When he gets on the basepaths, he wreaks havoc. Other teams have to pay a lot of attention to him."

The brothers will continue their college careers at Illinois State in Normal, only about 30 minutes from home, and they are happy to be continuing their journey together. "We've just always been together," Jared said. "It's nice to have him because he's someone that I can always count on, on and off the field. I really enjoy playing with him."

For more information on the Hendren's expereinces in summer collegaite baseball and time with the Mystic Schooners, please check out this story at: http://www.theday.com/article/20140723/SPORT04/307239966/1044.

Curry making strides with Dutchmen; named Spotlight Player of the Week

7/22/14 - Current Heartland pitcher Justin Curry (West Point, Ind./McCutcheon) is making great strides in his development as a pitcher for the Albany Dutchmen of the Perfect Game College Baseball League (PGCBL) for the summer. Although Curry had a late start with the team as he did not appear on the mound until June 29, he has gone 11 innings without giving up an earned run, and was named the Spotlight Player of the Week for two scoreless innings during the last seven days. The Dutchmen have imrproved as a whole since Curry joined the rotation, and over his three appearances, he has ten strikeouts while only allowing three hits, and only one pitcher in the PGCBL has more innings pitched without allowing an earned run.

As a freshman last season, Curry made eight appearances with three starts, struck out 30 hitters over his 26.1 innings, and sported a 4-2 record with a 3.76 ERA. Curry, who was coming off an injury, said he used his starts as an opportunity to get back on the mound and work himself into top condition. “Coming out of rehab, I really wanted to just get back into the flow of things,” Curry said. “I wanted to get my mechanics back down and work in slowly.”

To keep up with Justin Curry and his progess in collegiate summer league action, please visit the Albany Dutchmen website at: http://www.dutchmenbaseball.com/home/.

Normal CornBelters team with HCC to host Michael Collins tribute night at the Corn Crib

7/16/14 - On August 19, the Normal CornBelters will be hosting a Michael Collins tribute night as they take on the Schaumburg Boomers at the Corn Crib at 7 p.m., and have teamed up with Heartland Community College to remember and celebrate the life of Collins, who was a member of the Heartland Community College baseball team for two seasons and was a current Illinois State University student before he passed away as a result of injuries he suffered in a car accident on April 2, 2014.

"Heartland Community College and the Heartland Athletic Department thanks the Normal CornBelters in advance for creating a special night to honor the memory of Michael Collins but even more so to help carry on his spirit," said Nate Metzger, Director of Heartland Community College Athletics and head baseball coach.

"Michael loved baseball, loved playing for Heartland, and loved playing at the Corn Crib. We are proud of the 22 years Michael spent on this earth," said Jim Collins, Michael's father. "Some of the very best days of his life were spent playing and practicing with the Heartland Hawks at the Corn Crib, and we are thrilled the CornBelters will pay tribute to him in a stadium that had a special place in his heart, and on the 19th no less."

"It is appropriate that the date would be August 19th since Michael wore #19 and his jersey has since been retired," said Metzger. "We look forward to keeping Michael's spirit alive and certainly the goal of his family and subsequent creation of the Michaels Collins Foundation is to continue to honor his legacy through random acts of kindness and a "pay it forward" attitude just like he exemplified and certainly this night will help do just that!"

The CornBelters are going to donate half of the revenue of the tickets sold from the night to the Michael Collins Foundation. In addition, they will create a blue seat behind the Heartland dugout on the third base side of the ballpark and it will have Collins name on a plate on the seat back. The CornBelters will retire the seat after that date forever. "We are honored the CornBelters are paying tribute to him with a special night and by dedicating "the best seat in the house" to him," said Collins. "We are so grateful for the CornBelters support of the Michael Collins Foundation, and for them and Heartland baseball working with us to place a memorial plaque in honor of Michael at the Corn Crib."

To stay up to date on the CornBelters, or for more information about this event, please check out their offical webstie at: http://www.normalbaseball.com/home.

Hendren twins to participate in New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star game/skills competition

7/14/14 - Pitcher Jacob Hendren (Leroy, Ill./University)  will be participating in the New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star game on Sunday, July 20 at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Massachusetts, with the first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m., and an opportunity for players to showcase thier skills in various competitions for scouts from virtually every Major League team during pre-game festivities. Hendren is spending his summer playing for the Mystic Shooners, and was the only Schooners pitcher to be selected for the All-Star game. He has emerged as Mystic's "go-to hurler" in late inning situations, and leads the squad with three saves. The lefty has also only allowed two runs over 17 innings, while owning a 1.06 earned run average, a 0.88 WHIP, and has fanned 24 batters to just six walks surrendered. Lastly, Jacob ranks among Mystic's top three with a 12.7 K/9 ratio (strikeouts per nine innings pitched). Jacob's twin brother, Jared Hendren (Leroy, Ill./University) , will be competing in the 60 yard dash part of the All-Star skills competition.

For more information about the New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star game, please visit this link: http://necbl.com/view/necbl/news-1185/news_161193, and visit this link to check out the full itinerary and schedule from the day: http://www.necbl.com/view/necbl/league-49/all-star-game-13.

Cook named a California Collegiate League All-Star - Live broadcast on Fox Sports Midwest

7/9/14 - Heartland's Aaron Cook (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) has been selected to the California Collegiate League All-Star game, which will be nationally-televised via Fox Sports Midwest (check local listings for tune-in instructions). Game time is set for 7 p.m. on July, 16 at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California. The contest will also feature an opportunity for players to work out and showcase their talents for scouts and college coaches. For the summer, Cook is playing for the Walnut Creek Crawdads and is currently batting .280, leads the squad with 19 run batted in, and his second on the team with 14 runs scored and 26 hits.

For more information on the California Collegaite League All-Star game or to keep up with Cook and the Crawdads, please visit the CCL website at: http://sccbaseball.com/category/all-star-game/.

Mahler to participate in Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game

7/7/14 - Current Hawk pitcher Keith Mahler (Highland, Ind.) has earned All-Star honors in his first season in the Midwest Collegiate League (MCL), a collegiate summer wood bat baseball league and as a member of the Northwest Indiaina Oilmen. Mahler has racked up 22 strikeouts to only five walks, allowed only five runs, and holds a 1.55 earned run average in 29 innings of work. However, he has been a victim of a lack of run support and holds a 2-3 record to this point. The MCL All-Star Game will take place on Wednesday, July 9 at Oil City Stadium at 7:30 p.m. in Whiting, Indiana.

To keep up on Mahler's progress in the summer league and for more information about the Midwest Collegiate League All-Star game, please visit the MCL website at: http://www.midwestcollegiateleague.com/home/.

Aguilera continues to shine in professional ranks

6/16/14 - Former Heartland baseball standout Eric Aguilera continues to impress as he rises through the minor leagues. In his second season of professional baseball, the Cary, Illinois native now plays for the Burlington Bees of the Class A Midwest League, which is currently a Class A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization. Through 56 games with the Bees, Aguilera is hitting .305 with nine homeruns, 43 runs batted in, and a .502 slugging percentage, which are all team highs. Aguilera has also collected 65 hits, which is second most on the team, and is fourth in runs scored (29) and on base percentage (.356).

To keep up with Eric Aguilera's season please visit the following site: http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=643192.

Michael Collins remembered on Father's Day: Baseball a salvation for family

6/15/14 - During the first Father's Day since the passing of his son Michael Collins, Jim Collins and the rest of the Collins family have found a "welcome distraction, a salvation" in baseball. Mr. Collins served as the head coach of the Intercity team in the 58th annual Pantagraph All-Star Game, an event which Mr. Collins participated in as a player in 1978, followed 32 years later by Michael's selection to the game in 2010.

“We’re a baseball family and being at a baseball game on Father’s Day makes a lot of sense,” said Jim Collins, head coach at University High. “Michael liked to have fun when he played baseball. He loved playing in this game. It was about having fun and that was right in Michael’s wheelhouse." There is a place in Mr. Collins' heart for every player and coach who will be in the Intercity dugout. Everyone has done something to honor Michael during the season. Bloomington, Normal Community and Normal West wore MCStrong#19 jerseys in games. U High’s rival, Central Catholic, wore shirts with a U High logo that read, “We Stand With U.”

For more information about this story and Michael Collins please visit the Pantagraph.com website or follow this link: http://www.pantagraph.com/sports/columnists/kindred/kindred-baseball-a-salvation-on-first-father-s-day/article_677a8fd9-ed47-5c44-b7fb-98e4e833925f.html.

Also to learn more about the Michael Collins Foundation or to help out please visit http://www.mcstrong.org/.

Failoni becomes 14th Hawk to play professional baseball, signs with Lake Erie Crushers

6/14/14 - After posting a .500 batting average as a junior at Lindenwood University in St. Louis to lead all of NJCAA D-II, former Hawk Mike Failoni has signed to play professional baseball with the Lake Erie Crushers of the Independent Frontier League, and becomes the 13th Hawk to reach the professional ranks. Failoni had a great career at Heartland (2011-2013) as he was second on the team in hitting at .391, was second in home runs (6) and slugging percentage (.652), and was tied for third in runs batted in (49) during his sophomore campaign. As a freshman, Failoni was fourth on the Hawks with a .409 batting average, fourth in hits (81), third with 14 doubles, second in runs batted in (70), and was tied for second with eight home runs.

Two incoming Hawks selected in 2014 MLB Amateur Draft

6/7/14 - Incoming baseball players Andrew Sykes and Daniel Wasinger were both drafted this past Saturday in the 2014 Major League Baseball Amatuer Draft. Sykes was taken in the 35th round by the Kansas City Royals and Wasinger went in the 38th round to the Chicago Cubs.It appears that both players will still wind up in a Hawks uniform this coming year as neither intends to sign and will instead attend school in hopes of bettering their draft statuses.Sykes is a 6'1", 190 lbs left handed pitcher from Valpariso High School in Valpariso, Indiana, and Wasinger is a 6'1", 185 lbs catcher out of Eastlake High School in El Paso, Texas.

For more information on the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft, please visit this link: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2014/drafttracker.jsp.

Nolan Lodden named Third Team All-American

Congrats to Nolan for this outstanding recognition! In addition to this award, Lodden was also named All-Region and earned M-WAC First Team All-Conference honors. Lodden finished the 2014 season 10th in all of NJCAA Division-II (second on the Hawks) with 34 stolen bases, and was 19th in the nation (tied for first on the team with Jared Hendren) with 76 hits. Lodden also led the Hawks with a .413 batting average, and was second in runs scored (56) and runs batted in (53).

Heartland Baseball 2014 Campaign Ends; Bangert Named Co-Freshman of the Year

Heartland Baseball finished 43-13 (40 plus wins for the 6th straight season), capturing the MWAC Championship for the 5th straight year, and had several players garner post-season awards. Derek Bangert was honored as the 2014 M-WAC Co-Freshman of the Year, and was also an All-Region and M-WAC First Team All-Conference selection. He led the Hawks with 17 home runs, which was tied for the most in all of NJCAA Division-II, and 69 runs batted in, which was tied for sixth most in the nation. Bangert was also third on the team in batting average (.372), hits (67), and runs scored (49). In addition to Bangert's accolades, Nolan Lodden earned All-Region and M-WAC First Team All-Confernece honors, while Pat Cashman earned All-Region and M-WAC Second Team All-Conference recognitions. Lodden was second on the team and 10th in the nation with 34 stolen bases, tied with fellow Hawks Jared Hendren for first on the team and 19th in nation with 76 hits, and led the Hawks with a .413 batting average. He was also second on the Hawk' in runs scored (56) and runs batted in (53). Cashman led the Hawks' pitching staff with seven victories and four complete games, was second with 53 strikeouts, and was thrid with a 2.04 earned run average. To round out the baseball honorees, Frank Waliczek was named M-WAC First Team All-Conference, and Jared Hendren was voted M-WAC Second Team All-Conference. Waliczek earned three wins with a 2.53 ERA and 28 strikeouts on the mound. Hendren led the Hawks and was tied for third in the nation with 37 stolen bases, and was tied with teammate Nolan Lodden for first on the team and 19th in the nation with 76 hits. Hendren also finished second on the team in average (.398) and RBIs (53).

Heartland baseball ranks 45th in Perfect Game's latest JUCO Top 50 nationwide (regardless of NCJAA division) junior college baseball teams.

Hawks' Baseball Caputures 5th Straight M-WAC Conference Crown!

CCongratulations to the Hawks on another outstanding regular season! The 2014 Region 24 Baseball Tournament bracket has also been relased, and on Thursday, May 15, at Robin Roberts Stadium at Lanphier Park (1415 N. Grand Ave E, 62707) in Springfield, Illinois. The Hawks enter the postseason as the number 1 overall seed in the region, and will begin play on Friday at noon, taking on the winner of (4) Parkland and (5) Danville Area.

Archived News

Preseason Outlook

Heartland CC Baseball has been ranked 4th in the Preseason NJCAA D-2 poll/a> as well as in the Collegiate Baseball poll D-2.

Heartland Baseball is also ranked 33rd in the country in the prestigious Perfect Game USA preseason poll which ranks the almost 500 CC Baseball programs in the US - at all levels (NJCAA Divisions 1-3).

Heartland Baseball has won 4 straight MWAC (conference titles) and made 3 straight NJCAA D-2 WS appearances, finishing 3rd & 4th the past two years, while moving 88 players on to 4 year schools in the 6.5 year history of the program.

For more information on the Hawks' season preview please visit http://cornbeltbaseball.com/?p=19314.

Heartland Baseball gest in the holiday spirit with the Miracle Leaguers! Heartland Baseball hosts Miracle League.

6/26/13 - Despite only playing in 4 of 6 games, Eric Aguilera leads team in HR’s, RBI, Slugging and OPS.

6/25/13 - Hawk Alum Eric Aguilera starts his professional career off on the right foot. After hitting a 3 Run Homer in is first ever Professional at bat, he continues his hot streak.

6/23/13 - Former Hawk recruit Justin Chigbogu off to hot start with LA Dodgers this season.

6/18/13 - Phil Toldo and John Spoelstra receive Academic All-American recognition from the NJCAA. "Being a Heartland athlete certainly should place a great emphasis on academic pursuit, and obviously Phil and John have exemplified just that. We appreciate their efforts toward our accomplishments on the field, but we certainly applaud them even more so for their efforts in the classroom and their leadership as true student/athletes." - Nate Metzger

6/13/13 - Two more HCC Hawks moving on to ISU to continue their playing career. Shortstop Cody Dykema and Left Handed Pitcher John Spoelstra have committed to play for Redbirds next season. That makes 16 former Hawks that have gone on to play for Coach Kingston in the past 6 seasons. They join fellow Sophomores Chad Klein, Matt Lambert and Mason Snyder and former Hawks Dylan Johnson and Clint Stroud.

6/12/2013 - View the Summer Baseball Camps being offered by Heartland Hawks Baseball.

6/8/13 - Two more former Hawks selected in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft! Right handed pitcher Chris Razo ('11) and Outfielder Eric Aguilera ('10) selected by Milwaukee in the 24th round and LA Angels in the 34th round; respectively. That makes four current or former Hawks selected in this year's draft, the most in HCC history.

6/7/13 - Danny Lietz drafted in the 5th Round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Danny is the highest draft in HCC Baseball history.

6/7/13 - Hawk Alumni Jerad Grundy ('11) was selected in the 10th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft by the Oakland Athletics.

6/5/2013 - CONGRATS to Heartland Sophomore RHP Johnny Lieske who has been named 2nd Team NJCAA D-2 Baseball All-American.
Johnny went 9-2 with a 1.45 ERA.  In 12 starts he pitched 74.1 Innings - striking out 109 and walking 17.

6/1/2013 - 4th Place at 2013 D-II World Series!

5/30/2013 - Hawks are 2013 Region 24 Champions!

5/30/2013 - Hawks advance to NJCAA Divison II World Series

4/25/2013 - Hawks Baseball helps "Elevate" local youth

4/24/2013 - Heartland Baseball moves up to number 4 in latest NJCAA rankings

4/22/2013 - Trevor Storie Headed to Texas for the Summer

4/10/2013 - Heartland Baseball moves up to number 5 in latest NJCAA rankings

4/1/2013 - Heartland's sweeps weekend series

3/5/2013 - Heartland Baseball moves to 4-0 with weekend sweep

2/18/2013 - Heartland CC Baseball is pleased to announce that sophomore third baseman, Chad Klein (Trenton-Wesclin HS - Trenton, IL) has committed to play at the Illinois State University next year. Klein hit .332 with 17 Doubles & 45 RBI while leading the team with 34 stolen bases in 61 games last Spring for the 54-8 Hawks. Fourteen former Hawks have gone on to play at Illinois State from the 6 sophomore classes in Heartland Baseball history. Illinois State went 33-19 last year and has won 30 plus games for 3 consecutive seasons under current Head Coach Mark Kingston and staff for the first time in school history.

2/11/2013 - Heartland Baseball is pleased to announce that sophomore catcher, Trevor Forde (Evanston HS – Evanston, IL) has committed to play at the University of Indianapolis next year. Forde hit .291 in 20 games last spring for the 54-8 Hawks. Indianapolis finished last year 46-16, advancing to the NCAA D-II World Series. The Greyhounds won both the GLVC and Midwest Regional titles. U of Indy was ranked as high as 8th in the country last year under longtime Head Coach Gary Vaught.

1/15/2013 - Heartland Baseball is ranked at the #3 spot in the NJCAA pre-season polls for the 2013 season. Baseball News Rankings

1/15/2013 - LHP, David Stagg, is ranked in the top 100 of JUCO Prospects at #68 from Perfect Game rankings.

1/07/2013 - Heartland Baseball is pleased to announce that Sophomore, RHP, Chad Gendron (Oakville HS – St. Louis, MO) has committed to play at Murray State University next year. Murray State competes in the Ohio Valley Conference under Head Coach Rob McDonald.

11/28/2012 - Sophomore RHP Ryan Byrne (Noblesville HS – Noblesville, IN) has committed to play at the University of Indianapolis next year. Indianapolis finished last year 46-16, advancing to the NCAA D-2 World Series. The Greyhounds won both the GLVC and Midwest Regional titles. U of Indy was ranked as high as 8th in the country last year under longtime Head Coach Gary Vaught.

11/12/2012 - Sophomore, IF, André Sopeña (Huntley HS – Lake In The Hills, IL) has committed to play at Oakland University next year. Sopeña has maintained a 3.5 GPA at Heartland and intends to study Marine Biology at Oakland. Oakland competes in the Summit League Conference, having gone 15-6 and finishing second in the conference last year, winning 21 of their last 29 games under Summit League Coach of the Year John Muscachio.

10/30/2012 - Sophomore, OF/1B, Andrew McCafferty (Westfield HS - Carmel, IN) has comitted to play at Wright State University next year. Wright State (OH) competes in the Horizon League Conference and went 37-21 a year ago.

10/26/2012 - Sophomore, RHP, Matt Lambert (Ottawa Township HS – Ottawa, IL) has committed to play at Illinois State University next year.
Sophomore, IF, Mason Snyder will also be joining Lambert and Illinois State University.

10/17/2012 - Sophomore, LHP, David Stagg (West Des Moines Valley HS – Des Moines, IA) has committed to play at Indiana State University next year. Indiana State went 41-19 last year winning the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. Stagg becomes the first Hawk to sign with a 4-year school from this year’s sophomore class.

Former Heartland Hawks pitcher, Jimmy Suits, is fighting a condition called Transverse Myelitis (TM). Follow progress at Slide Jimmy Home.

Become a Hawk

For more information on Heartland Baseball, or on becoming a Heartland Hawk, please either fill out and return a player profile form and/or contact Nate Metzger.

*All Hawk baseball home games will be played on campus at The Corn Crib, unless otherwise stated on the schedule page. The stadium is east of Heartland's main campus, Corn Crib, 1000 West Raab Road, Normal, IL.

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