Chris Fields is back in the game.
The Princeton product took a year off from baseball after transferring from Knox College last year. Now on the pitching staff for the IVCC Eagles, the former Princeton Tiger recorded his first collegiate victory and made his first collegiate start — all in a week’s time.
Fields got the win against Highland at home Tuesday with 1.1 innings in relief, striking out one while allowing a walk and an earned run.
The next day, he took the mound at IVCC to face Kankakee. He held the Cavaliers to one run through seven innings, departing with one out in the eighth with the score tied at 2. He scattered five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Fields, a diehard Texas Rangers fan, also finds time to serve as an assistant coach for the Princeton frosh-soph squad.
Princeton’s Michael Murray got the save Tuesday and pitched out of a jam Wednesday, finishing with 1.1 scoreless innings in relief.
IVCC teammates include fellow Tiger Jack Click, Hall grads Kyle Pikula and Scott Coutts and St. Bede products Nick Passini and Austin Duffell.
Also pitching this spring are Monmouth College’s Brik Wedekind (Princeton) and North Central College John King (Manlius). Wedekind stands 0-2 with a 3.13 ERA in four starts for the Fighting Scots (3-11). He has struck out 16 batters in 23 innings.
King, a junior lefty, has pitched one scoreless inning for the Cardinals.
• Two area ball players are swinging some big sticks for their college teams.
Former St. Bede standout Nick Hueneberg is batting .329 through for the Tiffin (Ohio) University Dragons first with 16 RBIs and 13 runs scored. He blasted two home runs in a March 15 doubleheader against Benedict in Columbia, S.C.
The only thing that’s slowed him down is a sore hamstring, which team trainers have classified as a Grade 2 pull which will sideline him for two weeks. Hueneberg had made the move over from third to short stop due to an injury to a teammate.
Princeton’s Reid Clary is batting .370 (10-27) for the South Dakota University Jackrabbits, making eight starts in 11 appearances. Clary’s RBI triple drove in the Jackrabbits’ lone run in a 5-1 loss to the University of Minnesota on March 27 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, the former home of the Minnesota Twins.
• Bailey Roberts (Sheffield) and Sam Sons (Dalzell) are teaming up at Monmouth College. Roberts, a freshman utility player from Bureau Valley, is batting .375 (9-24) with five RBIs and four runs scored for the Fighting Scots (8-7). She cracked her first collegiate homer in a 14-2 loss to North Central College on March 30. Sons, a senior outfielder from St, Bede, has made 10 starts, collecting five RBIs with eight runs scored.
• Anna Phillips, a sophomore outfielder from Bureau Valley is the leading hitter for Trinity Christian College, batting .385. She has been succesful on 9 of 13 steal attempts.
• Sam Shepard, sophomore from Wyanet (Bureau Valley), is playing infield and has moved back behind the plate to catch for Iowa Wesleyan. She is batting .231 (9-39).
• Brittany Burgess and the Bradley Braves travel to Omaha, Neb., this weekend to face Creighton with first place on the line in the Missouri Valley Conference. Burgess, a sophomore infielder from St. Bede, is batting .268 (19-71) with 14 runs scored.
• Former St. Bede teammate Bethany Stavrakas, a freshman outfielder, has started in all 19 games she has played for Beloit College, batting .189 (8-43). She was also a member of the Beloit volleyball team.
• Princeton’s Alyssa James, a senior second baseman, has made 18 starts for the Gradeland University Yellowjackets, batting .180 (9-50).
• Closer to home, Johnna Schultz, a freshman from Hall, and Britney Burkhart, a sophomore from St. Bede are playing for the IVCC Eagles.
• Other area softballers include Taylor Hewitt (Bureau Valley), a freshman infielder/pitcher for Lincoln College, and Sara Smoode (Hall), a junior infielder for Rockford College.
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