GALESBURG, Illinois—After a standout career in the Prairie Fire purple and gold, Drake Sykes ’17 and Alec Jordan ’17 are taking their baseball talents overseas. Sykes and Jordan both signed with the ACT Baseball League’s Woden Rebels in Canberra, Australia back in August and are now practicing with the club.
Sykes, an outfielder during his time at Knox, was voted to the ABCA/Rawlings All-American team his junior and season seasons after finishing as the national leader in batting average (.487) and on base percentage (.583) as a junior. The following year he was also top-20 in the nation in batting average (.420), on base percentage (.542), slugging percentage (.746), and RBI per game (1.27). The Galesburg native ended his career as Knox’s all-time leader in hits, total bases, and stolen bases.
After graduating in 2017, Sykes has stayed in shape in hopes that he would get an opportunity to continue his career. “I think that without all of the support from the people at Knox I wouldn’t be where I’m at now,” said Sykes “If I wouldn’t have had everyone telling me to not give up and keep going I’m not sure if I would be going to Australia to play baseball.”
Joining Sykes in Australia is former Knox teammate Alec Jordan. “Getting this chance to continue my baseball career after college is one that I am extremely grateful for. The number of guys that get to continue after college is very small so being one of them is unreal,” Jordan said.
The Spring Grove, IL native was on the Prairie Fire’s pitching staff and finished as the school’s all-time leader in strikeouts (194). He also picked up seven wins and two saves over his career in 170.1 innings pitched. His time in Australia is something he hopes he can use to build off the success he had at Knox. “I’m hoping this experience will help me develop even more as an athlete and an individual as a whole,” added Jordan.
The pair also appeared as teammates this past summer when they joined the Peoria Sunday Morning League and won the league title.
The Rebels Baseball Club is a subsidiary of the Australian Baseball League and has been playing games since the early 1930s. Sykes and Jordan will begin play later this month.