Sandburg Baseball Sophomores Ball, Shields Voted 1st-Team All-Region IV


GALESBURG — A pair of Carl Sandburg College sophomores have been voted to the All-Region IV Division II baseball team for the second consecutive season.

Center fielder Mitch Ball and corner infielder Jack Shields were both first-team all-region selections this year by Region IV coaches. Ball was a first-team pick for the second straight season, while Shields was a second-team honoree last year.

Ball, a center fielder from East Peoria, played in 47 games this spring and led the Chargers in batting (.429), on-base percentage (.528), slugging (.731), OPS (1.259) and runs (62) while also tying for the team lead in extra-base hits (28) and steals (19).

In 195 plate appearances, Ball collected 67 hits with eight home runs and 39 RBIs. Ball, also a two-time All-Arrowhead Conference selection in his time at Sandburg, added 17 doubles and three triples while finishing second on the team to Shields in total bases with 114.

Shields, who was recently named the 2023 Arrowhead Conference MVP, played in all 53 games this spring for Sandburg. The Peoria Heights native and Peoria Notre Dame High School product led the Chargers with 215 plate appearances, 70 hits, 19 doubles, 59 RBIs, 28 extra-base hits and 116 total bases.

Shields put together a slash line of .350/.381/.580 for a .961 OPS. He homered nine times, scored 34 runs and was 5 for 5 in stolen base attempts.


Player of the Year — Mason Schwalbach (sophomore, McHenry County)

First Team

Pitchers — Aaron Rice (freshman, McHenry County), Brennan Miller (sophomore, Lake County), Alex Hayes (sophomore, Madison)
Catcher — Mason Schwalbach (sophomore, McHenry County)
Infielders — Miguel Cantu (freshman, Morton), Felix Polanco (sophomore, Highland), Tyler Thompson (freshman, Kankakee), Jack Shields (sophomore, Sandburg)
Outfielders — Christian Hobbs (sophomore, Black Hawk), Mitch Ball (sophomore, Sandburg), Lucas Spence (sophomore, Black Hawk)

Designated Hitter — Tyler Castro (sophomore, McHenry County)

Second Team
Pitchers — Chris Byrhe (sophomore, Madison), Quinn Hoftender (freshman, Black Hawk), Dillon Schueler (freshman, Sauk Valley)
Catcher — Alex Brodie (sophomore, Morton)
Infielders — Will Johannes (freshman, Madison), Valentin Cerna (sophomore, Lake County), Ethan Bowers (freshman, Black Hawk), Lucas Rick (freshman, Rock Valley)
Outfielders — Ryan Jenkins (freshman, Morton), Alex Janke (sophomore, McHenry County), Gabe Roessler (sophomore, Madison)

Designated Hitter — Payton Mathews (sophomore, Rock Valley)

***Story and photos courtesy of Sandburg Athletic Department***

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