Mike Byker, Sports Information Director
SIOUX CENTER – The Dordt University baseball program has announced its recruiting class for the 2020-21 school year. 22 players from 14 states and one Canadian province make up the class.
Benjamin Baker, a senior at Central Technical School (Ontario), was picked as his team’s Rookie of the Year in 2015 and was chosen as team MVP in 2016 and 2017 and has played catcher and outfield. Baker was on a PBLO 16U and PBLO 18U Championship team.
“After various recruiting discussions with assistant coaches Roose and Eschelman, I was able to take a trip to Dordt. During my recruiting visit I was absolutely blown away the schools impressive academic and athletic facilities. After meeting coach Bacon and hearing his philosophies combined with the faith based education I knew Dordt was where I wanted to continue my academics and play collegiate baseball,” said Baker.
Benjamin is the son of Jesse Baker and Miranda Burrell. He plans to study Biology.
Matthew Bokhoven, a senior at Pella Christian High School (Iowa), batted .245 as a junior and played third base, first base and pitcher. He was a part of a 2019 baseball district champion.
Matthew is the son of Stuart and Amy Bokhoven of Pella, Iowa. He plans to study Mechanical Engineering.
“I chose Dordt because I like the campus and Christian principles that are seen throughout the university academically and athletically,” said Bokhoven.
Michael Bruell, a senior at Plano High School (Texas), pitched in high school and posted a 2.4 earned run average while earning I-8 All-Conference honors in 2019 and he was named to the Kendall County All-Area Team.
“I loved the coaches and all around enviroment at Dordt. Great facilities as well,” said Bruell.
Michael is the son of Brandy Gregory and Mike Bruell. He plans to study Sports Management at Dordt.
Nolan Christianson, a senior at Omaha Burke High School (Nebraska), had a .332 batting average with 25 runs batted in, 27 runs scored , 15 stolen bases and one homerun. He’s played mostly shortstop and centerfield.
“I see Dordt as the perfect place to pursue nursing and continue my baseball career while strengthening my relationship with God,” said Christianson.
Nolan is the son of Dorotha Rohlfsen and Jason Christianson of Omaha, Nebraska. He plans to study Nursing at Dordt.
Kolt Davis, a senior at Johnson-Brock High School (Nebraska), pitched 50 innings in 2019 with 74 strikeouts. His strikeout to walk ratio was 5:1. Davis was an all-conference and all-state honorable mention pick in 2019 and he served as his team captain. A multi-sport standout, Davis earned honorable mention all-state honors in basketball and was an academic all-state selection in football while also claiming all-district football honors. Davis was a part of a third place winner at the 2018 baseball state tournament and was on 2019 state champions in football and basketball.
“Dordt stood out to me in a number of ways. First of all, I love what Dordt stands for and has to offer me. I prayed a lot about the decision and God just kept giving me peace about attending Dordt. Secondly, I really like Coach Bacon and the rest of the baseball coaching staff. They have given me a great opportunity to continue my baseball career under them, and they have made this process of change a whole lot easier for me. Another person who has been a huge help in this unfamiliar process for me has been Kyle Gaines and I thank him for that. Lastly, I love the campus and the atmosphere of Dordt. It is a beautiful campus in a smaller community which reminds me of my hometown. That will help me get to know a lot of people and have close relationships with them,” said Davis.
Kolt is the son of Brett and Tracy Davis of Johnson, Nebraska. He is undecided on his intended field of study.
Austin Degen, a senior at Ridge View High School (Iowa), batted .391 during his senior season for the Raptors and had four doubles, a triple and a homerun. Degen was named second-team all-state while earning first-team honors at the both the conference and district levels. He played in the Iowa Coaches Baseball All-Star Series and earned all-academic honors in football, basketball, track and baseball.
“I chose to attend Dordt University because it has a compact feel, excellent nursing program, will have a large impact on my faith life and I have always wanted to play baseball in college,” said Degen.
Austin is the son of Rich and Michelle Degen of Holstein, Iowa. He plans to enter the Nursing program.
Chaz Gothard played for FCA Loganville (Georgia) and had a .560 batting average with a .640 slugging percentage. He’s a lefthanded pitcher and posted a 3.11 earned run average and played first base when he wasn’t pitching. He claimed all-state and all-region honors in 2019 and was part of state champion teams in 2017 and 2018 and regional championship teams in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
“The Dordt campus is extremely nice and the professors I met were awesome. The business program is amazing. Academically Dordt will challenge me and prepare me for my career in business. The baseball facilities are fantastic. I can’t to play for Coach Bacon, Eshelman and Roose,” said Gothard.
Chaz is the son of Barry and Stacey Gothard of Social Circle, Georgia. He plans to study Business at Dordt.
Nicholas Gravel, a senior at Sydney High School (New York), had a 1.46 earned run average in 14 appearances with 86 strikeouts and walked 18 with 12 hits allowed. He was chosen a first-team all-star in the MAC.
“When I had the opportunity to see the campus and meet the staff I was sold. The baseball coaches and professors I met were different and had my best interest in mind when we discussed my future. The other school visits did not go like that. I’m very excited to be part of the Dordt family,” said Gravel.
Nicholas is the son of Deana and Michael Gravel of Sidney, New York. He plans to study Business at Dordt.
Charlie Hennessy, a senior at Olympic High School (Washington), was a three-year varsity letterman and had a .317 batting average. He’s a catcher and has a 1.94 pop time.
“I chose to commit to Dordt because it is an excellent school with exceptional teachers, staff and coaches who genuinely take an interest in a students well being,” said Hennessy.
Charlie is the son of Robert Hennessy of Rachel Hennessy from Bremerton, Washington. He plans to study Communications at Dordt.
Connor Hommes, a senior at Cherokee Trail High School (Colorado), batted .375 with 64 hits, 24 doubles, seven homeruns and 52 runs batted in. He played first base, third base and designated hitter and was a West Region Preseason All-American in 2020.
“I chose to attend Dordt because I have the opportunity to pursue my education at a Christian University while also having the opportunity to play baseball,” said Hommes.
Connor is the son of Kendal and Sonya Hommes. He plans to study Health and Human Performance.
Trevor Jackson, a senior at Broomfield High School (Colorado), posted a .415 batting average this fall and threw out nine runners while playing catcher.
“I really liked the enviroment, town and Dordt campus. The educational part felt like a good fit and everyone at Dordt is super friendly. I also liked all of the baseball coaches and the players I met,” said Jackson.
Trevor is the son of Kara and Stu Jackson of Broomfield, Colorado. He plans to study Mechanical Engineering.
Derek LaBounty, a senior at Florence High School (Texas), has played both pitcher and catcher during his career.
“Dordt University is Christ-centered and felt most like home,” said LaBounty.
Derek is the son of Kathleen and Dana LaBounty of Florence, Texas. He plans to study Enviromental Studies.
Andrew Lofgren, a senior at Lincoln Lutheran (Nebraska), batted .310 last season with six doubles and a homerun while earning all-conference honorable mention honors. He’s played first base and third base.
Andrew is the son of Jeff and Amy Lofgren of Lincoln, Nebraska. He plans to study Engineering at Dordt.
Sam McCauley, a senior at Baker High School (Oregon), had a .441 batting average and posted a 0.49 earned run average with 1.74 strikeouts per inning. He played third base, shortstop and is a right-handed pitcher. McCauley was a first-team all-conference pitcher and was a Baseball Northwest and PAC Northwest Selection. He’s a four-year letterman in baseball and also was an honorable mention all-state football player and has been selected to play in the East/West Shrine football game. McCauley was a member of a baseball and football team that qualified for the Oregon State Quarterfinals.
“I chose Dordt because I love the community and atmosphere,” said McCauley.
Sam is the son of Alan and Michele McCauley of Baker City, Oregon. He is undecided on his intended field of study.
Spencer Miller, a senior at Smithville High School (Missouri), batted .357 this season with a .518 slugging percentage with four doubles, a triple and a homerun. He scored 19 runs and had 11 runs batted in his team’s leadoff spot and he took 10 bases on balls.
Miller was a third-team all-conference and all-district selection in baseball and was a first-team all-district and all-conference pick in football and was his conference’s player of the year. He was a part of three conference championship teams in football and made the state’s final four in the sport. Miller was on one baseball conference champion.
“I picked Dordt is because I felt God was calling me to go here! Also I want to continue to grow in my faith!” said Miller.
Spencer is the son of Lara and Jeremy Miller of Smithville, Missouri. He plans to study Business at Dordt.
Chance Mitchell, a senior at Mansfield Timberview High School (Texas), was a first-team all-district utility player and an academic all-district player for Mansfield. He’s played every position on defense except for first base.
“I chose Dordt because the coaches see potential in me and my skill set to better the baseball program. The campus has a vibe that I belong here and I live the atmosphere,” said Mitchell.
Chance is the son of Bruce and Heather Mitchell of Arlington, Texas. Mitchell plans to enter the pre-Physical Therapy program at Dordt.
Luke Moustis, a senior at Williams Field High School (Arizona), has played first base and third base for Williams Field High School.
“I loved the atmosphere, campus and people on my first visit,” said Moustis.
Luke is the son of Brant and Jessica Moustis of Gilbert, Arizona. He plans to study Chemistry and enter the pre-Med program.
Nathan Patterson, a senior at Horizon Honors (Arizona), has played first base and third base and pitcher during his career and was selected a Junior All-Academic Baseball member.
“Dordt is the best school for me because I can further my love for baseball while getting a degree I care about,” said Patterson.
Nathan is the son of Christi and Steven Patterson of Chandler, Arizona. He plans to study Mechanical Engineering at Dordt.
Matthew Poling, a senior at Clinton High School (Missouri), posted a 2.90 earned run average in high school and was an all-district selection.
“I love the small hometown atmosphere the town and the campus provide and the nice on-campus facilities,” said Poling.
Matthew is the son of Danny ad Lisa Poling of Clinton, Missouri. He plans to study Farm Operations and Management.
Cardiff Smith, a senior at Mammoth High School (California), earned all-league honorable mention honors as a high school junior and is a 6-2 pitcher.
“I loved the school when I visited in the fall. I felt called here and am so grateful for this opportunity to play,” said Smith.
Cardiff is the son of Mark and Melody Smith of Mammoth Lakes, California. He plans to study Business.
Brock Spade, a senior at Hamilton High School (Arizona), has played pitcher, catcher, first base and right field during his career.
“It’s a great school with a great atmosphere and friendly people everywhere you go,” said Spade.
Brock is the son of Ryan and Stephanie Spade of Chandler, Arizona. He plans to study Biomedical Engineering at Dordt.
Dylan Stanley, a senior at Timber Creek High School (Florida), had a .273 batting average and a perfect fielding percentage. He earned academic honors in 2020 and was part of a pair of district, regional and metro championships in 2018 and 2019. The 2018 team was a state runner-up and the 2019 was a state final four runner-up.
“I chose to commit to Dordt because I wanted to find a place not only to play and help a team win, but also because of the Christian atmosphere and because of my major,” said Stanley.
Dylan is the son of Rick and Amy Stanley of Alafaya, Florida. He plans to study Sports Management.
Matthew Tiersma, a senior at Nampa Christian High School (Idaho), pitched 28 innings in 2019 with a 2.47 earned run average with 46 strikeouts. He was a part of state championship teams in 2017 and 2018 and has played first base along with pitching. Tiersma was picked as a 2018 all-star and the 2018 team was picked as the Idaho Boys Spring Team of the Year.
“The coaches, players and the atmosphere of Dordt was attractive and drew me in like a magnet. Everyone was welcoming and the feeling when I was on campus was completely different, in a good way, from when I was on other college campuses,” said Tiersma.
Matthew is the son of Lynn and Kim Tiersma of Nampa, Idaho. He plans to study Health and Human Performance at Dordt.
Zach Van Essen, a senior at Western Christian High School (Iowa), batted .284 last season with 19 hits, four doubles and eight stolen bases. He also pitched 27 innings while posting a 3-3 record and he had two saves with 23 strikeouts.
“I’ve been going to Dordt events my whole life and wanted to go there for my own experience,” said Van Essen.
Zach is the son of Dave and Jill Van Essen of Sheldon, Iowa. He plans to study Business Administration at Dordt.
Nick Yeager, a senior at Canton High School (Michigan), got credit for 51 and two-third innings pitched in 2019 and struck out 57 batters while recording a 6-1 record with a 0.95 earned run average. He earned all-conference and all-district honors along with being named a 2019 KLAA Scholar-Athlete.
“I loved the campus, coaches and professors on my visit. Most importantly God revealed this was the best choice for me,” said Yeager.
Nick is the son of Mary and Jeff Yeager of Canton, Michigan. He plans to study Engineering at Dordt.