ON CAMPUS: Upper Iowa’s Sam Grushkin finishes up solid baseball season with Peacocks

Former area prep athletes continuing, finishing strong seasons for college teams

Upper Iowa University freshman third baseman and former Seneca High School baseball standout Sam Grushkin recently finished up a solid first full season with the Peacocks (13-26, 11-21 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference).

Grushkin appeared in 39 games, including 37 starts, batted .272 (34 for 125) with 10 doubles, a home run, 21 RBIs, eight stolen bases and a .374 on-base percentage. He recorded hits in 11 of the team’s final 14 games and finished the season with eight multi-hit contests.

The Rockford University baseball team (15-23, 7-13 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference) clinched the No. 4 seed for the NACC South Division Tournament while sweeping Concordia University Chicago 6-5 and 8-7 on Sunday afternoon. It’s RU’s first doubleheader sweep over CUC since 2004 and clinched a NACC Tournament playoff birth for the first time since 2014. Last week, outfielder/pitcher Jared Herzog (fr., Ottawa) was named the NACC South Division Baseball Pitcher of the Week after allowing just four hits and one run while striking out eight in a complete-game win over Dominican University. On the season, Herzog has played in 39 games, is batting .311 (42 for 135) with 10 doubles, a triple, a home run, 21 RBIs, six stolen bases and a .429 OBP. He has made eight appearances (five starts) on the hill and is 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings.


Saint Xavier University (33-2), ranked No. 14 in NAIA, scored twice in the top of the eighth inning to top No. 12 Olivet Nazarene University 5-3 in the championship game of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, the first CCAC Tournament title for the Cougars since 2015. SXU centerfielder Lyda Robinson (jr., Seneca), who had three hits and an RBI in the title game, has started all 35 games and is batting .415 (54 for 130) with a double, a triple, 14 RBIs, 30 stolen bases and a .462 OBP. SXU earned an automatic berth into the NAIA Tournament opening round.

Ball State University catcher Delanie Johnson (sr., Streator) went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI in a recent Cardinals’ 8-5 win over Western Michigan. Johnson has played in 34 games (32 starts) and is hitting .344 (31 for 90) with six doubles, four homers, 15 RBIs, a .422 OBP and a slugging percentage of .544. Ball State is currently 31-18 overall and 25-8 (second place) in the Mid-American Conference.

Kankakee Community College is 32-11 on the season. Infielder Claudia Morris (fr., Seneca) has played in 36 games and is hitting .300 (27 for 90) with six doubles, three home runs, 22 RBIs and nine stolen bases. Pitcher Anne Krull (fr., Seneca) has made 23 appearances (19 starts) and is 14-6 with a 3.50 ERA and 15 complete games. In 122 innings pitched she struck out 93.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville won its final nine games of the season to finish 18-21 overall and 18-14 in Ohio Valley Conference play. Rachael Quaritsch (rs-jr., Flanagan-Cornell) played in 36 games for the Cougars on the year and recorded 10 hits, including three doubles while scoring eight runs and driving in three. She was hit by pitch 10 times and had an OBP of .417.

Men’s golf

Carl Sandburg College wrapped up the Arrowhead Conference season with a third-place finish on Wednesday at TPC Deere Run. Grant Campbell (so., Earlville) shot an 82 to finish tied for 11th.

Track and Field

The University of St. Francis women’s squad scored 191 points to claim a runner-up finish at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships. Eva Bruno (sr., Seneca) placed first in the 800-meter run (2:15.84) and was part of the winning 3200-relay team (9:24.72). Evelyn Odum (so., Ottawa) finished fourth in the pole vault with a best effort of 9 feet, 8 inches. Mara Bruno (fr., Seneca) scored in five different events as she was part of both the second-place 400 and 1600 relay teams, while individually placing third in the long jump (16-10) and fifth in both the 100 (:12.61 seconds) and 200 dashes (:25.47). Individually, she totaled 14 points and including the two relays she had a hand in on 30 of USF’s points. Also at the event, Olivet Nazarene University’s Madeleine Robinson (sr., Sandwich) won the shot put (43-1 1/2), third in the hammer throw (159-9) and seventh in the discus (113-3).

The North Central College women’s team won the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Outdoor Championship, winning the event for the second straight time and 11th overall. Alexandria Draves (jr., Seneca) finished second in the hammer throw (173-11) and 12th in the discus (116-10), with her effort in the former beating her previous collegiate best by more than nine feet and moved up her up to No. 3 in program history. Also at the event, Illinois Wesleyan University’s Cora Wilkinson (sr., Seneca) ran a career-best 1:04.03 to finish second in the 400 hurdles while also placing 10th in the long jump (15-11).

The North Central College men’s team won the CCIW Outdoor Championship for the third consecutive time and 40th all-time. Dolan Harris (sr., Streator) finished 8th in the 3000 steeplechase (9:56.78) for the Cardinals.

Brian Hoxsey

I worked for 25 years as a CNC operator and in 2005 answered an ad in The Times for a freelance sports writer position. I became a full-time sports writer/columnist for The Times in February of 2016. I enjoy researching high school athletics history, and in my spare time like to do the same, but also play video games and watch Twitch.