Baseball is all about numbers, and the Black Hawk College baseball team had a bunch of good ones this year.
For the second time in three years – and the 29th time overall – the Braves were the Arrowhead Conference champions. The Braves also were NJCAA Region 4 Division II Sectional champions and took 3rd place in their third straight appearance in the NJCAA Region 4 Division II Tournament.
In only his third year as head coach, Josh Keim notched his 100th win on April 15.
The Braves ended the 2023 season with an overall record of 37-24 and an Arrowhead Conference record of 17-3.
On the academic side, the team received the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Award and earned a 2022-23 team GPA of 3.08.
The baseball team has the largest roster at Black Hawk College and an impressive 53% of the players were on the Athletic Director’s Academic List for Fall 2022 and 56% for Spring 2023. To make the list, student-athletes must have a minimum 3.25 GPA for the semester.
Individual player awards and accomplishments:
- BHC Male Student-Athlete of the Year – Quinn Hoftender (pitcher – Orion, IL)
- NJCAA Region 4 All-Region First Team – Christian Hobbs (outfielder – Omaha, NE) and Lucas Spence (outfielder – Beecher, IL)
- NJCAA Region 4 All-Region Second Team – Quinn Hoftender and Ethan Bowers (infielder – Vernon Hills, IL)
- NJCAA Region 4 Rawlings Gold Glove Team – Johnny Hernandez (catcher – Plainfield, IL), Lucas Spence and Payton Plym (pitcher – Seatonville, IL)
- Arrowhead All-Conference Team – Quinn Hoftender, Jack Savitch (pitcher – Spring Valley, IL), Christian Hobbs, Griffin Brown (outfielder – Lockport, IL) and Ethan Bowers
- NJCAA Region 4 individual leaders
- Pitcher Quinn Hoftender – 3rd in wins (8) and 5th in ERA (2.94)
- Infielder Ethan Bowers – Tied for 4th in stolen bases (40)
Keim is excited for his 11 players who are moving on to four-year programs and he is excited about the BHC team for 2023-24.
“We are looking forward to building a strong foundation with our new group of student-athletes focused on the goal of carrying on our tradition of success both on the field and in the classroom,” he said.