Three More Pitchers Added to Lakeshore Staff
Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks experienced firsthand in 2014 how important pitching is over the long grind of the Northwoods League season and have added three more promising and experienced pitchers to the squad for 2015. Isaac Sampen (Eastern Illinois), Rustin Sveum (Dixie State), and Tyler Zuber (Arkansas State) will each take the mound for the Chinooks this summer.
Isaac Sampen is competing in his first year with Eastern Illinois after playing his first two seasons with Parkland College. Sampen, a 6’2 relief pitcher and outfielder, continues the line of EIU Panthers who have played at Lakeshore including Joe Greenfield and Brant Valach. As a sophomore in 2014, the Brownsburg, IN native hit .302 with six home runs and 37 RBIs for Parkland. The Panthers have given him the opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps as a pitcher and thus far, Isaac has made six appearances and posted seven strikeouts and 4.50 ERA with hopes of grooming him to be a closer. Isaac’s father is Bill Sampen, who had a four-year major league career pitching for Montreal, Kansas City, and California from 1990-94. As an outfielder, Sampen is adjusting at the plate where he has eight hits and three RBIs in 44 at-bats, but anticipates a good summer in Wisconsin, saying “I'm looking forward to an awesome opportunity to play against top-level talent day in and day out. Brant (Valach) has told me about Lakeshore and I've heard nothing but great things about the experience and staff.” And Sampen comes with good advice from his father, explaining, “He taught me to come ready to play and go out there and lay it all out on the table every single day and let the chips fall where they may.”
Rustin Sveum also has MLB blood lines as the son of former Milwaukee Brewer and current hitting coach for the Kansas City Royals, Dale Sveum. Rustin was originally scheduled to play for Lakeshore in 2012, but a late season hip injury prevented him from playing that summer. Currently in his junior season at Dixie State in Utah, Sveum has made nine appearances in relief with eight strikeouts and a 4.20 ERA. After prepping at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, AZ, Sveum was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 39th Round of the 2012 MLB Draft, but chose to attend Dixie State where he posted a career ERA of 1.59 entering this year. Chinooks GM Dean Rennicke says of Sveum, “We are looking forward to having Rustin as a part of the 2015 Chinooks pitching staff. Rustin has grown up around baseball with his father Dale in the Major Leagues as a player, coach and manager for many years. Rustin will bring knowledge and a professional attitude about pitching that will help all of our pitchers.”
Tyler Zuber is having an outstanding sophomore season at Arkansas State where he has posted a stellar 2.16 ERA in 41.2 innings of work. The right-hander from White Hall, AR has recorded a 3-2 record and 39 strikeouts while limiting opponents to a .205 batting average. Zuber also was effective as a freshman for the Red Wolves in 2014 when he made 24 appearances with a 2.34 ERA and struck out 33 hitters and was on the final ballot for the NCBWA Freshman All-America team. Zuber was a standout pitcher at White Hall High School where he helped lead the Bulldogs to the 5A state championship during his junior season and was an all-state, all-state tournament, and all-conference team selection as a junior. Zuber, who models his approach after Greg Maddux, recently commented, “I am looking forward to a great summer and a championship with a great group of guys. I try to be a strike thrower and a guy who gets people out as quick as possible.”
Zuber, Sveum, and Sampen will get their first home opportunity on May 28th when Lakeshore takes on the Kenosha Kingfish at 6:35pm. The first 1,000 fans will receive a 2014 championship pennant (courtesy of Port Washington State Bank) and a 2015 magnet schedule (courtesy of Professional Supply). On Opening Day, there will also be a special pre-game championship celebrate. The championship celebration week will continue on Saturday, May 30th with Championship Trophy Gill bobblehead for the first 1,000 fans (sponsored by GS Design).
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com