Grafton, WI – Two local freshmen, who both played at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, will be returning home. Joe Acker (University of Nebraska) and Connor Kimple (Oklahoma State University) have been signed to play for the Lakeshore Chinooks during the 2017 Northwoods League season. As high school seniors, Acker and Kimple led Marquette, coached by Sal Bando, Jr., to a runner-up finish at Kapco Park in the 2016 WIAA State tournament. They will each be joined by a college teammate in Jeff Athey (University of Nebraska) and Daniel DeSimone (Oklahoma State University) on the Chinooks roster. With experienced upperclassmen ahead of them, each of these young players is awaiting opportunities to play for two of the nation’s best programs and will be eager to get playing time in a Chinooks uniform:
Joe Acker is a speedy outfielder from Waukesha, WI. Tabbed as the No. 4 overall player and No. 1 outfielder in the state, Acker was selected as a Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American and was chosen to the All-Central Region second team. Acker excels on defense and a gap hitter at the plate.
Jeff Athey signed with Nebraska out of Eden Prairie, MN where he was also a Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American selection at third base. Recognized as the No. 2 overall player in Minnesota, Athey hits for power and can play either corner infield position. In 2015, Athey earned All-Tournament honors at the 17U Perfect Game World Series in Goodyear, AZ.
Connor Kimple joined Acker in the MUHS outfield and on the Rawlings-Perfect Game second team and as an Honorable Mention All-American. A local product of Whitefish Bay, Kimple hit .414 with two home runs, 38 RBIs and 32 stolen bases and was rated as the state’s 9th best player as a senior.
Daniel DeSimone is a corner infielder from Broken Arrow, OK where he played at Bishop Kelly High School and hit .500 as a senior with three homers and 25 RBI. He was named to the 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American and All-West Region First Team and was honored with the prestigious 2016 Ferguson Jenkins Outstanding Student-Athlete Award in Oklahoma.
You can catch your first glimpse of the 2017 Chinooks roster on Saturday, June 3rd when Lakeshore takes on the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters at 6:35pm at Kapco Park. Season tickets, mini game packages, and group tickets are all currently on sale. Single game tickets go on sale to the public in early May. For tickets and more information, call 262-618-4659 or visit lakeshorechinooks.com.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Chinooks as your favorite team.