Meeting the Freshman: GU Baseball Edition

Media by Dustin Phelps.

GU Baseball has recently done some recruiting and has added some new faces on the field. This year they have 11 new players for the class of 2024. Since the team lost many players to transfer opportunities and graduation last year, these freshmen are looking to step in and work to get some playing time.

Pitcher Luke Fleener. Media by Wyatt Boyer.

The first freshman is Luke Fleener. Fleener comes from the small town of Louisville, Illinois where he attended North Clay High School. Standing at 6’3, Fleener is a lanky pitcher who throws the ball with confidence. Fleener is an engineering major, and he came to Greenville to get a quality education. Fleener is also talented in basketball, and he says, ”I played in high school, and if I played more my sophomore year, I would have been a thousand point scorer.”

Freshmen Pitcher Justin Willenbrock. Media by Wyatt Boyer.

Another pitcher is Justin Willenbrock. Willenbrock grew up in Arnold, Missouri, and he went to Christian Brothers College High school. Willenbrock is undecided about what major he wants to pursue, but he has narrowed his academic search down to agricultural business or mechanical engineering. He came to Greenville because he felt that the small campus would be an easy transition. Willenbrock also loves to hunt. “Hunting is my favorite thing to do other than baseball,” he states.

Freshmen infielder Tanner Gerdes. Media by Wyatt Boyer

Tanner Gerdes is the next freshman, and he reigns from Bartleso, Illinois and Mater Dei High School. Gerdes plays middle infield and third base. Gerdes’ major is environmental biology, and he considers himself to be very good at water skiing, saying, “A weird thing I’m good at is water skiing. Even though I have terrible balance, I can rip through that water like it’s nothing.”

Freshmen Pitcher Ian Wilson. Media by Wyatt Boyer

The next freshman pitcher is Ian Wilson. Wilson is from Rochester, Illinois where he attended Rochester High School and is a sports management major. Wilson was thrilled to have the opportunity to come to Greenville small, but very nice campus. Wilson said, “Greenville reminds me of a home, which is why it was a no-brainer to come here.” Wilson also loves video games. “I usually play Call of Duty with the guys I live with and almost always destroy them.”

Catcher Brock Timmerman. Media by Wyatt Boyer.

The first and only catcher in this class is Brock Timmerman. Timmerman played alongside Gerdes at Mater Dei High School. The catcher is a business management major and also came to Greenville because of a long line of the family came here. Timmerman’s uncles also played baseball here back in the day. Brock’s favorite sport to watch is football. “Although I love baseball more, I do enjoy watching football the most,” he admits.

Pitcher Lucas Teel. Media by Wyatt Boyer.

Another pitcher in this class and a lefty, Lucas Teele. Teele is from Pinckneyville, Illinois, and went to Pinckneyville High School. Teele is pursuing a degree to be a middle school teacher. One interesting thing about Teele is that he was the quarterback in high school, and while in this position, he was able to throw the ball with both hands. Teele said,” It depended on which way I would roll out of the pocket. If I rolled out to the left, I threw it with my left. If I went right, I threw with my right.”

Pitcher Zion Hutchcraft. Media by Wyatt Boyer.

The next is a side-armed slinger, Zion Hutchcraft. Hutchcraft is From Vandalia and attended Vandalia Community High School. Hutchcraft is a physical education major and came here because of the awesome coaching staff. He says, “Coach Carlson really talked me into coming here, and all the coaches seemed so supportive. I knew right away that’s the kind of atmosphere I want to be around day in and day out.” Hutchcraft also loves playing football. “I always looked forward to Friday nights. I would always be super anxious and nervous, but I was ready when it was game time.”

Pitcher Terry Millikan. Media by Wyatt Boyer.

The last of our pitchers’ freshman is Terry Millikan. Milikan is from Maryland Heights, Missouri where he attended Pattonville High School. Millikan is a sports management major. Just like most of the freshmen, Millikan is a fan of the small campus. “I love how you can get to know so many people here. It’s kind of like high school because having relationships in life is very important to me,” he adds. Milikan also likes to play basketball here when he has free time. “I love when all the guys go to the gym and play basketball. I have always loved competition.”

Middle Infielder Brexton Beard(Orange). Media by Wyatt Boyer.

The next three freshmen are all two-ways. Two ways are guys who both play the field as well as pitch. The first one is Brexton Beard. Beard is from Quincy, Illinois, and went to Quincy Norte Dame High School. Beard is an exercise science major and calls himself an expert Spikeball player. “I consider myself to be a pretty good player, and yes, that’s a challenge to anyone who is willing to accept it.”

Two-Way River Baker. Media by Wyatt Boyer.

The next two way is River Baker. Baker is from Pella, Iowa, and he attended Pella High School. Baker is also an outfielder, and he majors in education. Baker really liked the program’s culture, saying, “I love the Christian-based team we have here on campus. I knew this was the team I wanted to be a part of when I heard about Greenville.”

Pitcher Josh McGovern. Media by Wyatt Boyer.

The last two-way is Josh McGovern. McGovern is all the way from Anchorage, Alaska, and he went to Grace Christian High School. McGovern also plays third base, and he majors in music industry studies. McGovern also plays the guitar. “I learned how to play it when I was little, and it makes me happy when I get to play it.”

This class of new panthers is looking to get noticed by the coaches as they try to get a starting spot in the lineup. They are sure to be working hard for the upcoming season next spring.

Media By Dustin Phelps.


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