Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

COLUMN: Assembling the 2024 MAC baseball All-Star team

Tim Dodge
Then-junior Colin Summerhill stands over home plate in an NIU baseball home game against Western Michigan University on April 14, 2023. Summerhill was named to the Northern Star Sports Staff’s MAC baseball All-Star squad. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

With the MAC baseball season a little more than halfway over, now is the perfect time to create our own MAC baseball All-Star team. 

CATCHER: NIU senior Colin Summerhill 

The backstop of the Huskies currently leads the MAC in home runs with 17 and is tied with  Miami University outfielder Zach MacDonald for first in RBIs with 45.

The Chicago native broke the NIU single-season home run record with 19 games remaining and currently ranks third on the NIU career home run list.

Summerhill has committed just three errors in 2024 and sports a .986 fielding percentage. 

Summerhill’s best game of 2024 was against Eastern Illinois University on April 9. Summerhill went 3-for-6, hitting two home runs, driving in six runs and scoring two runs of his own.

INFIELD: Western Michigan University senior Cade Sullivan

Through 37 games, Sullivan is leading the MAC with a .411 batting average, including 15 multi-hit games.

Sullivan’s 8 home runs place him in a 10-way tie for 12th in the MAC and his 41 RBIs are good for seventh place in the conference. 

The Naperville, Illinois, native has also been superb on defense. Sullivan has started every game for the Broncos so far, committing just one error and posting a fielding percentage of .997.

Sullivan’s best game of 2024 was against the University of Notre Dame on March 19. Sullivan went 3-for-4 with two home runs and 6 RBIs while scoring three runs.

INFIELD: University of Toledo junior Garret Pike

Pike has launched 14 home runs so far this season and is currently in a three-way tie for third place in the MAC, trailing only Summerhill and MacDonald.

In addition to his extreme power, Pike ranks 10th in the MAC in batting average at .354. Pike currently ranks sixth in the conference in RBIs with 42. 

Pike has committed just one error in 2024 and currently holds a .988 fielding percentage.

Pike’s best game this year was against Kent State University on April 13. He went 5-for-5, crushing three home runs, notching 5 RBIs and scoring four runs.

INFIELD: Ball State University senior Michael Hallquist

Hallquist is hitting .363 in 2024, good for sixth in the MAC and boasts an OPS (on- base plus slugging percentage) of 1.138 which ranks third in the conference.

Along with Pike, Hallquist is a part of the three-way tie for third place in home runs with 14. Hallquist is tied with Western Michigan redshirt junior outfielder Dylan Nevar for fourth in RBIs with 43.

Hallquist leads the MAC in total bases at 114 while sporting a fielding percentage of .974. 

Hallquist’s best game of the season came against Jacksonville University on March 2, going 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, 5 RBIs and two runs scored.

INFIELD: Western Michigan University junior CJ Richmond

Similar to his teammate Sullivan, Richmond has also crushed 8 home runs this season. Richmond is tied for eighth in the conference in RBIs with Kent State redshirt senior outfielder Josh Johnson with 40.

Despite leading the MAC in strikeouts, Richmond’s .345 batting average is good for 14th in the conference. 

Richmond’s best game of the season was against the University of Michigan on Feb. 16. Richmond was 2-for-4 with 2 doubles and 4 RBIs, reaching base safely five times.

OUTFIELD: Ohio University senior Gideon Antle

Antle owns a .392 batting average over the 2024 campaign for the Bobcats, good for second in the MAC. The slugging senior also has eight long balls on the year with 39 RBI’s.

Antle also has the MAC co-lead in doubles for the season with 13 and is tied with Central Michigan University senior infielder Danny Wuestenfeld.

The 5-foot-9-inch senior also has a .9767 fielding percentage in the outfield this season and has only made two errors. 

OUTFIELD: Kent State redshirt senior Josh Johnson

On the season, Johnson has a .368 batting average with eight home runs and 40 runs driven in. Despite hitting .161 through Kent State’s first eight games, Johnson now owns the fifth-best batting average in the MAC. 

The 6-foot-2-inch senior is also tied for the most stolen bases in the MAC, stealing 17 bags on 21 attempts so far this season. 

Johnson has been able to consistently hit for average over his four seasons at Kent State as he owns a .341 career batting average and a career-high .371 batting average in 2022.

OUTFIELD: Bowling Green University sophomore DJ Newman

Newman has the second best batting average behind freshman catcher Garret Wright on the MAC’s first baseball team to start conference play 17-0. Newman also has nine home runs and 35 RBI’s on the season and anchors one of the best offenses in the MAC. 

Not only has Newman been a standout hitter for Bowling Green, but he also owns a 3.61 ERA in 42.1 innings of work so far this season. 

STARTING PITCHER: Ball State University freshman Keegan Johnson

Johnson has started his collegiate career at Ball State by going 6-0 with a 4.15 ERA through 11 appearances, 10 of which were starts. The southpaw’s 59 strikeouts on the year are good for fourth in the MAC and his 10 walks allowed is the third least in the conference. 

Ball State has won 9 of 11 games that Johnson has appeared in, winning the last five. 

The young lefty’s best start of the year came March 24 against the University of Toledo where he pitched seven innings, struck out 11 and only allowed one run.

RELIEF PITCHER: Miami University sophomore Carson Byers

Byers has been one of the best relief pitchers in the MAC over the last month, as he has given up just two earned runs over his last six appearances. 

The left-hander has a 3.35 ERA on the year, good for first in the MAC, and owns a 4-1 win/loss record. Opposing batters are hitting just .173 against Byers this season, which is the lowest in the conference. Byers also sits in sixth for strikeouts in the MAC, with 57 punchouts. 

More to Discover