Kishwaukee’s Lueneburg drafted by Braves


Jake Lueneburg runs in on a fly ball for the DeKalb County Liners, a summer wood bat league for collegiate players. 

By Tony Osborne

The MLB Draft came finished last week without an NIU player getting a call to the big leagues.

Just up the road at Kishwaukee Community College, however, Jake Lueneburg got the nod from the Atlanta Braves in the 43rd round of the draft.

“It felt great. It was an accomplishment – to play for my whole life and to see it happen was neat,” Lueneburg said.

Lueneburg made the most of his two years at Kishwaukee mounting All-American, All-Conference, All-Region and All-Region Tournament team honors.

As a freshman, Lueneburg hit .507 in 43 games, which led all D-I Junior College players. There was no sophomore slump for this slugger, as he batted .433 and broke numerous Kishwaukee baseball records in his final season.

With two great seasons to start his collegiate career, it was no surprise that Lueneburg was sought after by many D-I programs. After deliberating between a few schools, Lueneburg chose the University of Houston to advance his career.

“[Lueneburg] is another guy that should have an immediate impact and be an anchor in the middle of our lineup,” Houston’s Head Coach Todd Whitting told

As the 1316th pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, Lueneburg was offered a Major League contract by the Atlanta Braves, but with no signing bonus. Lueneburg had to make a choice – play professionally or go to school?

“I’m going to go to school,” Lueneburg said. “It wasn’t a hard choice considering how high I went, and I just got a contract with no bonus.”

Before moving to Houston, Lueneburg is playing summer baseball for the DeKalb County Liners, who are coached by his mentor and former coach, Josh Pethoud.

“Aside from my father helping me throughout my whole life, Coach P. has helped me out the most,” Lueneburg said.

Pethoud expects Lueneburg to bring in some positive vibes to the team overall.

“Jake is the kind of guy that has a positive impact on a team for three of four years down the road,” Pethoud said.

As Lueneburg moves into the next stage of his career, his mentality of consistantly getting better will not change.

“I’m going to continue to improve my game and get drafted again next year,” Lueneburg said.