Baseball: Eight Wildcats to spend vacation playing summer baseball


Daily file photo by Brian Meng

Ben Dickey slides into home plate. The junior will play with the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks this summer.

Peter Warren, Assistant Sports Editor


While Northwestern’s season ended 10 days ago, some Wildcats are not finished playing baseball for the summer.

Eight Wildcats will play collegiate summer baseball with seven different teams across four different leagues. All of these NU players competing in summer leagues are position players.

“Baseball is a repetition sport, so you have to play the game,” coach Spencer Allen said. “It just provides that overall repetition. Summer ball is very important for us for sure.”

Junior shortstop Jack Dunn will return to the Lakeshore Chinooks in Mequon, Wisconsin, for the second consecutive summer. The Chinooks are one of 20 teams that play in the Northwoods League.

Last summer with the Chinooks, Dunn hit .287 with a .356 on-base percentage and 11 stolen bases while splitting time between shortstop and third base. He said he learned a lot from his teammates last summer.

“When you are there with other players, you try to pick their brains a little bit and see what they do and how they go about their business,” Dunn said. “See if I can get some tips or advice from other players around the league.”

Also playing in the Northwoods League this summer is Dunn’s double-play partner, sophomore second baseman Alex Erro. Erro will play with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Two Cats — sophomore third baseman Charlie Maxwell and freshman catcher Jack Kelly — will spend their summer together. The duo will play with the Brockton Rox in Brockton, Massachusetts, of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. Last summer, Brockton was coached by former Northwestern assistant coach Tad Skelley.

Maxwell, who is an Evanston native, said going away for the summer lets him see new parts of the country and play with people from many different backgrounds.

“Last year, I was out west (to Oregon) and I didn’t know a single person in the entire league,” Maxwell said. “Kelly and I are actually living together. It will be nice to have him there to push me and make sure I’m getting my work in and obviously I’ll do the same for him.”

Freshman outfielder David Dunn, who missed the last 39 games of the 2018 season due to an injury, will return to game action with the Worcester Bravehearts — who are also members of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League — in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Jack Dunn said he is excited for his brother to stay healthy and get some reps in while preparing for next spring.

“Just for him to get out there and be healthy and getting back to playing the game will be huge for him,” Jack Dunn said. “I know he will make some big strides.”

Also playing in the Futures League is junior outfielder Ben Dickey. Dickey will play with the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts. In 2017, Dickey played with the Lake Erie Monarchs in the Great Lakes Collegiate League. This summer, fellow outfielder and freshman Casey O’Laughlin will play with the Flat Rock, Michigan-based team.

Sophomore catcher Nick Paciorek is travelling the farthest from Evanston. Paciorek will spend his summer in Portland, Oregon, as a member of the Portland Pickles.

Maxwell said his favorite part of playing summer ball is that there is one focus for the summer: playing baseball.

“I love summer ball,” Maxwell said. “It is a great opportunity to get better and to just focus on baseball for a while.”

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