Hannahs Named MVC Freshman of the Year; Valpo Trio Receives MVC Recognition

A trio of Valparaiso University baseball players garnered recognition on Tuesday as the Missouri Valley Conference released its all-league teams and postseason awards. Third baseman Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) highlighted the Valpo honors by earning the MVC Freshman of the Year distinction.  

In addition, Hannahs joined senior pitcher Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) on the All-MVC Second Team while designated hitter Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) received All-MVC Honorable Mention.

Hannahs finished the regular season as Valpo’s leader in batting average (.304) and on-base percentage (.401) while ranking second on the team in slugging percentage (.405) and tied for second in RBIs (20). He is in position to become the first Valpo freshman to lead the team in batting average since Spencer Mahoney in 2012.

After starting the season with a .200 average over his first 11 games, Hannahs holds a .336 average over his last 36 contests while posting a .434 on-base percentage in that time. He enters the MVC Tournament with a 16-game on-base streak. Hannahs earned MVC Player of the Week on May 3 after posting a slash line of .556/.636/.667 over five games against Illinois State and Notre Dame.

Rhodehouse adds to his list of career accolades that also includes 2020 MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention, 2019 All-MVC Honorable Mention and 2017 Horizon League All-Freshman Team. He garnered four wins and three saves this season to lead the team in both categories while working 40 1/3 innings, appearing 10 times in relief and 10 times as an opener. He fanned 48 against just 11 walks and ranks second on the team in punchouts. Rhodehouse owns 11 career saves, ranking fifth in program history in that category.

Renfro appeared in 43 games and made 38 starts as a rookie, starting all 28 of the team’s MVC games. He launched four home runs, racked up four doubles, totaled 46 bases and drove in 12 runs while scoring 14. The DH posted a 21-game on-base streak that was snapped on May 2 vs. Illinois State, Valpo’s longest such streak since 2017. He joined forces with Parker Johnson to accomplish the rare feat of back-to-back home runs on April 3 at DBU.

Valpo will open the MVC Tournament on Tuesday at 7 p.m. vs. Missouri State in Carbondale, Ill. 

2021 All-Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Teams
First Team Yr. Pos. Hometown (Previous School)
Jake McCaw, Illinois State RSo. 1B Bloomington, Ill. (Normal Community)
Connor O'Brien, Bradley * So. 1B San Diego, Calif. (Rancho Bernardo)
Jackson Glenn, DBU $ Sr. 2B Cedar Hill, Texas (Grayson College)
Brendan Dougherty, Bradley +@^ Sr. 3B Clive, Iowa (Dowling Catholic)
Jordan Schaffer, Indiana State RJr. SS Terre Haute, Ind. (West Vigo)
Max Wright, Indiana State RSr. C Toronto, Ontario (Lawrence Park)
Austin Bell, DBU RSr. DH Albuquerque, NM (Univ. of New Mexico)
Dan Bolt, Bradley $ Sr. OF Morton, Ill. (Morton)
Ryan Cermak, Illinois State Fr. OF Riverside, Ill. (Riverside-Brookfield)
Aaron Beck, Indiana State RJr. OF Evansville, Ind. (Evansville Harrison)
Rhett Kouba, DBU So. SP El Reno, Okla. (North Central Texas College)
Geremy Guerrero, Indiana State RSr. SP Metamora, Ill. (Metamora)
Brad Harrison, Southern Illinois+ Sr. SP O'Fallon, Ill. (O'Fallon)
Peyton Sherlin, DBU Jr. RP Deer Park, Texas (Deer Park)
Connor Fenlong, Indiana State RSo. RP Gouverneur, N.Y. (Gouverneur)
Trey Ziegenbein, Missouri State Jr. RP Blue Springs, Mo. (Johnson County CC)
*2019 First Team; $2019 Second Team; ^ 2019 Honorable Mention; +2018 Honorable Mention; @ 2017 Honorable Mention
Second Team Yr. Pos. Hometown (Previous School)
Cole Moore, DBU So. 1B Georgetown, Texas (McLennan CC)
Cody Cleveland, Southern Illinois So. 2B Rockwall-Heath, Texas (Rockwall-Heath)
Kaleb Hannahs, Valparaiso Fr. 3B West Terre Haute, Ind. (West Vigo)
Nick Neville, Southern Illinois Sr. SS Atlanta, Ga. (IMG Academy)
Drake Baldwin, Missouri State So. C Madison, Wis. (Madison West)
Jordan Libman, Illinois State Sr. DH Glenview, Ill. (Glenbrook South)
Jace Grady, DBU Fr. OF Austin, Texas (Elgin)
River Town, DBU So. OF Baton Rouge, La. (LSU Eunice)
JT Weber, Southern Illinois Jr. OF Metropolis, Ill. (Massac County)
Tristan Peters, Southern Illinois So. OF Winkler, Manitoba (Foothills Composite)
Matt Hamilton, Bradley Jr. SP Oak Creek, Wis. (Oak Creek)
Dominic Hamel, DBU Jr. SP Chandler, Ariz. (Yavapai College)
Shane Gray, Evansville So. SP West Jefferson, Ohio (West Jefferson)
Trey McDaniel, Southern Illinois ^ Jr. RP Williamsville, Mo. (Greenville)
Easton Rhodehouse, Valparaiso ^ Sr. RP Gilbert, Ariz. (Highland)
^ 2019 Honorable Mention; +2018 Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention Yr. Pos. Hometown (Previous School)
Philip Archer, Southern Illinois Sr. 1B Greenville, Ind. (Floyd Central)
Kyle Soberano, Illinois State Jr. 2B Daly City, Calilf. (College of the Canyons)
Simon Scherry, Evansville Fr. SS Santa Claus, Ind. (Heritage Hills)
Andrew Benefield, DBU RFr. 3B Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Univ. of Louisville)
Tyson Hays, Illinois State Jr. C Denver, Colo. (Grandview)
Brady Renfro, Valparaiso Fr. DH Antigo, Wis. (Antigo)
Troy Beilsmith, Evansville & RSr. OF Weldon Springs, Mo. (DeSmet Jesuit)
Luke Eldred, DBU RJr. SP Mount Vernon, Iowa (Mount Vernon)
Sean Sinisko, Illinois State RFr. SP Geneva, Ill. (Geneva)
Colton Johnson, Illinois State Gr. SP Kewanee, Ill. (Kewanee)
Jordan Lussier, Illinois State Fr. SP Winnipeg, Manitoba (Chandler-Gilbert CC)
Kragen Kechely, DBU Sr. RP Austin, Texas (Vista Ridge)
Theron Denlinger, Bradley & RJr. RP Cuba City, Wis. (Cuba City)
$2019 Second Team
All-Defensive Team Yr. Pos. Hometown (Previous School)
Connor O'Brien, Bradley So. 1B San Diego, Calif. (Rancho Bernardo)
Mason Hull, Missouri State Jr. 2B Effingham, Ill. (Effingham)
Grant Wood, Missouri State Sr. 3B Jefferson City, Mo. (Jefferson College)
Simon Scherry, Evansville Fr. SS Santa Claus, Ind. (Heritage Hills)
Max Wright, Indiana State RSr. C Toronto, Ontario (Lawrence Park)
Kenton Crews, Evansville RJr. OF Lincoln City, Ind. (Heritage Hills)
Ryan Cermak, Illinois State Fr. OF Riverside, Ill. (Riverside-Brookfield)
Tristan Peters, Southern Illinois So. OF Winkler, Manitoba (Foothills Composite)
Geremy Guerrero, Indiana State RSr. P Metamora, Ill. (Metamora)

Jackson Glenn, DBU
Geremy Guerrero, Indiana State
Aaron Beck, Indiana State
Kaleb Hannahs, Valparaiso
Ryan Cermak, Illinois State
Dan Heefner, DBU