College Sports

Former Belleville East pitcher headed to Iowa — or the pros

Pitcher Brady Schanuel, a right-hander from Belleville East, has signed with the University of Iowa.
Pitcher Brady Schanuel, a right-hander from Belleville East, has signed with the University of Iowa. Provided photo

Belleville East graduate Brady Schanuel has put himself in a win-win situation.

Schanuel, a sophomore right-hander at Parkland College in Champaign, is 9-1 with a 1.72 ERA and four complete games in 13 starts. He has 33 walks and 115 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings, allowing just 37 hits.

Schanuel could be pitching himself in a position to be selected in the top 10 rounds of the Major League Baseball amateur draft June 12. Otherwise, he will attend Iowa this fall. Schanuel committed to Mississippi in April 2016 but left last fall and returned to Parkland.

“The plan is to go to Iowa (one year) and hopefully get drafted,” Schanuel said. “I have two years (of eligibility) left, or I could take the draft out of Parkland. I’m not sure how that’s going to go down yet. It definitely would have to be in the top 10 rounds. If we agree on a money offer, I definitely would be inclined to take it.”

Schanuel, 20, was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 36th round last June, but returned to college to boost his stock. He’s accomplished that mission with a fastball in the low-to-mid-90s that he mixes with a slider, curveball and changeup. Schanuel said he doesn’t often throw the changeup, but it comes in handy against left-handed hitters.

“I’m thankful for everything that happened at Ole Miss. It was a good time last fall, and I learned a lot,” Schanuel said. “I just thought coming back here was my best option to get better and reopen my recruiting to see if I could find a better fit.”

One of Schanuel’s former teammates at Parkland, Chris Whelan, sparked his interest in Iowa. Schanuel chose the Hawkeyes over Missouri and Missouri State.

Early in the season, I came in and didn’t really throw as well as I had hoped. As the season went, I continued to get better and progress a little bit. My velocity is up this year, so things are looking good.

Belleville East graduate and Parkland College pitcher Brady Schanuel

Parkland (50-7), the champion of the Mid-West Athletic Conference, is ranked third in the NJCAA poll. The Cobras won the Region 24 championship Monday to reach the 10-team, double-elimination NJCAA Division II World Series, scheduled for Saturday through June 3 in Enid, Okla.

Parkland earned the No. 2 seed in the World Series and will play seventh-seeded Kankakee or 10th-seeded UConn-Avery Point at 7:15 p.m. Sunday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

Schanuel worked the Region 24 opener Saturday, throwing eight shutout innings and striking out 16 in Parkland’s 6-0 victory over Heartland. He had a career-high 21 strikeouts in a 5-2 win over Lincoln on April 28.

“Early in the season, I came in and didn’t really throw as well as I had hoped,” Schanuel said. “As the season went, I continued to get better and progress a little bit. My velocity is up this year, so things are looking good.

“I get ahead with my fastball or slider. It really starts with that first pitch. Then you have (batters) on their heels, and you can get them to swing and chase. It’s been a great season personally, but also for the team. We’ve got 50 wins, and it’s going to be awesome (in the World Series). It’s going to be exciting.”

Schanuel, the son of Scott and Lynette Schanuel, was an NJCAA Second-Team All-American last season when he was 10-3 with a 1.80 ERA and led all Division II junior-college pitchers with 131 strikeouts in 83 2/3 innings. He was the MWAC Pitcher of the Year and the league’s Freshman of the Year as Parkland went 48-13. 

David Wilhelm: 618-239-2665, @DavidMWilhelm

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