NORMAL — The Illinois State baseball team has added a middle infielder and a pitcher from a familiar source.
Shortstop Cody Dykema and left-hander John Spoelstra are joining the Redbirds from neighboring Heartland Community College.
Dykema played shortstop and started 49 of 50 games for the 41-9 Hawks, who finished fourth at the junior college Division II World Series.
“Cody had a really good year. He really solidified things for us defensively,” Heartland coach Nate Metzger said. “He hit in the four hole, but he’s not a prototype four hitter. He grinds out at-bats.”
Dykema, who began his college career at Illinois-Chicago in 2012, batted .351 with one home run, 30 RBIs and 20 stolen bases for the Hawks this spring.
“With (shortstop Brett) Kay moving on, he’s hoping to compete for a starting job,” said Metzger. “He should have an opportunity to be that guy.”
Spoelstra will walk on to the ISU roster after posting a 2-0 record and 1.00 ERA in 18 innings for Heartland. He struck out 14, walked four and recorded one save.
“He’s going to go through walk-on tryouts hoping that will lead to a permanent roster spot,” Metzger said. “John is a really good student. He was going to attend ISU regardless. They know he’s done some nice things at our place, and he’s not just another walk-on. He’s a command guy, a strike thrower. He really competes.”
Dykema and Spoelstra are the fourth and fifth Hawks to transfer to ISU this year. They join infielders Mason Snyder and Chad Klein and pitcher Matt Lambert.
Sixteen Heartland players have continued their careers with the Redbirds the past six years.