Boomers SEASON RECAP: A Season to Build On

Monday, September 24, 2012
by Ed McCaskey

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – What began with a prairie chicken and a promise ended prematurely, nonetheless the Schaumburg Boomers assembled a solid foundation to build on during the Inaugural Season of Boomers Baseball in the summer of 2012.


Boomers Manager Jamie Bennett vowed to give the people of the Village of Schaumburg and Chicago’s Northwest Suburbs “a team it could be proud of” back at the club’s unveiling event in October 2011. From there, Bennett set out to put his words into action and built a winning team and coaching staff completely from scratch. He tapped into his vast network of colleagues and contacts to put together a Boomers team that finished the 2012 season with a 54-42 record, which was good for second place in the West Division of the Frontier League as Schaumburg finished a game out of the fourth and final playoff berth. The Boomers held the top spot in the West Division for 50 days during the summer of 2012 but came up just short in the end with the Florence Freedom winning 15 of their last 16 games and the eventual Frontier League Champion Southern Illinois Miners finishing a game in front of Schaumburg. The Boomers were alive until the second-to-last day of the season following a tense and thrilling last few weeks, which saw seven teams vying for four playoff berths.

The pieces came together as the first-year manager gathered an experienced coaching staff for the Inaugural Season of Schaumburg Boomers Baseball. Bennett welcomed Bench Coach Mike Kashirsky, an eight-year Frontier League veteran with managing experience, Hitting Coach C.J. Thieleke, a former Minnesota Twins prospect who served as the Field Manager for the collegiate wood bat Madison Mallards for six seasons, and Pitching Coach Paul Kubon, an associate scout with the Baltimore Orioles with college coaching experience at the Division III Level. Schaumburg also became a second home for two-time Major League All-Star and White Sox great Carlos May, who served as First Base Coach for the Boomers in 2012.


After renowned White Sox Groundskeeper Roger Bossard aka “the Sodfather” installed a brand-new playing surface for the Boomers in the fall of 2011, a flurry of acquisitions by Bennett highlighted the weeks and months leading up to the Inaugural Season. In all, the Boomers welcomed 34 players to the first-ever Spring Training at Boomers Stadium in early May as the competition began to become one of 24 members of the first-ever Schaumburg Boomers Opening Day Roster.

The Boomers could not have asked for a better start to the season after sweeping the Lake Erie Crushers in Ohio on May 18-20. Schaumburg ace Robby Donovan got the better of 2009 Frontier League Pitcher of the Year Paul Fagan in a 4-0 win in the Boomers first regular season contest. Shortstop Gerard Hall claimed the first hit in franchise history in the first inning and scored the franchise’s first-ever run later in the frame when rookie outfielder Nate Baumann singled on the first pitch of his professional career. Donovan struck out the side in order in the first inning of Boomers Baseball as Schaumburg cruised to a victory. The unquestioned leader of the Boomers in 2012, Frank Pfister, who was one of just seven Frontier League players to appear in all 96 regular games, collected the first Schaumburg home run in a 6-2 win in Game Two of the series before Schaumburg captured the sweep thanks to a 4-5 effort by veteran outfielder Jereme Milons against his former team and a 3-3 performance by OF Chad Mozingo.

As impressive as the first series was, the Boomers came home to Schaumburg with a .500 record after dropping three games to the Windy City ThunderBolts. Two extra-inning losses, including a 15-inning, four hour and 34 minute marathon on May 22nd, were tough to swallow early in the season.

OPENING NIGHT: The Boomers came home to Schaumburg on May 25 and were welcomed by a raucous crowd clamoring for professional baseball’s highly anticipated return to the Northwest Suburbs.

Opening Night 2012 was an overwhelming success as 6,067 fans were on hand to witness the first professional baseball game in Schaumburg in over two years. Boomers first-half standout Cameron Roth held the Florence Freedom to just two runs and the Boomers erupted for five runs in the sixth to claim a victory in the first home game in franchise history.

The Boomers used the momentum from an exhilarating Opening Night to post a 5-1 record during their first homestand in Schaumburg and came from behind four times to earn victories. Nick Kuroczko scored the game-winning run in walkoff fashion on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 13th on May 26 to give the Boomers a 1-0 win. A day later, Robby Donovan gathered the first double-digit strikeout performance by a pitcher in a Boomers uniform on May 30 in a 6-3 win. Nate Baumann’s sacrifice fly in the 10th on May 31 plated Kuroczko and the 3-2 victory gave Schaumburg their second extra-inning walk-off win of the homestand.

With a 34-17 record at Boomers Stadium, the Boomers fashioned a formidable home field advantage, winning twice as many games as they lost at home in 2012. After a winless trip to Marian, Illinois to face the Miners, the Boomers showed how happy they were to return home to Schaumburg with another impressive 5-1 homestand, which included wins in four one-run games. The offense scored five early runs in support of Robby Donovan who cruised to his second victory of the season on June 6 and Cameron Roth pitched eight strong innings the next day in a 3-1 Boomers win over the Gateway Grizzlies. Catcher Mike Valadez’s clutch line drive single to center with the bases loaded in the ninth resulted in another win on June 7.


The June 5 series sweep of the Grizzlies was the springboard to an impressive stretch of winning baseball for the Boomers. Schaumburg won 10 of their 12 games from June 5 to June 16 to surge to first place in the West Division of the Frontier League. Sean Mahley’s four runs batted in and Nate Baumann’s home run and two doubles led the way in a 6-5 win for the Boomers over the first place River City Rascals on June 9 on Cancer Survivors’ Night to narrow the gap, and Schaumburg eventually took over the top spot on June 11 with a 5-3 win in Joliet over the Slammers. Shortstop Gerard Hall led off the game with a home run and collected three RBI in his first game back from injury to lead the way for the offense against the defending champs. Schaumburg scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth on June 14 against Rockford to rally for a 3-2 win with backup catcher Ty Nelson coming through with the game-winning RBI after a Mahley double drove in two to tie the score.

The Boomers maintained a steady grasp on first place despite a 2-4 record against Windy City and Joliet from June 17-22. Schaumburg took care of business in a three-game set against the Rockford RiverHawks with a sweep of the RiverHawks at Boomers Stadium from July 23-25. However, on June 23 the Boomers were dealt a major blow with an injury to Gerard Hall. The “Cadillac” as Manager Jamie Bennett called the pairing of the two exceptional middle infielders Karexon Sanchez and Hall, was short-lived as both were in the lineup together for just nine games before Hall was lost for the season with a shoulder injury.


After sweep of Rockford, Schaumburg took two of three from the Normal CornBelters to set the stage for a first-place showdown with the Traverse City Beach Bums. After dropping game one 5-3, the Boomers opened July with a come-from-behind victory to turn the tide in the Traverse City series. Trailing 9-7 heading to the ninth and down to their last strike, Sean Mahley drew a walk ahead of Frank Pfister, who promptly smashed a first-pitch fastball over the left field fence to tie the game at nine. After a single by Steve McQuail, Chad Mozingo doubled to right center to allow the power-hitting first baseman to score all the way from first on the hit and run for an electrifying 10-9 Boomers win.

Closer Patrick Mincey earned the win in the come-from-behind thriller to improve to 3-0. The rookie from Francis Marion University was lights out all season for the Boomers, allowing no runs and just six hits in his first 18 innings as a professional before allowing his first runs of the season on July 2 against the Beach Bums, who finished with the best regular season record in the Frontier League in 2012. The Boomers claimed an 8-4 win over the Beach Bums for a 2-1 series victory on July 2 to improve to 27-15. Mincey finished his first season tied for fourth in the league with 17 saves and a 2.77 ERA in 34 games as part of a Boomers bullpen that posted a 45-0 record when leading after eight innings and a 42-1 record when leading after seven.

The bullpen was a major strength for the Boomers all season long with guys like: Joe Parsons, who led the club in ERA with a stellar 1.58 earned run average, Adam Tollefson, the experienced southpaw who struck out 34 hitters in 33.2 innings, Jason Braun, a side-winding righty who finished with a 3.77 ERA, and veteran Kirk Clark who joined the Boomers late in the season and did not allow a single run in nine innings of relief for Manager Jamie Bennett. Rookie lefties Jose Rodriguez and Sam Robinson were also solid with a 4.01 ERA and a 3.85 ERA respectively, and with contributions from Tony Delmonico and Tyler Ware the Schaumburg bullpen as a whole boasted a 16-5 record with an impressive 3.74 ERA for the season.


The Boomers closed on the first half of the 2012 season with a 2-4 record to post a 29-19 first half record with a one game lead in the West Division. Schaumburg was heavily represented at the 2012 Frontier League All-Star Game with 10 delegates representing the Boomers in Normal, Illinois on July 10. Frank Pfister started the game as the West Division third baseman and was joined by teammates Cameron Roth, Patrick Mincey, Chad Mozingo and Sean Mahley. Jamie Bennett, as manager of the team with the best record at the break, selected the coaching staff for the West Team with Bench Coach Mike Kashirsky, Hitting Coach C.J. Thieleke, Pitching Coach Paul Kubon and Athletic Trainer Scott Waehler making the trip from the Boomers as well.


Schaumburg opened the second half of the Inaugural Season with a four game win streak. Robby Donovan started the last game before the break, a no-decision against the Washington Wild Things and got the call again with the first nine-inning complete game in Boomers history in a 4-1 win on July 13. Steve McQuail, a former Toronto Blue Jays prospect, belted the first of his seventeen second-half home runs for the Boomers in a 6-2 win on July 14. The New York native finished in a tie for fourth overall in the Frontier League with 20 home runs on the season despite playing in just 69 games with Schaumburg. The Boomers slugger belted a home run every 3.45 games or one every 13.15 at-bats.

Frank Pfister picked up right where he left off in the first half and continued his hot hitting. Playing primarily third base for the Boomers over the course of the season, Pfister began a franchise record 15 game hitting streak on June 29 that lasted until July 17. The former Cincinnati Reds farmhand led the Frontier League in hits with 121 and finished with a .306 average, 21 doubles and 13 home runs. Schaumburg signed another of their second-half stars on the day Pfister’s hitting streak came to a conclusion. Rookie right-hander Cody Griebling was a phenomenal addition to the starting rotation for the Boomers as the 6’2” Wisconsin native earned 6-2 record with a stellar 2.48 ERA in 65.1 innings.

Arguably the MVB (Most Valuable Boomer) of the second half was outfielder Chad Mozingo. The former Washington Nationals prospect was the lone representative on the postseason awards list for Schaumburg after being named to the 2012 Frontier League Post-Season All-Star Team. Sitting with a .250 batting average on June 22, Mozingo erupted to post a .348 average (71-204) the rest of the season. In the second half alone, Mozingo collected fifteen doubles, six triples and eight home runs en route to leading the Boomers with a .313 final average. Mozingo also set the club record for hits in a game with five against the Road Warriors on August 19.


A five-game skid from July 17-21 dropped the Boomers briefly to second until a season-long five-game winning streak from July 24-28 put the Boomers back in first place yet again. During that stretch, Schaumburg finally captured a series from the pesky Windy City ThunderBolts and swept the Joliet Slammers in impressive fashion at home from July 25-27. Cody Griebling allowed the only run of the series in the ninth inning of a complete game, 6-1 Boomers win in the final game on the three-game set which saw Schaumburg outscore the Slammers 10-1 over the course of the series.

A week later, after a frustrating 2-0 loss at home against Joliet, the Boomers fell out of first place on August 3rd and never regained the top spot the rest of the way in 2012. After the conclusion of the five-game winning streak on July 29, the Boomers finished the season with a 14-17 record down the stretch. Despite never trailing by more than three games in the quest for the final playoff spot, the Boomers finished 54-42 but were unable to catch any of the teams ahead in the standings. Schaumburg was alive in their quest for a playoff berth until Saturday, September 1, a day before the regular season finale, when they were eliminated from playoff contention with a 4-0 loss at the hands of the Washington Wild Things.


The 2012 Schaumburg team will be remembered as the team that laid the groundwork for an affordable, fan-friendly franchise. While Schaumburg fell short of their ultimate goal in 2012, fans can rest assured Jamie Bennett will have the Boomers back in the hunt for the Frontier League Championship in 2013. With a talented roster in place, all signs point to Schaumburg and the Northwest Suburbs being home once again to a team which fans will be proud of!


  • Boomers outfielder Chad Mozingo was the lone representative on the postseason awards list after being named to the 2012 Frontier League All-Star Team and Mozingo also tied for second in the league with seven triples.
  • Frank Pfister led the entire Frontier League in hits with 121 in 96 games.
  • Steve McQuail’s 20 home runs were good for a tie for fourth in the FL.
  • Robby Donovan tied for second in the league with 11 wins in 2012.
  • Karexon Sanchez finished fifth in the FL in walks with 59 in just 77 games with the Boomers.
  • Patrick Mincey tied for fourth in the Frontier League in saves with 17.
  • Mike Valadez was top among Frontier League catchers with 66 assists in 2012.
  • Cameron Roth tied for third in games started with 20.
  • Jereme Milons led all outfielders in the Frontier League with a perfect fielding percentage in 175 total chances.