The expansion DuPage Pistol Shrimp are joining the summer-collegiate Prospect League in 2019, giving the circuit its 12th team. The team will begin play at Benedictine University’s Ben U Baseball Field in Lisle, Ill., when the Prospect League opens its 11th season in late May.
“The Prospect League is extremely proud that the DuPage Pistol Shrimp have become our 12th team for the 2019 season and I am confident the hard work already exhibited by their two principal owners, John Jakiemiec and Mark Sheehan, in working to make this day happen, will translate into a successful operation both on the field and in the community,” stated Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien. “I also want to thank the folks at Benedictine University for their cooperation and diligence in allowing this project to go forward.”
“As a long-time resident of Lisle and a small business operator in Naperville, I am acutely aware of the hotbed of baseball talent in DuPage County,” Sheehan said. “My partners and I are thrilled to be able to showcase high-level collegiate baseball in our community.”
Ben U Baseball Field is located on the campus of Benedictine University and is part of the Village of Lisle Benedictine University Sports Complex.
“Opening Day is Thursday, May 30,” stated Jakiemiec. “From this moment forward our focus is to forge relationships with businesses and fans in the community, and to put out a team that night and beyond that fans will embrace and enthusiastically support. I know our players will love playing at the Village of Lisle – Benedictine University Sports Complex.”
The Pistol Shrimp join the league’s West Division with Normal (Ill.), Quincy (Ill.), Springfield (Ill.), Hannibal (Mo.) and Cape Girardeau (Mo.).
“Having this facility working in tandem with a Prospect League team brings more than just positive economic impact to the community,” stated Prospect League President Bruce Rosselli. “The partnership also gives recognition to the Benedictine University baseball program, the campus and what the school provides its students; it’s a win-win for all.”
“This has truly been, and will continue to be, a team effort,” Bastien added. “Many, many people have combined to reach this day. May the folks of this DuPage County area and beyond embrace this team as their own. We tip the Prospect League cap and congratulate everyone involved.”
“It has been an extensive work in progress for Mark Sheehan and John Jakiemiec in obtaining a team in DuPage, and I commend them for their commitment,” Rosselli added. “I have to also thank Lou Simios for his cooperation with Benedictine University and other school officials in working with myself and the Commissioner to bring this project to a win-win for all parties.”
“We are truly excited to have the Pistol Shrimp and the Prospect League in our community,” said Village of Lisle Mayor Christopher Pecak. “As a great family entertainment option, the Pistol Shrimp organization will be a community asset that will contribute to our local economy as well.”
Benedictine University Athletic Director Mark McHorney added, “Having a great partner and tenant make use of our beautiful ballpark and other athletic facilities during the summer months brings more positive attention to Benedictine University, our baseball program, our athletics department and the Village of Lisle. It’s very beneficial for all involved.”