Pittenger and Hessler sign with Robert Morris University

Chris Steele
Caden Hessler, left, and Kyle Pittenger sign to play baseball in the spring at Robert Morris University.

The Maple Leafs’ Kyle Pittenger and Caden Hessler wanted to remain teammates when their playing days on the diamond at Stone Field came to a close.

The senior duo found the offer they were looking for and signed to play baseball in the spring of 2019 at Robert Morris University, in Peoria.

Pittenger caught the attention of Eagles’ Coach Clint Jeffers after a showcase game at Modern Woodmen Park, in Davenport, Iowa.

“He said, ‘You can come pitch for me any day,’” Pittenger recalled. “It was a sense of pride knowing that I could go play college baseball.”

Pittenger said he was able to locate his fastball well and hammer the strike zone during the showcase, and he impressed the coaches with his offspeed pitches.

With Jeffers looking to add to the recruiting class, Pittenger turned his attention to Hessler.

After watching Hessler at a showcase, Hessler said the coaches were impressed with his effort, his arm and his play in the outfield.

Hessler was impressed by what Robert Morris offered, but Pittenger wanted to consider all their options.

“I told the coaches, I’ll wait,” said Hessler. “I’m not signing without him.”

A few months after a visit to the campus, the duo made it official with a signing ceremony with Coach Jeffers and Assistant Coach Kenny Hawkins, on April 17.

Both players were impressed by what the campus offered with small class sizes and emphasis on the teacher-student relationship.

The duo both liked the campus’ location in the heart of the city, and the comfort they felt with the team.

“When we went down to sign, the whole baseball team was there,” Hessler said. “We didn’t expect it.”

The duo is expected to make an immediate impact on the diamond which will give them a chance to live out their college dreams.

“I’ve always wanted to play college baseball with my best friend,” Hessler said, “And here it is happening.”