NORMAL, Ill. – Each year, deserving Illinois State baseball student-athletes are chosen as recipients for prestigious endowed scholarships at Illinois State University. This year, five outstanding Redbird baseball players were selected for these honors by the fifth-year head coach Steve Holm.
The 2022-23 winners of the four endowed scholarships dedicated to baseball for the academic year are Cameron Mabee, Jordan Lussier, Luke Cheng, spirit Greg Nichols.
Raymondd W. Fairchild Endowed Scholarship // Cameron Mabee4-YR Jr., RHP, Temecula, Calif.
Mabee had an increased role in 2022, recording 17 appearances out of the Redbird bullpen. Mabee had a 4.00 ERA, holding opponents to a .212 batting average. He posted an impressive 22:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Fairchild Endowment is a scholarship awarded each academic year to one Redbird baseball player who excels in the classroom and on the field of play. It is named after former Illinois State President Raymond W. Fairchild, who guided the university from 1933 to 1954.
Duffy Bass Endowed Scholarship // Jsaid Lussier4-YR Jr., RHP, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Lussier battled injury throughout the 2022 season, throwing 30.1 innings with a 5.64 ERA. He earned Honorable Mention All-MVC honors in 2021 after emerging as a reliable starting pitcher for the Redbirds. Lussier owned a 4.36 ERA, striking out 67 batters in 74.1 innings in 2021.
The scholarship is named after the former Illinois State head coach who guided the program to more than 700 wins and the 1969 College Division National Championship. It is awarded each year to an ISU junior or senior baseball player who most exhibits the legacy of Bass.
Schuster Family Endowed Scholarship // Luke Cheng3-YR Jr., INF, OlneyMd.
Cheng enjoyed a breakout 2022 season, hitting .289 and being named an All-MVC Defensive Team member. Cheng solidified himself as the starting shortstop, providing impressive range and highlight-reel plays.
The Schuster Family Endowed Scholarship was established in 2009 to honor Andrew Schuster, a four-year letterwinner in baseball for the Redbirds, and Danielle Miller-Schuster, a member of the Redline Express. The scholarship was established by Robert and LaNita Schuster and is presented annually to a junior or senior member of the Illinois State baseball team.
Stephen Heaton Endowed Scholarship // Greg Nichols4-YR Jr., INF, RosevilleCalif.
Nichols primarily started at second base for the Redbirds in 2022, earning All-MVC Defensive Team honors after recording just three errors in 117 chances. He hit .241, adding nine extra-base hits.
The scholarship was established in March 2010 by the Heaton Family and Nancy Heaton in honor of her late husband Steve. Steve lettered in baseball beginning in 1965 until he graduated in 1968. He majored in Business Education earning dean’s list distinction six of his eight semesters. Steve dedicated his life to teaching business and coaching baseball. His dedication and leadership inspired many students and players to pursue careers in education and coaching. Nancy is also a proud graduate earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University. The scholarship is for a male student-athlete in the college of business, with a preference for baseball and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
This endowed scholarship is one of 31 available that are funded by private donors who have taken the opportunity to create a lifetime impact to Illinois State student-athletes. If you are interested in learning more about the Forever State Endowment Society call 309-438-2752.
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