Former Hamilton College baseball player Joe Jensen ’15 has begun his professional career after signing with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League. Jensen made his debut with the Miners earlier this week.

The Miners stand in second place in the East Division of the 14-team Frontier League with a 35-20 record. The team, based in Marion, Ill., is in its ninth year of operation. The Miners have sent two players to Major League Baseball, including Tanner Roark, a current pitcher with the Washington Nationals.

Jensen’s first game with Southern Illinois was Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Gateway Grizzlies. He went 0-3 as the team’s designated hitter.

A two-time NESCAC all-star, Jensen started every game in center field and led the Continentals with a .398 batting average, 47 hits, 29 runs scored, 24 stolen bases and a .450 on-base percentage. His stolen base total led the NESCAC and he ranks among the conference leaders in batting average (third), hits (sixth) and on-base percentage (ninth). Hamilton’s lead-off hitter, Jensen hit six doubles, three triples and a home run while driving in 14 runs.

A three-year starter, Jensen finished as the program’s all-time leader in hits (135), runs (90), stolen bases (78) and triples (six). He helped Hamilton win 16 games this spring, tying a school record. The Continentals’ 16-14 mark gave them their first winning season since 1990.

Jensen played his home games at Hamilton's Royce Field, a facility named for 1914 graduate Steve Royce who signed with the New York Giants before leaving baseball to begin law school (despite the urgings of the Giants, who were managed by Hall of Famer John McGraw).

He was also a three-time All-American sprinter with Hamilton’s indoor track & field team.

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