Dennis Signs Professional Contract With the USPBL

Dennis Signs Professional Contract With the USPBL

Former Tiffin University baseball student-athlete Jack Dennis has signed a contract to continue his athletic career with the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL).

"Signing with a professional league is a dream come true," said Dennis. "The goal my whole life has always been to play pro ball, and now I am able to realize that dream and take advantage of that opportunity."

Now in its fourth season of operation, the USPBL, which is located in suburban Detroit, is a professional developmental league for Major League Baseball. Since 2016, 26 players that began their careers in the USPBL have gone on to sign minor league contracts with MLB organizations. Each USPBL team plays a 75-game schedule beginning in late-May through September.

"This has been a dream of Jack's for a long time, and I am super proud of him," said TU head coach Joe Wilkins. "Proud of what he did for he program and what he was able to accomplish here, on and off the field. He has come a long way and will compete to keep playing as long as he can."

A career .293 hitter at TU, Dennis had his best season as a senior in 2019, recording a .308 average, 25 runs, 57 hits, 14 doubles, three home runs, 34 RBI, and 23 walks to earn an Honorable Mention All-GMAC selection. He was extremely tough to strike out with just 14 K's in 185 at-bats, a strikeout percentage of 7.6% that is the third-lowest in Tiffin DII history.

"My time at Tiffin taught me how to overcome adversity, and that being a Dragon really means you are a part of a family for life and baseball is more than just wins and losses," said Dennis. "I'm very thankful to Coach Wilkins for instilling in me a great work ethic and pushing me to realize that everything is earned through hard work. Now that hard work is paying off, and I'm excited to get my professional career started."

Dennis was especially strong down the stretch during Tiffin's incredible run to the NCAA Midwest Regional final, recording a slash line of .375/.400/.571 with 21 hits, five doubles, two homers, and 11 RBI in 12 games during the month of May. He also finishes his Dragon career eighth in TU history with 436 putouts in the field.

"Best of all, his family gets to continue to follow him," said Wilkins. "His sister Jillian is his biggest fan and she gets to go watch her brother play professional baseball, which is one of the greatest things about this. I wish Jack the best of luck the rest of this summer and I hope he is able to keep playing as long as possible."

Dennis is the third graduate of a GMAC school to join the USPBL this season, joining Hillsdale's Ethan Wiskur '17 (Westside Woolly Mammoths) and Walsh's Joey Beals '18 (Eastside Diamond Hoppers).

After signing this afternoon, Dennis will be in uniform for Utica tonight at 7:05 p.m. when they take on the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers at Jimmy Johns Field in Utica, Mich.