Baseball Heaven Staff

Joe Di Benedetto

Joe has extensive experience in what it takes to teach the fundamentals of winning baseball. Over 20 of his former players have signed professional contracts with both Zack Minor and Chris Stynes reaching the Major leagues. He also does private lessons and operates baseball camps in Michigan. Prior to joining Northwood, Coach "D" was a scout in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.


  • 28 Years of experience as a Head College Baseball Coach

  • Coached over 1,000 College Baseball Games

  • Has won 616 games as a Head Coach

  • Over 20 of his former players have signed contracts in Professional Baseball

  • Worked as a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to Coaching at Northwood

Dave O'Keefe

Please welcome Dave to our Baseball Heaven Staff!


Dave played baseball locally at Bullock Creek high school and continued on to play baseball at Missouri Valley College. He began playing men’s fast pitch softball at the age of sixteen and has competed locally at all levels. While serving with the Air Force he continued competing in fast pitch softball. 


His coaching experience ranges from local youth leagues (both baseball and softball), to being an assistant softball coach and freshman baseball coach at Dow High School, along with being an assistant softball coach at Northwood University. He also led a first year team to a first place finish at the 2013 ISC II World Tournament in Moline, IN.  


Dave currently operates O’Keefe Softball Prep and continues to develop young softball players of all ages and for all skills.


Ben Blake - As a local standout first baseman and pitcher at Meridian High School, Ben furthered his baseball career at Alma College for two years, where he led the team in appearances. After transferring to Northwood University and graduating in Spring of 2020, Ben continues to work part time at Baseball Heaven. He's trained with Coach Joe since he was 10 and is proud to pass along his knowledge at BBH.


Connor Smith - A Midland native, Connor graduated from Dow High and went on to excel at Western Michigan University. At Western, Connor was named MAC Freshman of the Year and was named to the MAC All-Conference Team all three years. In June 2018, the Cleveland Indians drafted him in the 30th round and he continues to work out and give lessons at Baseball Heaven.

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