Sept. 5, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - After posting the most successful and decorated season in Northern Illinois baseball history, several Huskies carried strong performances through summer leagues across the country, including the Cape Cod and Northwoods circuits. In addition, a trio of former Huskies made their mark in professional baseball during the summer.
THE BOYS OF SUMMER: A trio of NIU pitchers earned all-star accolades in the Central Illinois Collegiate League as Andy Deain (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge), Matt Jernstad (Oswego, Ill./Oswego), and Dave Nykiel (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) were selected to the CICL's mid-season classic. Deain led the league with 16 games finished and ranked second with eight saves. Jernstad, who earned a pair of pitcher of the week honors during the season, tied for the league lead with five wins and finished in the top seven in innings, strikeouts and ERA. Nykiel, who earned a pitcher of the week accolade during the summer, ranked second in the league with 49 strikeouts and 10 starts while placing fourth in innings.
Pat Minogue (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) earned Cal Ripken, Sr. Collegiate Baseball League Player of the Week honors for July 2-8. The outfielder helped his team, the Bethesda (Md.) Big Train, reach the league's championship series, where they finished second.
Brian Smith (Chicago Ridge, Ill./Richards) returned to the mound after missing NIU's 2007 season and led the Madison Mallards (Northwoods League) with six victories. Smith was joined by Huskie teammates Trevor Feeney (Channahon, Ill./Joliet Catholic) and Matt Behren (Elmwood Park, Ill./Holy Cross) on the Mallards roster.
Nick Badgley (McHenry, Ill./McHenry C.C.), who will join the Huskies roster in 2008 as a junior college transfer, led the Chicago Suburban Baseball League with a .444 batting average over the summer.
Brandon Copp (Aurora, Ill./West) began the summer with the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod League, his second straight year pitching against several of the nation's top college players.
IN THE PROS:
Three former Huskies made their pro debuts after completing their collegiate eligibility last spring. Matt German
signed with the Philadelphia Phillies organization and began with the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League (Class-A Short Season). With the Crosscutters, German posted a 1.23 ERA with seven saves in 15 appearances before earning a promotion to the Lakewood BlueClaws (High-A South Atlantic League) where he went 0-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 13.0 innings and 11 appearances.
Mark Badgley signed with the Florida Marlins organization and joined the Jamestown Jammers of the New York-Penn League. He completed his first professional campaign with a 1-0 record and a 5.08 ERA while recording 26 strikeouts in 28.2 innings and 19 appearances.
Scott Simon, the Mid-American Conference and NIU career hits leader, signed a contract with the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League. Simon ranked third on the team with 36 RBI and compiled a .264 batting average with 11 doubles.
FALL BALL: NIU opened its fall practice schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 5 and will hold workouts over the next month. The team's annual Fall World Series of intrasquad games between the Red and Black squads begins Oct. 4 at McKinzie Field.