Nov. 16, 2009
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois baseball program announced its incoming class of 11 signees from the class of 2010.
“We are excited about this large group,” said Mathey. “With this year’s group of seniors that will be graduating, we will have some holes to fill. We feel this group will go a long way in doing that.
“Our coaches, Jocko [Steve Joslyn], Ray [Napientek], and Jason [Smith], worked very hard on this class and, along with the entire athletic department, did a great job in bringing these guys to the Northern Illinois Baseball program. These kids have tremendous character, great work ethic, are very good academically, and have a strong desire to bring MAC baseball titles to our campus.”
The talented group of future Huskies ranks as head coach Ed Mathey’s largest recruiting class during his tenure at Northern Illinois. The class, which is full of large, athletic frames of raw talent, is composed of eight players from the state of Illinois with one each from Arizona, Minnesota and Missouri.
“That (the size of the class) was due in part to the number of vacancies created,” said Mathey. “We want to have kids be able to get used to the college game as we refresh the roster. I also think it bodes well for NIU baseball when you have the quality and quantity of guys that we signed. It speaks well for our reputation and what we have to offer. I believe our fans and alumni will be excited and proud of this group as they progress through our program.”
Below are bios on each of the 11 signees including a scouting report from NIU coaching staff.
Glenview, Ill./New Trier Township
High School Coach: Mike Napoleon
High School: Posted a 3-1 record with a 1.65 ERA, 30 strikeouts and three saves in 29.2 innings over seven games during his junior season … Saved the 4A State Championship Game for New Trier, who posted a 32-7, 12-2 record in the Central Suburban Conference.
Personal: Born June 18, 1992 … Son of Rick and Benita Anderson … Intends to major in physical therapy … Named Honor Roll in six semesters … Aspires to be a physical therapist … Volunteers at the Glenview Public Library … Admires Jonathan Papelbon for his mental approach to pitching … Played for the Top Tier program in the summer.
Coach Napientek: “Eli is a power pitcher with a lot of upside. He is a big kid and has a good lower half with strong legs. He’s a hard worker and comes from one of the best high school programs in Illinois.”
Western Springs, Ill./St. Rita of Cascia
High School Coach: Mike Zunica
High School: Two-time varsity letterman at St. Rita of Cascia H.S. … Named to second team All-Chicago Catholic League Blue for his junior season … Hit at a .440 clip with 20 runs, three home runs and 21 RBI in 38 games, and was 5-0, with 39 strikeouts, one save, a 3.87 ERA in 38 innings over 13 games on the mound as part of the Illinois class 4A state runner-up team in 2009 that went 35-7, 11-3 in league play … As a sophomore, logged 54.1 innings over 13 games, posting a 7-2 mark with three complete games, 65 strikeouts and a 3.09 ERA for a 29-8, 9-5 Mustangs squad.
Personal: Born May 5, 1992 … Son of Jim and Ann Andres … Intends to major in business and minor in physical therapy … Aspires to play pro baseball … Made Honor Roll at St. Rita of Cascia H.S. in two semesters … Admires Derek Jeter because of his leadership … Won a bronze medal as part of Team USA in the 2004 COPABE Pan-Am Games … Member of the 2008 Cangelosi Baseball Academy WWBA second place team … Played for Dave Payton and Bill Copp with the Illinois Sparks Baseball Program.
Coach Napientek: “Anthony is a strike-throwing lefty that changes speeds and locates the ball well. He is a tough competitor that has already played against some good competition, and played for the Illinois summer state championship team and the runner-up in the 4A state spring championship.”
Coach Joslyn: “He has some potential with the bat as well, and could possibly see time in the outfield.”
High School Coach: Doug Livingston
High School: During his NIC-10 all-conference junior season, recorded 48 hits in 82 at-bats with 18 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 35 runs scored, 42 RBI, while also contributing a 5-2 record, two saves, and a 1.85 ERA on the mound ... Had 44 hits in 80 at-bats with 30 runs, four home runs, and 35 RBI in his sophomore season with a 4-1 pitching record and 2.65 ERA ... Has collected two varsity letters for baseball and one for basketball ... Participated in the Plainfield Showcase All-Star Game as a junior ... Named team MVP for basketball sophomore year ... Helped lead the Huskies to a 20-5 record, 16-3 conference record and second place conference finish as a junior … Led Harlem to a 23-2 record, 19-0 in conference as a sophomore, winning the NIC-10 title.
Personal: Born May 5, 1992 … Intends to major in physical education with a minor in coaching ... Son of Todd and Kristi Andrews ... Sister, Mandi, attends Wisconsin-Parkside and plays softball and will graduate in 2010 ... Stays involved in the community by helping families in need of food and clothing ... Played for the Downers Grove Longshots travel baseball team throughout high school, hitting three home runs in a game once, batting over .400, and throwing a no-hitter … Made Honor Roll in Fall of 2009 … Admires Ryan Theriot because he made it into MLB despite his small stature.
Coach Napientek: “Bo has a strong arm and even though he is a little raw, he has a lot of upside on the mound. He was a solid closer in high school. Bo is a very good athlete and comes from the same program as former Huskie Jeff Thomas and current Huskie Austin Smith.”
Westchester, Ill./St. Joseph
High School Coach: Jay Meath
High School: Three-time varsity letterman at St. Joseph H.S. … Twice named team MVP and captain (Junior, Sophomore) … Scored 21 runs, hit three home runs and had 24 RBI in 36 games as a junior to help the Chargers to a Regional Championship … Hit .397 with 29 runs and 31 RBI in 38 games as a sophomore … Hit .397 with 20 runs and 16 RBI in 35 games as a freshman … Participated in the 2009 Stevenson Showcase all-star event … Named to East Suburban Catholic Conference all-conference team for his sophomore season… Twice named to Westchester Suburban Life all-area team (junior, sophomore).
Personal: Born November 21, 1991 … Son of Jeff and Donna Battaglia … Intends to major in business … Aspires to own his own restaurant … Made Honor Roll in seven semesters … Member of Leadership Board, National Honor Society, and is editor in chief of the sports section for his school’s yearbook … Admires Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols … His high school coach, Jay Meath, is the grandson of NIU Hall of Famer Ray Meath, who was a member of the 1950-51 baseball teams … Played for Rob Rooney and Matt Rosenburg’s Longshot teams in the summer.
Coach Joslyn: “Joe is a solid catch-and-throw guy behind the plate. He has great leadership skills, as well as a strong bat and a good, athletic frame at 6-2, 200 pounds. Joe is a great all-around kid in terms of academic and athletic ability. He’s a kid that has come to our camps since his freshman year of high school, and has always wanted to be a Huskie.“
Long Grove, Ill./Carmel Catholic
High School Coach: Joe May
High School: Batted .415 with 13 runs, three home runs and 15 RBI in 26 games during his junior year at Carmel Catholic H.S. … Named Athlete of the Month by the National Collegiate Scouting Association in 2009.
Personal: Born May 3, 1992 … Son of Rich and Maggie Divarco … Intends to major in business administration … Relative John Mitchell is currently playing hockey at the University of Wisconsin … Admires Derek Jeter … Selected to White Sox/Bulls Academy Elite Training Academy All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field in 2008 … In 2009, helped Top Tier club team take fourth place in CABA World Series in Ohio and won the IU Best of the Midwest tournament.
Coach Joslyn: “Chris is another big kid with a powerful bat that will continue to get better and more powerful as he grows into his frame. Chris has a big, strong body at 6-4, 218 pounds. He comes from another solid high school program, one of the top in Illinois.”
Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence
High School Coach: Pete Lotus
High School: Batted .398 in his junior season with 23 runs, nine doubles, six home runs and 37 RBI to help the Vikings to a Regional Championship ... Has earned two varsity letters and will be a team captain in his senior year ... Named all-conference first team and all-area second team in his junior and sophomore seasons ... Led Vikings to a Chicago Catholic League Conference Championship his sophomore season, hitting .407 with 28 runs, 13 doubles, two homers and 34 RBI ... Currently holds the school career record for doubles and is second on the lists for RBI, home runs and walks.
Personal: Born March 6, 1992 … Son of Tom and Chris Keating … Intends to major in business ... Made Honor Roll and was a Leader Scholar in six semesters at St. Laurence H.S. ... Admires Chase Utley because he is such a great athlete and is still a modest person … Has played for the Illinois Sparks travel baseball club and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Midwest Fall Scout League team.
Coach Joslyn: “Tom has a strong bat with power to all fields. Tom has a great frame to work off of. He’s a hard worker and has a chance to leave St. Laurence with a lot of school records, as he finishes his senior season this spring.”
High School Coach: Doug Starzl
High School: Three-time varsity letterman … Honored twice on 2009 first team all-conference as both a pitcher and utility player … Named first team all-area infielder in 2009 … Hit .348 with 23 runs, two home runs, 22 RBI and 11 steals in 27 games in his junior season with a school record of only two strikeouts in 89 at-bats … Went 5-2 with four complete games, a save, 41 strikeouts and a 2.53 ERA in 47 innings over 12 games on the mound as a junior ... Was the starting shooting guard on varsity basketball team for two years … Named to honorable mention all-conference and all-area as a junior for the Class Four Missouri High School State Championship runner-up team.
Personal: Born April 1, 1992 … Son of Mike and Lori Klonowski … Intends to major in chemistry and minor in accounting … Father Mike played football at Clarion State University … Was the top student in his class of 273 students with a 4.0 GPA … Member of National Honor Society and National Association of Scholars Made Honor Roll in six semesters … Volunteers for Kearney Recreation Youth Sports … Aspires to attend medical school to specialize in radiology … Admires Derek Jeter … Part of 2009 Kansas City Royals Elite Scout Team … Named to the All-Tournament team in the ICE Wood Bat College Showcase tournament at the University of Kansas in 2009.
Coach Joslyn: “Alex is a tall, athletic righty pitcher. He also played hoops and is a great student. He has good hands and is a pretty smooth fielder, along with being a very personable individual. When Alex’s body starts to fill out, we are going to see some really good things out of him.”
High School Coach: Michael Johnson
High School: Helped the Coyotes reach the second round of the playoffs for first time in school history as a junior and team captain, hitting .455 with 23 runs, nine home runs and 35 RBI in 32 games … Also threw 12.2 innings in five games as a junior, going 0-1 with 19 strikeouts and a 2.21 ERA … Named team MVP, team Slugger of the Year and was an honorable mention all-state selection as a junior … Named team captain and won team Silver Bat Award as a sophomore, hitting .467 with 19 runs, two homers and 27 RBI in 27 games … Was captain of the freshmen team, as he hit .446 with 24 runs, a homer and 20 RBI in 18 games … Holds Skyline H. S. records for slugging percentage (.875 in junior year) and home runs (nine in junior year) in a season, while he was also the first in program history to hit for the cycle.
Personal: Born May 18, 1992 … Son of Carl Lang and Candy Weinberg … Intends to major in history … Aspires to be a college baseball coach … Made Honor Roll in every semester at Skyline H.S. … Played for Legends Baseball Academy … Was captain of Skyline Baseball Club team … Involved with Paz De Cristo Homeless Shelter … Admires Tony Womack because he hustled and played the game the way it is supposed to be played.
Coach Joslyn: “Trey attended our recent Top Dawg Camp, and is a good athlete with a physical presence. He’s an exciting player that comes from a great baseball hotbed. He will be the first Arizona recruit that we’ve brought in. He has a chance to be a very good two-way player at Northern Illinois.”
Rochester, Minn./John Marshall/North Iowa Area C.C.
Junior College Coach: Todd Rima
High School Coach: Terry Heiderscheit
Junior College: Earned all-region honorable mention in his freshman year for his .337 batting average, 11 doubles, two triples, five steals and five home runs.
High School: Two-time varsity letterman … Batted .477 with 34 runs, 10 doubles, five home runs, 10 steals and 27 RBI in 28 games during his senior season on his way to being named first team all-conference and earning all-state honorable mention Participated in Lions All-Star game as a senior … Named team captain during on his senior year sectional championship team … Was an all-state honorable mention wide receiver during his senior year and was all-conference honorable mention as a junior.
Personal: Born December 9, 1989 … Son of Jerry and Kim Rishavy … Intends to major in business … Named to Dean’s List at NIACC in Spring 2009 … Admires Josh Hamilton because of what he has overcame to be a great MLB player.
Coach Joslyn: “Jordan is another physically gifted kid. He has gap power from the left side. He is playing at NIACC for Todd Rima, who we’ve had a long line of front line players from, including Danny Reed, Jesse Seykora and Chuck Lukanen.”
High School Coach: Dave Hogan
High School: Earned varsity letters as a sophomore and junior and will be a varsity team captain his senior season ... Helped lead Friars to 21-12 record his junior year, batting .308 with 24 hits, 17 runs and 12 RBI in 32 games ... Also pitched in 46.2 innings as a junior with a 1.80 ERA and 42 strikeouts with a 3-3 record in 46.2 innings over 10 games ... Batted .417 with 33 hits, 25 runs, eight doubles, 21 RBI, and 22 stolen bases in 25 games as a sophomore ... Also pitched 33 innings with a 4-0 record, 32 strikeouts and a 1.91 ERA in six games as a sophomore ... Lettered three times on the varsity football team at Fenwick H.S.
Personal: Born December 31, 1991 … Son of Jim and Marilyn Sweeney … Intends to major in engineering or business ... Brother Joe is a sophomore pitcher at Illinois Wesleyan ... Admires Mark Buehrle because he was cut from his high school baseball team twice and still made it into MLB ... Volunteers in coaching grammar school football ... Made Honor Roll in six semesters … Also plays summer baseball for the Longshots program … Went to the same high school as former Huskie Mike Santoro.
Coach Napientek: “He is physically gifted and will grow into a pretty good frame. He is raw on the mound, but has a strong arm with a lot of upside. Having played middle infield in high school attests to his athletic ability.”
Tinley Park, Ill./Victor J. Andrew
High School Coach: Dave DeHaan
High School: Earned a varsity letter for his junior season, helping the Thunderbolts to a Regional Championship ... Batted .362 with 27 runs, nine doubles, four home runs and 32 RBI in 35 games as a junior ... Was named to South West Suburban all-conference first team ... Played in the Plainfield Showcase, Pitch and Hit Showcase, and played for Team Illinois during his junior season.
Personal: Born July 5, 1992 … Son of Greg and Loreen Zimmerman … Is undecided on his major ... National Honor Society member and was a three-year Honor Roll student ... Volunteers by assisting with area baseball camps ... Admires Derek Jeter because he is a clutch performer and a great leader ...
Brother Jake is currently a freshman at NIU, and both parents graduated from NIU … Played travel baseball for the Tinley Park Bobcats for seven years and won MVP of the 2009 WWBA Kernels Tournament as a member of the Cincinnati Reds Midwest Scout Team … His summer league coach has been Eric Welsh, a former Huskie and minor league player for the Cincinnati Reds.
Coach Joslyn: “Jeff has a left-handed power bat. He was MVP of the Perfect Game Kernel Classic this past summer, and that speaks well as to what he is capable of. At 6-3, 210 pounds, Jeff is another physical presence and projects to be a middle of the line-up hitter in time.”