Illini Send 23 Players to Summer Leagues
June 1, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois baseball team will send 23 players to summer leagues across the country, from Fayetteville, N.C., to Derby, Kan., highlighted by six Illini playing in the Northwoods League and six more in the Chicago Suburban League.
The first summer team featuring Illinois players got underway Tuesday night as Drasen Johnson started his summer with the Fayetteville SwampDogs of the Coastal Plain League by striking out six in 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, but the SwampDogs dropped a 4-3 decision in 17 innings. The CPL all-star game will be July 23 in Wilson, N.C., with the playoffs beginning Aug. 4.
The six Illini in the NWL will be in familiar destinations, with five returning to their team from the summer of 2011. Kevin Johnson and Reid Roper are playing for the Rochester Honkers once again, while Davis Hendrickson and All-Big Ten third-team selection Thomas Lindauer return to the Waterloo Bucks. Brandon Hohl heads to Wisconsin Rapids for the second-straight summer, and Ronnie Muck will join him on the Rafters' roster after a breakout 2012 campaign on the mound. The 70-game NWL season started Wednesday, the all-star game will be July 24 in Madison, Wis., and the playoffs begin August 13.
Six more Illini will play in the Chicago Suburban League, with Will Krug and Anthony Milazzo joining the Crystal Lake Cardinals, Josh Ferry and Jeremy Scheck suiting up for the Lombard Orioles and P.J. Brennan and Brian Kost playing for the Homestead Ranchers.
Sophomore pitcher Luke Joyce returns to the Lake Erie Monarchs of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League for the second-straight summer and freshman hurler John Kravetz joins him. The GLSCL all-star game will be July 11 in Avon, Ohio, with the league's playoffs starting in early August.
Kelly Norris-Jones and Tyler Hamer head west to Derby, Kan., where they will play for the Derby Twins of the Jayhawk League. Closer to home, Alex Lincoln will play for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen and Charlie Naso will suit up for the Southland Vikings, both of the Midwest Collegiate League. The MCL all-star game will be July 11 in Lisle, Ill., and the playoffs begin in early August.
Four Illini - the NCAA maximum for a single summer team from one school - will play for the Springfield Sliders of the Prospect League: Chase Hainline, Springfield native Michael Hurwitz, David Kerian and Rob McDonnell. The Prospect League all-star game is July 11 in Springfield, Ill., and the playoffs begin August 7.