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Harlem alumnus Robison to join Rivets

LOVES PARK, Ill. – A familiar name in Stateline high-school baseball circles will join the Rockford Rivets this summer. 

Iowa Baseball's Drake Robison Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015.  (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)

Rockford’s new Northwoods League team announced Friday that former Harlem High player Drake Robison will pitch for the Rivets. Since the end of his prep days, Robison has won a junior-college national title and is currently a student at the University of Iowa. The righthander is sitting out the Hawkeyes’ 2016 season after a transfer from Mississippi. 

“Drake and I will be in contact throughout the spring on his health and his mindset,” Rivets manager Brian Smith said. “Drake wants to do whatever it takes to help the Rivets in 2016, if he is strong enough and develops a quality third and fourth pitch, I can see him fitting right into the starting rotation.”

Robison was an all-conference selection his senior year at Harlem, where he also played third base.

“It will be exciting for Drake to play in Rockford,” Smith said. “Hopefully bringing Drake home will ignite his passion for competing and he can be a major factor is our pursuit of a NWL championship.”

Robison was used both as a starter and a reliever at Iowa Western Community College. Robison was the winning pitcher on May 31, 2014, when he pitched 5 1/3 innings out of the bullpen in a 17-5 decision over Miami Dade for the juco national title.

Last season with Mississippi, Robison was used exclusively as a reliever and went 0-1 with a 7.36 earned-run average in 16 appearances. He averaged nearly a strikeout an inning. 

Robison is a senior computer science major at Iowa and has one year of eligibility left.  

Rockford is a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League, which will play its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2016. The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 140 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox), Jordan Zimmermann (Detroit Tigers), Curtis Granderson (New York Mets), Lucas Duda (Mets) and Ben Zobrist (Chicago Cubs). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website, NorthwoodsLeague.com.