Young arms join Rivets
LOVES PARK, Ill. – The frequency of games in the Northwoods League season means Rockford Rivets manager Brian Smith won’t necessarily call upon the same pitcher each time he has a ninth-inning lead. Managing 72 games in 76 days means he’ll need the kind of depth provided by the addition of Ohio University pitchers Brian Schiemann and Nick Kamrada, who haven’t been seen on a lot of Bobcats box scores but Smith expects to frequent the mound this summer in the NWL.
“The way the season is set up, you need three or four guys who can close out games, and I believe that Brian has the stuff to be one of those guys,” Smith said. “We want to be able to put each one of these ballplayers in the best situation for them to be successful. Brian, along with other Rivets, will have to battle for innings. Constant competition will get the best out of these guys.”
The Rivets announced the signing of the two Ohio hurlers on Friday. Neither pitcher has been involved in a decision for the Mid-American Conference school. Schiemann has made one scoreless, hitless, one-inning relief appearance this season. Kamrada has allowed three runs on a hit and four walks in two outings, one as a starter.
“I have seen a lot of video on Nick Kamrada,” Smith said. “If he can command two or three pitches every night, he's going to have a lot of success in the NWL. He throws from a low three-quarters arm slot with quite a bit of life. He hasn't seen much time at school, which means he is going to be eager to come out and work. Nick could see a few starts and some relief appearances early in the season.”
Kamrada is a redshirt freshman from Grand Ledge, Mich. majoring in Psychology Pre Physical Therapy.
Schiemann, a junior economics major from Naperville, pitched for Heartland Community College last spring. He went 2-2 with a 3.66 earned-run average and a save for the Mid West Athletic Conference champions.
“Brian Schiemann is a strong righthanded reliever. Brian hasn't had as many innings as expected at Ohio U. this spring, so we know we are getting a fresh arm. He is going to fit right in to the back of the bullpen.”
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.