Rivets add Hoosier trio

LOVES PARK, Ill. – Three Indiana University players plan to spend the summer with the Rockford Rivets.


The Rivets announced today that they have signed IU freshmen Jeremy Houston, Patrick Loeffler and Brad Littleton for the Northwoods League season.


“Jeremy is coming to Rockford as one of the most highly touted high-school shortstops in the country,” Rivets manager Brian Smith said. “He has an opportunity to make an immediate impact in the Hoosier lineup. It’s going to be fun to watch Jeremy work with our other middle infielders this summer. Plus it’s always nice having another Chicago kid on the team.”


Houston, out of Dolton Mt. Carmel High School, appeared in USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars two summers ago. He won state titles in both baseball and football while at Mt. Carmel.


Smith said Loeffler can potentially appear at three different infield spots for Rockford.


“Patrick is an intriguing prospect,” Smith said. “He played first base, second base and third base in the fall for Indiana and is expected to provide some thump to their lineup in the future. Patrick’s development as an all-around ballplayer is going to be exciting to watch. He has the tools and the coachability to be a very important asset to our 2017 success.”


As a senior at Lincolnshire Stevenson High School, Loeffler hit .367 with five home runs and 24 RBI.


Littleton is a right-handed pitcher from Coal City, where he was a Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 3A All-State selection as a junior and as a senior.


“Based on his workload at Indiana, we expect Brad to come in and make an immediate impact to our pitching staff,” Smith said. “His ability to challenge in the strike zone will allow him to have success as a starter and as a reliever. Brad throws relatively hard now and still has plenty of room to grow. The Indiana coaching staff expects their offseason training sessions to add a few miles per hour to Brad’s already heavy fastball. We are ex cited to add an arm of his caliber to our 2017 roster.”


The Rivets’ season begins May 30 at Kalamazoo. The home opener is at 6:35 p.m. June 2 against the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The Rivets are offering a $50 four-game pack that includes a replica Rivets jersey, tickets to four select games and all-you-can-eat food (burgers, brats, hot dogs, grilled chicken, popcorn and fountain soda) for the following dates: Friday, June 2; Saturday, June 24; Friday, July 14; Friday, July 28. The four-pack can be purchased only by calling the Rivets at 815.240.4159 or in person at the Rivets Stadium box office. There are a limited number of jerseys available, so don’t wait to order this four-pack.


The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League, which will play its 24th season of summer collegiate baseball in 2017. The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, 160 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals), two-time World Champion Ben Zobrist (Chicago Cubs) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox), Jordan Zimmermann (Detroit Tigers), Curtis Granderson (New York Mets) and Lucas Duda (Mets). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website,