Rivets pitcher Drahozal to return
LOVES PARK, Ill. – One of the most frequently used arms on the Rockford Rivets’ pitching staff plans to come back to the Northwoods League this summer.
The Rivets announced Wednesday that University of Nebraska – Omaha lefthander Nick Drahozal will return. Drahozal, a rotation regular, was one of just four pitchers to log 50 innings for the 2016 Rivets.
“The coaching staff is very excited to have Nick back for a second summer,” Rivets manager Brian Smith said. “Nick didn't have the most successful summer last year, but every time I handed him the ball I felt like we had a better chance to win than the team in the other dugout. His willingness to make adjustments is a huge reason why I feel like Nick will come back in 2017 and have a great summer.”
Drahozal was 3-5 with a 6.54 ERA in 12 appearances, 11 as a starter, for the Rivets. He struck out 35 and walked 35 in 55 innings.
Drahozal came in off a solid 2016 spring season at Kirkwood Community College. He was 4-5 with a 3.22 ERA in 12 starts and struck out 73 in 58 2/3 innings. Drahozal transferred last summer to UNO. Through four appearances out of the UNO bullpen, Drahozal has given up nine runs on 10 hits through 4 2/3 innings and has not been involved in a decision.
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 (Boston Red 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, NorthwoodsLeague.com.