The Rockford Rivets will welcome three players from the nationally ranked University of Illinois baseball team to their roster this summer. Freshmen fielders Branden Comia and Cam McDonald will be joined by sophomore pitcher Jimmy Burnette for the 2019 season of Rivets baseball.
The Fighting Illini are currently ranked No. 20 in the NCAA rankings entering the Big Ten tournament.
McDonald is a versatile position player for the Illini. A native of Ladd, Ill., McDonald has started all 53 games in the 2019 season, posting a .282 batting average with 33 RBI. McDonald can play just about anywhere in the infield and outfield, recording a .967 fielding percentage his freshman campaign at U of I.
Comia has seen action at both middle infield positions throughout the 2019 campaign, starting 38 of his 42 games played. The Orland Park, Ill. native is hitting .259 with four homers and 20 RBI. The highlight of his freshman season may have came in the Ilini’s May 18 matchup with Michigan State, when he slugged two homers to lead the team to a 5-3 victory.
Burnette returns for his second season with the Rivets this summer. The Chicago native has appeared 4 times in relief for the Illini his sophomore season. Burnette made 13 appearances, including 7 starts with Rockford in 2018, posting a 4.70 ERA in 44 innings pitched.
Opening night for the Rockford Rivets is Tuesday, May 28th versus the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. Game time is set for 6:35. Call the box office today at (815)-240-4159 for tickets, and information about our new $75, all-you-can-eat 5-game pack!
The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.rockfordrivets.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rivets as your favorite team.