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Baseball lands two late-period recruits

May 13, 2011
Ed Mathey

Ed Mathey

The Northern Illinois baseball team added two more to its small, but strong recruiting class for the 2011-2012 season Thursday.

Jordan Huffman (Sergeant Bluff, Iowa/North Iowa Area C.C.) and Taylor Nawrocki (Fairmont, Minn./North Iowa Area C.C.) mark NIU head coach Ed Mathey’s most recent newcomers, joining Anthony Ciango (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove North), Micah McCulloch (Rochelle, Ill./Rochelle) and Ben Neumann (Verona, Wis./Verona).

“Obviously, we’ve had success with several other players from North Iowa Area Community College, including Jesse Seykora, Danny Reed and Chuck Lukanen,” Mathey said. “Taylor and Jordan fall right in line with those guys. Their head coach, Todd Rima, does a great job with these kids. We are excited about the qualities Taylor and Jordan bring to the Huskie baseball team and are excited to have them.”

Huffman joins the team after spending two years at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) following his senior season at Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School. He finished his high-school career as team captain and earned both all-conference and all-state first team honors while also being invited to the 2009 Small Schools West All-Star Team.

The 6’0”, 195-pound infielder followed up a stellar high-school career – finishing with school records in runs scored, hits, and batting average – with two solid seasons with the NIACC Trojans, racking up a .351 batting average, 54 RBI and 37 runs scored off of 52 hits this season alone.

“Jordan is a multi-faceted kid who can play multiple positions for us,” Mathey said. “His bat will play out somewhere in the middle of the lineup. Coach Rima thinks that at this time, his bat is ahead of where Jesse was, and Jesse was a second team All-MAC selection.”

At 6’3”, 210 pounds, Nawrocki joins his NIACC teammate as a former stand-out athlete for Granada-Huntley-East Chain H.S., where he was named a co-captain to the Minnesota All-Area Team as a senior after racking up nine wins, 99 strikeouts, and a stifling 0.95 ERA. During that time he also tossed a no-hitter.

Additionally, Nawrocki led his high school basketball team to a Class 1A state title before taking his talents to NIACC. This season, he posted a 2.76 ERA with a strikeout rate of 8.08 per nine innings pitched with the Trojans.

“Taylor is a good pitcher that can compete at the top of our rotation. He is an innings-eating power right-hander. We think he’ll be a great fit for us for what we will be losing in the rotation this year.”

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