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Baseball adds four to 2012 recruiting class

July 26, 2012
Ed Mathey

Ed Mathey

Northern Illinois baseball coach Ed Mathey announced the addition four student athletes to the program’s Class of 2012, now up to 15 total signees Wednesday morning.

The new editions include two juniors and two freshman, one of whom was drafted in the 33rd round by the Chicago White Sox.

“We’re excited to add these guys to the class, which is shaping up to be a pretty big one all-in-all,” Mathey said. “I think every single one of them has a chance to make a positive impact. They’re positive people and they’re competitors.”

The lone Major League Baseball draftee in the class, left-handed pitcher Jon Savarise (Lincolnshire) of Stevenson High School, was taken in the 33rd round by the Chicago White Sox (1,011 overall) and is NIU’s first high school draftee to join the squad since former Huskie Troy White enrolled at Northern Illinois in 2008.

The other frosh, Brandon Mallder (Bridgeview) of St. Laurence High School, was an All-Chicago Catholic League selection and an all-region selection by The Chicago Sun Times. Northern Illinois now has 12 freshman signees in the class of 2012.

The Huskies called upon junior college transfers in the late signing period, adding Brody Justice, a southpaw pitcher from Frisco, Texas, and outfielder Landon Tenhagen of Burlington, Wis.

Justice played collegiately at Paris Junior College, appearing mostly as a relief pitcher (two career starts), while Tenhagen played at Madison Area Technical College, a NJCAA Division II World Series qualifying team in 2011 and 2012. The Wolfpack finished third and fourth nationally in ’11 and ’12, respectively.

With the loss of eight seniors from last year’s team, the Huskies needed more upperclassmen to fill the void.

“These guys can come in and make an immediate impact we feel. They’re both juniors and are proven players at the college level and they will add to what we already have returning in spring 2013,” Mathey said.

The Huskies signing class of 15 (three junior transfers, 12 freshmen) will join a Northern Illinois squad that closed 2012 sixth in the MAC West division, finishing the season 15-40 overall. Despite the record, the Huskies received countless national accolades (Alex Jones, Top-25 candidate Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award) and accomplished program firsts along the way, including a series-sweep over Miami (Ohio). The Huskies-Redhawks series spans 37 years.

For more news and updates on NIU baseball, follow the team on Twitter via @NIU_Baseball.

More information about November 2011 signees is available online. For more information on NIU baseball and Huskie athletics, visit