College World Series veteran among incoming Red Raiders
The Rockford Rivets announced Wednesday that three teammates, Braden Williams, Ryan Long and Hunter Hargrove, from the Big 12’s Texas Tech Red Raiders will take part in the team’s inaugural campaign.
Long, an infielder from Crandall High School in Crandall, Texas is a university studies major and President’s list member in his junior season. After 20 games of the 2016 season, he is hitting .250 with 16 RBI and an on-base percentage of .361.
Long has started at almost every infield position in his past two seasons. In his time as a Red Raider, he has earned several accolades such as NCAA Coral Gables Regional All-Tournament Team, Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team and Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team.
“Ryan entered Texas Tech as a slick-fielding middle infielder,” Rivets manager Brian Snith said. “He will get a lot of time at third base at school and with us,” Smith said.
“His left-handed bat and ability to play all over the infield will allow us to create matchup problems for opposing teams. Ryan has already played in a College World Series. We are expecting Ryan to be a great influence on our younger infielders.”
Long went to Omaha as a freshman in 2014 and went 2-for-6 in the CWS.
Williams, a catcher from Nimitz High School in Irving, Texas, is a sports management major in his freshman season. In 2015, he helped the Nimitz program advance to the regional quarterfinals for the first time in school history, while hitting .416 at the plate.
Williams not only performs on the field, but earned a spot on the President’s list with a 4.0 grade-point average. He hasn’t batted yet in the young 2016 college season.
“It will be exciting to see Braden in action this summer,” Smith said. “The Texas Tech coaching staff told me that he has the IQ to lead a pitching staff. To have a quality team, you have to quality catchers. If all stay healthy, I believe we will have one of the top catching cores in the NWL.”
Hargrove, a utility player from Mansfield High School in Mansfield, Texas is an honor-roll student and sports marketing major in his junior season. In 2015, he saw action in 34 games while hitting .253 with a slugging percentage of .396. Through six games of action this spring, Hargove is 1-for-5.
Hargrove made stars in the outfield and at catcher for the Red Raiders last season, versatility Smith said he plans to use in Rockford.
“Hunter will be a major asset to our 2016 roster,” Smith said. “During the process of finding players, I was looking for a guy like Hunter who could be counted on everyday to fill a role. Hunter was the opening-day starter in centerfield, for a pre-season Top 5 Texas Tech team, in 2014 and is a polished infielder as well.”
For more information, visit northwoodsleague.com/rockford-rivets.