During the summer season in the Jayhawk Baseball League in Kansas, Alex Posey added a new pitch to his repertoire.
“I developed a changeup,” said Posey, a Cary-Grove graduate who pitches at UIC. “That was one of my goals going into the summer.”
Posey also said he honed part of his game that a box score can’t measure.
“Going into games, I was confident and aggressive,” Posey said. “I really worked hard on that this summer. [Being aggressive] really makes it more fun for me.”
As a late-inning relief pitcher for the El Dorado Broncos, Posey enjoyed an impressive season.
He led the team with a 4-1 record and a 0.95 ERA while striking out 25 batters. In 19 innings, Posey walked only four hitters.
“I focused a lot on keeping the ball low in the zone,” Posey said. “That worked well for me.”
The changeup also become an important part of Posey’s summer success.
“I only threw it about 15 or 20 times,” he said. “But I got a lot of swings and misses with it. It was nice to have.”
The Broncos benefited from Posey’s strong season, advancing to the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan., this month. El Dorado won the tournament’s opening week with a 4-0 record and advanced to the championship round. The Broncos finished 3-2 in the championship week tournament to place third, with their only losses coming to the eventual champion Seattle Studs and runner-up finisher Wellington (Kan.) Heat.
Posey worked 1 1/3 innings in tournament play and allowed no runs and only two hits.
“The whole atmosphere was great,” Posey said. “We had one game where there 4,500 people in the stands.”
A late-inning role has suited Posey well since the spring, when he led UIC with three saves and 25 appearances as a sophomore.
“I really like the pressure,” he said. “It motivates me. I’m a very competitive person. That’s what I like about being at UIC. Every drill is a competition for us.”
Concordia award: D-III Concordia University Chicago’s baseball program has been honored with a plaque from the NCAA for the nation’s highest winning percentage in 2013 of .848.
The Cougars posted a 39-7 record last season and advanced to the NCAA regional finals, one win shy of the D-III World Series.
Marian Central grad Steve Zubrzycki batted .338 for the Cougars last season and started 41 games as an infielder.
His 24 RBIs last season included a pair of three-RBI games.
Rutgers recognition: Crystal Lake South grad Elizabeth Adams was named this summer to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team. She was one of 13 softball players at D-I Rutgers to make the squad.
The Rutgers softball squad also was recognized for a 3.464 team grade-point average with the Big East Team Academic Excellence Award.
Adams batted .286 last season as a freshman catcher/utility player for the Scarlet Knights. She played in 17 games for Rutgers (30-26), starting 11. Adams had five RBIs for the season and posted a .394 on-base percentage.
• Barry Bottino writes a weekly column and a blog about local college athletes for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at BarryOnCampus@hotmail.com, check out his On Campus blog at McHenryCountySports.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryOnCampus.