June 30, 2014
Class of 2018 Photo Gallery
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head coach Paul Stevens has announced the additions of eight young men who will join the Wildcats for the 2015 baseball season.
Local standouts Tommy Bordignon (Glenview, Ill./Loyola Academy), JR Reimer (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest), Ryan Vukovich (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South/IMG Academy) and Richard Fordon (Flossmoor, Ill./Mount Carmel) join North Carolina's Connor Lind (Arden, N.C./TC Roberson), Minnesota's Jack Claeys (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie), Texan Justin Yoss (Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia West) and Wisconsin's Pete Hofman (Shorewood, Wis./Pius XI/Madison College) to comprise the newest group of 'Cats.
A photo gallery of each new Northwestern student-athlete is available above. Complete bios for the incoming class and Stevens' thoughts on each individual follow:
Glenview, Ill./Loyola Academy
High School: Three-year letterwinner at Loyola Academy ... Served as team captain for the Ramblers ... Named to Chicago Catholic League Blue All-Conference Team and Loyola's team MVP ... Hit .439 with 20 extra-base hits in 2014 ... Posted 2.10 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 30 IP as a senior ... Batted .385 with 29 hits and an on-base percentage of .595 as a junior in 2013 ... Hit .445 as a sophomore in 2012 ... Named team MVP in 2011 and 2012 ... Played in the 16U CABA World Series in Marietta, Ga. ... Participated in the Connie Mack Summer All-Star Game ... Ranked 42nd player in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report ... Played basketball for two seasons ... Academic Scholar and First Honors recipient.
Personal: Born Thomas P. Bordignon on 10/14/95 ... Son of Tom and Josie Bordignon ... Played with fellow newcomer JR Reimer on the Illinois Longshots ... Chose Northwestern over Holy Cross, Duke and Bucknell ... Anticipated majors are communications and economics.
Stevens on Bordignon: "Tommy is a two-way player who has really blossomed on the hill over the last year. He'll provide us with some much-needed depth in the bullpen with his live young arm. He comes to us from right down the street at Loyola Academy and we're grateful that he's chosen to continue his baseball experience in Evanston."
Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie
High School: Two-year letter winner at Eden Prairie H.S. ... Served as team captain ... Helped the Eagles to a Lakes Conference title, a Section 2AAA championship and a runner-up finish in the Division 3A State Championship ... Chosen for All-Section 2AAA Team ... Named All-Lakes Conference and Best Defensive Player on his team ... Threw out 71 percent of would-be base stealers ... Batted .318 in 2014 ... Played hockey for two years ... Helped the Eagles capture a 2014 Section championship on the ice and to a fourth-place finish in the state tournament.
Personal: Born Jack Andrew Claeys on 12/18/95 ... Son of Andy and Tracy Claeys... Played against NU teammate Matt Hopfner in high school ... Attended same high school as Nick Leddy of the Chicago Blackhawks and Cole DeVries of the Minnesota Twins ... Chose Northwestern over St. Thomas and Butler ... Anticipated major is economics.
Stevens on Claeys: "Jack is a big, strong young man with great feet and raw catching talent . He was a team captain who led his high school team to a runner-up finish in Minnesota this spring. After losing a catcher to graduation [Jake Straub], he'll add depth and create good competition with our returning guys like Scott Heelan and Cody Libman."
Flossmoor, Ill./Mount Carmel
High School: Two-year letterwinner at Mount Carmel ... Helped lead the Caravan to a 2013 Illinois High School Association 4A state championship ... Won combined 10 games and posted a 2.89 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 82.2 IP as a junior and senior ... 2014 Perfect Game All-Central Region honorable mention ... Threw a no-hitter as a freshman in 2011 against Whitney Young ... Four-year starter and team captain for Caravan hockey team ... 2014 Illinois State Scholar ... National Honor Society member.
Personal: Born Richard James Fordon on 5/19/96 ... Son of Rich and Julie Fordon ... Father played college football at Western Michigan and mother ran track in college ... Attended same high school as former NFL All-Pros Donovan McNabb and Simeon Rice ... Chose Northwestern over Indiana, Illinois State and others ... Anticipated major is economics.
Stevens on Fordon: "Richard has a great competitive attitude and mentality when it comes to playing the game. He helped his team to a state title as a junior and he also was a key contributor on one of the state's top hockey programs at Mt. Carmel. He's a hard-throwing lefty who we expect will come in and contribute from the start."
Shorewood, Wis./Pius XI/Madison College
Prior to Northwestern: Attended Madison College in 2013-14 ... Appeared in 33 games with 29 starts for the WolfPack ... Hit four doubles and drove in 11 runs ... Helped club win 45 games and advance to the NJCAA Division II World Series, where it finished third ... Named to the Dean's List and received Perfect Honors.
High School: Four-time letterwinner for Pius XI H.S. ... Two-time team captain ... Named team MVP and All-Woodland Conference First Team as a senior in 2013 ... Collected Second Team All-Woodland honors in 2012 and 2011 ... Named team's Rookie of the Year in 2010 ... Member of National Honor Socirty
Personal: Born Peter Anthony Hofman on 9/15/94 ... Son of Tom and Katie Hofman ... Anticipated major is political science.
Stevens on Hofman: "After losing two middle infielders to injury at the beginning of the 2014 season, we knew we needed to add depth at those spots and Pete provides that. He has the ability to play multiple infield positions and we think he'll be able to give us a few innings on the mound as well. He helped his team to a third-place finish at the NJCAA World Series and he'll give our team immediate experience."
Arden, N.C./TC Roberson
High School: Four-year letterwinner at TC Roberson H.S. ... Served as team captain and helped Rams capture four Mountain Athletic Conference (MAC) championships ... Named to All-Western North Carolina First Team in 2014 ... Collected All-MAC honors as a junior and senior ... Named Player of the Year ad won Leadership Award in 2014 ... Team ranked as high as No. 6 in the country in 2013 and No. 7 in 2014 ... Rams finished as state runners-up in 2011 and as semifinalists in 2013 ... Batted .344 as a senior ... Also won three letters in basketball and served as team captain as a junior in 2013 ... Honor Roll student ... Elected as Outstanding Senior by high school faculty.
Personal: Born Connor Alec Lind on 11/21/95 ... Son of Bryant Lind and Christi Lawing ... Attended same high school as Cameron Maybin of the San Diego Padres and Chris Narveson of the Milwaukee Brewers ... Chose NU over Indiana, Furman and Campbell ... Anticipated major is economics.
Stevens on Lind: "Connor comes from one of the top high school and travel programs in the country and we're thrilled he's joining us from North Carolina. He's a polished hitter that we feel can anchor the third base position for several years to come as Chris Lashmet did recently for us. He's a fiery competitor with good pop in his bat."
Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest
High School: Three-year letterwinner at Lake Forest H.S. ... Served as team captain ... All-North Suburban Conference honoree ... Batted .425 with three home runs, 11 doubles and 36 RBI in 34 games for the Scouts in 2014 ... Struck out 51 batters in 62 IP ... Named team MVP ... Made varsity debut as a sophomore at Lake Forest ... Honor Roll student.
Personal: Born Jonathan Richard Reimer on 9/7/95 ... Son of Steve and Deborahanne Reimer ... Grandfather played shortstop for the New York Giants and uncle pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers ... Played on the Illinois Longshots with fellow Wildcat Tommy Bordignon ... Chose NU over Brown and Johns Hopkins ... Major is undecided.
Stevens on Reimer: "JR is a true dual threat that is equally as dangerous in the field and at the plate as he is on the hill. He's a local product that really elevated his stock as one of the top players from our area and we're excited to see what he's going to do at Northwestern over the next four years."
Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South/IMG Academy
High School: Concluded high school career at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla ... Won three games and saved one for the Ascenders in 2014 ... Attended Maine South H.S. prior to IMG and earned a letter in 2013 ... Helped the Hawks capture 2013 regional and sectional championships ... Perfect Game USA All-Region honorable mention ... National Honor Society member ... ranked in top 10 percent of class.
Personal: Born Ryan A. Vukovich on 10/30/95 ... Son of Todd and Julie Vukovich ... Father played collegiate baseball at New Mexico and Eckerd College ... Uncle, Mike, set B1G high jump record at Minnesota in 1988 ... Attended same high school (Maine South) as notable Northwestern baseball alum Mark Ori ... Frequently competed against NU classmate Tommy Bordignon in high school ... Anticipated major is economics.
Stevens on Vukovich: "Ryan began his high school career nearby at Maine South before heading to Florida to gain valuable experience during his senior season at IMG Academy. He will also add some depth to our pitching staff after we lost six pitchers to graduation. He's a big, strong, strike-throwing right-hander with good control who will be called upon frequently."
Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia West
High School: Three-year letterwinner at Magnolia West H.S. ... Aided the Mustangs to a 2014 Bi-District championship and the most wins in program history ... Posted a 1.99 ERA as a senior ... Perfect Game USA 2014 Texas Region honorable mention ... Set school's single-season record in strikeouts and saves in 2013 ... Named to 2013 18-4A All-District Second Team ... Active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics ... Served as National Honor Society Committee Chair ... AP Scholar.
Personal: Born Justin Harry Yoss on 7/27/96 ... Son of Ken and Sheri Yoss ... Chose Northwestern over Duke, Air Force Miami and Purdue ... Anticipated major is mechanical engineering.
Stevens on Yoss: "Justin is another arm that we're excited to add to the mix. He comes from a great baseball state in Texas and a highly competitive travel program. He uses good movement and the ability to change location to keep hitters off balance and he'll strengthen our staff and be able to take the ball whenever he's called upon."