Baseball: Burdin earns Interstate 8 First Team honors

Senior Nate Burdin took home All-Conference First Team honors from the Interstate 8 this season. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Buskohl receives Honorable Mention

ROCHELLE — Nate Burdin set a goal before his senior season of earning All-Conference First Team honors from the Interstate 8. After leading the Rochelle Hub varsity baseball team in several statistical categories including batting average, hits and ERA, Burdin received First Team recognition for the first time. Senior Andy Buskohl took home an Honorable Mention.

Burdin appeared in 21 games for the Hubs this season, recording a .462/.514/.554 slash line while totaling a team-leading 30 hits including six doubles. The left-hander stole eight bases and finished with nine RBIs. Burdin will continue his career at Lawrence University next year.

“I thought I played well this season,” Burdin said. “I competed well against every team in our conference, whether it was on the mound or at the plate, and I have to give my teammates credit for having my back and always putting me in positions to be successful. I think I battled tough pitching really well this season. It seemed like no pitcher could get me out easily. I was seeing the fastball great and spraying hard hits wherever the ball was pitched to me.”

After largely throwing as a reliever for the Hubs last season, Burdin finished his senior season as Rochelle’s leading starter, recording a team-low 2.77 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 43 innings pitched. An Interstate 8 All-Conference First Team honoree last season, Buskohl slashed .426/.517.723 with 20 hits, eight doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs for Rochelle this season.

“I thought I mixed the hitters up really well and I hit spots with all four of my pitches,” Burdin said. “My approach at the plate really improved this year and the muscle I added during the winter translated into much harder hits than I had during my junior season. I enjoyed playing the game I love with the friends and teammates I grew up playing and learning the game with. I will miss taking the field, hearing our names called and wearing the purple and white the most.”