One of the most familiar faces on Rockford Rivets manager Brian Smith’s lineup card plans to return this summer.
The Rivets announced Friday that Lewis University junior Neal Tyrell will come back for the Northwoods League season, which is barely two months away. The utility infielder appeared in 55 of the Rivets’ 72 games last summer. Tyrell hit .242 with two home runs and 18 RBI in the Northwoods League in 2016.
“Neal may not be the prettiest or flashiest ballplayer on the team but he was one of the mainstays in our lineup last season,” Smith said. “It's always tough for a Division II kid to come in, surrounded by big-time Division I players, and make an immediate impact. Neal's impact came both on and off the field. He may go overlooked because of his unorthodox abilities but the kid can flat-out play. He doesn't care where he plays, as long as he gets to hit, he'll find a way to make that day memorable."
Tyrell played second base, third base and left field last year for the Rivets.
Tyrell is a two-time All-Great Lakes Valley Conference second team selection and has finished each college season with a batting average better than .300. Through the first 10 games of the Flyers’ 2017 season, he’s hitting .257 with no home runs and three RBI.
Tyrell, an accounting major from Minooka, was named an academic all-GLVC member last year and has been twice honored by his university for scholastic excellence.