Nick Blackburn taken by Diamondbacks


Illinois’ Nick Blackburn (22) throws a pitch during the game against Eastern Illinois at Illinois Field. The Illini won 10-1.

By Will Gerard, Staff Writer

Blackburn was picked in the 16th round and is the third Illini to have his name called in the 2016 MLB Draft.

The 479th overall selection was drafted last year in the 22nd round by the New York Yankees. Blackburn this year filled the void left by last year’s first round selection, Tyler Jay, in the back of the bullpen. He posted a 3.73 ERA, recording 11 saves in 24 overall appearances, good for fourth-best in the Big Ten and third-best in Illinois history.

Blackburn, a senior, finished his Illinois career fifth in program history in appearances (72) and sixth in career saves (14).