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Growlers import power bat from Central Michigan, power arm from Michigan State

The Kalamazoo Growlers announced the signing of players Cody Leichman from Central Michigan University and Joshua Buchalski from Michigan State University. Leichman and Buchalski bring left-handed production to the batting order and bullpen, respectively.

josh-buchalskicody-leichman-smallJoshua Buchalski (Left): 5’10”- 160lb, Bats/L-Throws/L, LHP, Michigan State University (Redshirt Fr.), Sanford, MI

Cody Leichman (Right): 6’3” – 220lb, Bats/L-Throws/R, OF/1B, Central Michigan (Redshirt Jr.), Trenton, OH

2014 will be Joshua Buchalski’s first season with Michigan State University and the Growlers. The left-hander earned four baseball letters prepping at Nouvel Catholic Central (MI) from 2009-2012, including the last two years as team captain. As a high school senior Buchalski helped his team earn a Division 3 district title in 2012 and gained All-Region honors and Academic All-State honors in 2011 as a junior.

“Coach Jake Boss at MSU said Josh had a really good fall. We needed to add a left-handed reliever to our staff and thought bringing a local product would be a great idea,” said Carbone. Buchalski’s fall has translated into a solid start to his spring. In three appearances out of the Spartans bullpen in 2014, Buchalski has not allowed a run and surrendered only three hits in two innings pitched.

“Josh will be have a big role in getting lefties out for us. He’s not strictly going to face lefties, but we’ll start using him in that role, see how he handles it, and hopefully us him in more situations this year,” said Carbone.

Buchalski also played football and basketball, helping Nouvel to the 2011 Division 7 football state title along with honorable mention Academic All-State accolades. His twin brother Joe pitches for Oakland University (MI).

Cody Leichman joins the Growlers this summer in his first stint in the Northwoods League. In his first year with Central Michigan in 2013 Cody finished third in the MAC with a .341 batting average, as well as leading his team in that category. His .410 on base percentage ranked him 5th overall in the conference as Leichman started 46 of the 47 games last season with the Chippewas. His versatility in the field benefits Kalamazoo as he plays the outfield and first base. Before transferring to Central Michigan, Leichman enjoyed a great season with Wabash Valley Community College, recording 54 hits in 56 games, and contributing a .323 batting average with 52 runs batted in.

“Cody put up good numbers at CMU last year. We see him as one of our first baseman this year. He’s very good defensively and comes highly recommended by his coaching staff,” said Growlers field manager Joe Carbone. Leichman has continued tearing the cover off the ball at the plate in 2014. In 22 games for the Chippewas, Leichman is batting .342 with two home runs and a whopping 23 RBI. Leichman also possesses a towering .539 slugging percentage and .424 on base percentage.