Battle Creek, MI – The Battle Creek Bombers made the signing of two juniors from Willamette University and Wheaton College official Thursday. Connor Bailey, from Willamette University, will play the outfield this summer, and Michael McCraith is a right-handed pitcher who comes to Battle Creek from Wheaton College. This Recruiting Trail update is brought to you by OnStaff Group.
OF – Connor Bailey, 5’11”, R/L, Junior, Willamette University
Connor Bailey has been one of Willamette’s most consistent players the last two years. Bailey hit .351 as a sophomore in 2017 and led the team with 54 hits and 30 runs scored. He also totaled 28 RBI’s and received All-NWC Honorable Mention recognition for his 2017 performance. Bailey continues to back up his sophomore season this year with Willamette. The junior outfielder is hitting .325 with 32 RBI’s and seven homeruns for the Bearcats. The .325 average leads the team as does his 17 extra-base hits and 20 walks on the season. Willamette is 17-14 overall as Bailey leads the Bearcats into the final month of the season.
RHP – Michael McCraith, 6’3”, R/R, Junior, Wheaton College
Michael McCraith dominated the CCIW his sophomore year. McCraith pitched his way to a 9-1 record with a 2.87 ERA in 2017. In conference play, he was nearly untouchable with a 0.64 ERA, the lowest conference-only ERA since 1994. At one point, McCraith tossed 21 straight scoreless innings. His performance led to the CCIW Pitcher of the Year award and a First Team All-CCIW selection. McCraith is following up his Pitcher of the Year campaign with a strong junior season. The righty has struck out 40 to go along with just 14 walks. McCraith is 3-2 with a 4.46 ERA this season. He has never given up more than four runs in one outing. Wheaton is 11-9 this season with plenty of games left in the CCIW.
We are a little under two months away from the start of the 2018 Bombers season. The Bombers will take on the Kenosha Kingfish in the season opener May 29th. Kalamazoo comes to town for the home opener on Thursday May, 31st at 11:05 a.m.
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The Battle Creek Bombers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.battlecreekbombers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Bombers as your favorite team.