Battle Creek, MI – A date with the Lakeshore Chinooks on Opening Day 2019 is now just weeks away, as we continue to reveal the roster that will make up the 2019 Battle Creek Bombers. Today, we take a look at the Battle Creek backstops and temporary players that will be part of manager Mike Ruppenthal’s squad.
This recruiting update is presented by OnStaff Group. OnStaff Group is the largest human resource services firm in Southwest Michigan, maintaining an exceptionally experienced and stable staff. Learn how your company can benefit from over 168 years of expertise from a vast variety of organizations and industries today!
C Cade Watson, 5’11”, (R/R), Sophomore, Tyler Junior College (NJCAA-Division III)
Watson has been an extremely productive member of Tyler Junior College, appearing in 37 of the Apaches’ 52 games thus far this season and helping to pilot TJC to a .692 winning percentage. In his sophomore year at Tyler, Watson is hitting .252 and has driven in 17 RBI while scoring 14 runs of his own. He also has displayed speed on the base paths, stealing 11 bases while being caught stealing only four times. The sophomore also added a home run in a win over Murray State College. Watson is a native of Nacogdoches, Texas, which is also the hometown of Brandon Belt, of the San Francisco Giants.
C Rhett McCall, 6’0”, (R/R), Sophomore, Lamar University (NCAA-Division I)
McCall has brought a high level of offensive and defensive consistency to Lamar this season. At the plate, the sophomore has hit .293 with a .391 slugging percentage, while mashing two home runs in his 34 games of action. Behind the plate, he ranks second on the Cardinals’ roster in putouts, and has a stout fielder percentage of .989. McCall played summer collegiate baseball last season for the Acadiana Cane Cutters of the Texas Collegiate League, and was named Freshman of the Year after posting a .361 batting average, which was good for second in the league. Before his collegiate career, the Baytown, Texas native was named as an Honorable Mention to the Texas All-Region team by Perfect Game.
RHP/IF Matthew Patton, 6’3”, (R/R), Junior, University of Central Arkansas (NCAA-Division I)
Patton, who will serve as a temporary player for the Bombers this season, is somewhat of a collegiate journeyman. He started his career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Community College, where he racked up a 1.88 ERA on the mound as a freshman and hit .380 at the plate as a sophomore. Now, the Carthage, Missouri has seen action for Central Arkansas both on the mound and at the plate. Patton has a 21-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the Bears in 15.2 innings pitches and has also scored a run in seven at-bats for UCA. He will join teammates Kolby Johnson and Gavin Stone in Battle Creek this summer.
IF/OF Caleb Balgaard, 6’3”, (R/R), Sophomore, Iowa Western Community College (NJCAA-Division I)
Balgaard transferred to IWCC after his freshman year at the University of Indiana. A highly recruited prospect from Fenton, Michigan, Balgaard was the #1-rated shortstop in the state of Michigan and the #4 overall player in the state. He will serve as a temporary player for Battle Creek after he finishes his season for the Reivers, in which he is hitting at a .471 clip with 4 home runs and 57 RBI. He has especially heated up as of late, posting a .507 batting average and .863 slugging percentage in the month of April. Balgaard has gotten hits in 14 of his last 15 games, as well as racking up 9 RBI in his past five games alone. He has led the Reivers to a 38-7 mark, and a #10 national ranking in Division 1 of Junior College baseball, making them the only school in the state of Iowa to receive a vote for the top-20 rankings.