The Battle Creek Bombers have announced the return of field manager Mike Ruppenthal for the 2020 season. Mike spent the 2018 season as the pitching coach for the Bombers, and was hired as the field manager prior to the 2019 season. He has been a staple in the dugout and in the community for the past two seasons, and he is thrilled to return for year 3 in Battle Creek.
“I am extremely excited to be back in Battle Creek for the 2020 season. The city of Battle Creek means alot to me going back to my childhood and the fan support we have had the past two seasons has been amazing. Having great crowds at home htis past summer was a huge boost for our playes and I hope to build on that support and engage with the commuity even more in 2020.” said Ruppenthal. “I feel very fortunate to have such a supportive front office in Tyler Shore and Brian Colopy and i look forward to once again being able to provide some of the most talented players in the coutnry the best summer experience possible.”
Across the Northwoods league, there are many instances of 2nd year managers making a huge jump in the standings with thier teams. Former Bombers manager Josh Rebandt just won a Northwoods League Championship in his second year in the league, and Kalamazoo Growlers manager Cody Piechocki has had great sucess after his first season. So despite a tough year in the standings in 2019, Bombers general manager Tyler Shore is ecstatic about the opportunity to have Mike back leading from the dugout in 2020
“Mike is, first and foremost, a tremendous human being. He is tremendous at building relatonships with the players and he has a real passion for the game of baseball. The Northwoods leauge is notoriously tough on first year managers, but we really believe Mike has what it takes to lead this team to a championship in 2020. We are extremely excited to see what Mike can do with the extremely talented roster he is putting together.”
Mike is currenlty in his second year as the pitching coach/recruiting coordinator at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. Prior to moving to Texas, Mike spent 2018 as the pitching coach at Bethany College (NAIA) in Kansas, guiding the pitching staff to 3rd in conference ERA. He worked as an insteructer for the Doyle Baseball academy in 2016-2017 and assisted in developing young athletes at a high level to prepare them for their athletic careers. Mike also spent time working at the Florida Baseball Ranch, where he gained knowledge of optimal training protocols and movement patters for elite pitchers.
Ruppenthal was born and raised in Bloomfield, Hills Michigan and played high school baseball at Brother Rice High School. He went on to play college baseball at Southeastern Univeristy (NAIA) in Lakeland, Florida. His father, Barry, played professional baseball in the Angels organization and his brother, Matt, currently palyes in the Houston Astros organization. When he is not coaching baseball, Mike loves to fish, spend time with is wife, Lydia, and their dog.