25 newcomers, eight returners & nationally ranked shortstop headline the roster
BATTLE CREEK, MI- The Battle Creek Bombers are getting set to begin their 15th season in the Northwoods League. It is time to meet the 2021 Bombers roster. The team returns eight players to go along with 25 newcomers. Jack Merrifield is one of the eight returners for the Bombers. The Louisiana native hit .246 last year for Battle Creek and looks to make an impact this summer after leading the LSU Eunice Bengals this spring with a .435 batting average with six home runs in his sophomore season. Pitcher Nolan Lamere returns to the Bombers pitching staff after logging 14.1 innings in 11 appearances last season. Michael Morrisette is a returner as well but will join the coaching staff after playing two seasons with the Bombers playing first base. The Bombers brought in a plethora of exciting additions but perhaps the most exciting add to the roster is shortstop Harold Coll. Born in Boston, Coll attended Georgia Premier Academy in Statesboro, GA and was ranked the number one shortstop in Georgia by Perfect Game. He just finished up his freshman year at San Jacinto College where he was second on the Gators in hitting with a .355 average to go along with two home runs and 28 RBI. Coll brings speed to the Bombers as well, swiping 10 bases during the college season.
Beaux Bonvillain: LHP, Junior, University of Central Oklahoma (Bryant, ARK). 4.08 ERA in 17.2 IP out of the bullpen recording six saves.
Drew Dyer: C/1B, Junior, Carthage College (Phoenix, AZ). Transfer from Chicago State University appearing in eight games this season. Pitched two games for the Bombers in 2020 recording a 1.13 WHIP. Hit .118 in eight games splitting time between first base and catcher.
Heath Hood: OF, Sophomore, Tyler Community College (White Oak, TX). Hit .394 with six HR in 31 games this season.
Burrell Jones: RHP, Sophomore, Michigan State University (Holt, MI). 26.1 IP in 12 appearances for the Spartans, striking out 21.
Nolan LaMere: RHP, Battle Creek Bombers. 8.16 ERA through 14.1 IP. Struck out 8 along with a 1-2 record.
Jack Merrifield: 2B/3B, Sophomore, LSU Eunice (Eunice, LA). OPS of 1.182 through 48 games this season (.555 OBP, .627 SLG). .424 batting average, 67 hits, 10 doubles, 1 triple, and 6 home runs. Knocked in 58 runs and only struck out 12 times.
Caleb Smith: RHP, Redshirt Freshman, Davenport University (Grand Rapids, MI). Held opponents to a .100 average through the 3 innings he’s pitched for the Panthers.
David Williams: RHP, Redshirt Junior, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI). Threw 7.1 IP through 8 appearances. Struck out 11.
Blake Bean: OF, Freshman, Kalamazoo College (Farmington Hills, MI). Hit .385 with seven HR for the Kalamazoo Hornets this season.
Will Christophersen: RHP, Redshirt Freshman, Michigan State University (Bettendorf, Iowa). Made 11 appearances for the Spartans out of the pen, pitching to a 3.00 ERA in 24 IP.
Lincoln Andrews: 1B, Freshman, Southeast Missouri State University (Canon City, COL). Hit .265 in 35 games for SEMO this season.
Aaron Beck: OF, Redshirt Junior, Indiana State University (Evansville, IND). Hit .378 in 29 games for Indiana State. Played his first two collegiate seasons at Onley Central Community College. Career .340 hitter in three seasons.
Davis Burgin: RHP, Junior, Troy University (Trussville, AL). Pitched to a 1.86 ERA in six appearances in 2020 for Snead Community College before transferring to Troy.
Harold Coll: SS, Freshman, San Jacinto College (Boston, MA). Attended Georgia Premier Academy in Statesboro, GA. Ranked the number one shortstop in Georgia and 20 in the nation by Perfect Game.
Gabriel Craig: RHP, Sophomore, Texas A&M University (Tyler, TX). Appeared in four games for the Aggies out of the pen. Pitched to a 2.93 ERA in eight appearances at Tyler Junior College, holding hitters to a .175 opponent batting average.
Adam Davis: RHP, Freshman, Tyler Junior College (Melissa, TX). Went 6-0 with a 3.69 ERA, striking out 33 in 14 appearances.
Jake Fiorito: RHP, Senior, Clarke University (Woodstock, ILL). 2.78 ERA in two seasons at Clarke University appearing in 26 games and struck out 49 hitters in 45.1 IP.
Jack Gee: RHP, Redshirt Freshman, Tyler Junior College (McKinney, TX). Ranked the 68th overall high school prospect by Perfect Game.
Edward Johnson: INF, Sophomore, Tennessee Tech University (Trussville, AL). Transferred to Tennessee Tech from Auburn. Hit .307 with 5 HR and 28 RBI for the Golden Eagles. Crossed the plate 40 times which led the team.
Beau Kirsch: C, Freshman, LSU Eunice (Eunice, LA). Hit .403 in 25 games with a slugging percentage just over .500.
Stephen Krause: 1B, Redshirt Sophomore, Miami (OH) (Oxford, OH). Hit .151 in 25 games with the Redhawks.
Drew Lasseigne: RHP, Freshman, LSU Eunice (Eunice, LA). ERA of 3.79 with a 4-0 record and a complete game. Struck out 43 batters through 37.1 IP.
Brayden Lloyd: RHP, Redshirt Freshman, Hillsborough Community College (Tampa, FL). 4.75 ERA and struck out 42 in 47.1 IP through two years.
Benjamin MacNaughton: OF, Sophomore, Lamar University (Beaumont, TX). Currently leading the Cardinals in Batting Average in 2021. Batted .345, eight doubles, four triples, and 15 of 19 on stolen base attempts.
Luke McGibboney: RHP, Freshman, LSU Eunice (Eunice, LA). 4.38 ERA through five appearances. Struck out nine through 13 IP.
Jacob McKeon: 1B/OF, Junior, Washington State University (Pullman, WA). Batting Average of .346 through 36 games. 14 of 36 hits were for extra bases OPS of .983.
Tanner McNamara: RHP, Sophomore, Tyler Junior College (Tyler, TX). 6.59 ERA through 13.2 IP. Struck out 15 and posted a 2-2 record.
Sy Snedeker: C/1B, Junior, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ). Batted .273 through six games in 2020. OBP of .556
Ty Stauss: UTIL, Freshman, Southeast Missouri State University (Canon City, COL). Batting just under .200 in 2021 with three of his 13 hits being doubles.
Roy Thurman: OF, Junior, Akron University (Akron, Ohio). seven hits through 18 at bats in 2021 and batted in four runs.
Javier Vaz: INF/OF, Junior, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN). two hits on six at-bats in the 2021 season. Also walked three times.
Jax Wardwell: SS, Junior, Miami (OH) (Oxford, OH). No stats at Miami.
Zachary Williams: RHP, Lamar University.
Brian Zapp: INF, Sophomore, Miami (OH) (Oxford, OH). Batted .212 through 39 games in 2021. Eight extra base hits out of his 24 hits. Five of those hits were home runs.
Now let’s take a look at some of the players looking to make a major impact for Battle Creek this summer. These players take the Bombers already impressive talent pool to another level.
Harold Coll: The number one ranked shortstop in Georgia stood out to scouts at the Prep Baseball Super 60 showcase event in February 2020, raising his stock for the upcoming MLB draft. Coll was even named to the 2020 World Showcase top prospect list. He is currently playing at San Jacinto junior college but is a North Carolina commit. The big question for Coll is will even make it to Chapel Hill with the draft coming up in July.
Coll was ranked the 94th best prospect in the nation by Perfect Game in 2020, 20th among shortstops in the country.
Jack Merrifield: Merrifield has been a standout ever since he has been playing for LSU Eunice with a career batting average of .416. By far his best season as a Bengal has come this season, hitting .424 to lead the team and is top 20 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Merrifield finished top 20 in the NJCAA in batting average in the 2021 season.
Beau Kirsh: Kirsh joins Merrifield in Battle Creek this summer after being teammates at LSU Eunice. Playing in 25 games behind the plate for the Bengals, Kirsh hit .403 and had been on fire towards the end of the season. The Lafayette product hit .464 over his last nine games and looks to carry his hot bat over to Battle Creek for the summer.
Burrell Jones: The Holt, M.I. product is one of the eight returning players this season. Jones pitched in 12 games for Michigan State this spring after transferring from Wabash Valley College where he pitched to a 2.18 ERA in 20.2 IP. As a first year Spartan, Jones made 12 appearances out of the bullpen pitching 26.1 innings and recording two saves. He looks to take his Big Ten experience to help the Bombers this summer.
Michael Ruppenthal: Field Manager
Michael Morissette: Bench Coach
The Bombers are fielding a talented roster as they get ready for an exciting 2021 season in Battle Creek. The Bombers are returning to a full Northwoods League schedule after COVID-19 affected the 2020 season. Be sure to join the Bombers at C.O. Brown Stadium this summer.