Bombers Team Report: February 26th – March 4th

Battle Creek, MI – The Battle Creek Bombers team report will give you an update on how the 2018 Bombers are performing this spring for their collegiate ball clubs. The majority of teams around the country just finished their third week of play.

In the Mid-American Conference, Will Baker of Ball State continued his hot start. Baker had a combined two hits, three walks and four runs scored in a loss to Coastal Carolina Friday and a 7-0 win against Radford Saturday. Baker is now hitting .385 with three doubles and four RBI’s through Ball State’s first 10 games this season. On the mound for the Cardinals, Cody Freed pitched two innings of relief in the loss to Coastal Carolina. Freed gave up one run and struck out two batters. Freed has only given up two earned runs in eight innings of relief for Ball State this season.

Staying in the MAC, freshman pitcher Brett Manis struck out three batters and walked two in one inning of relief for the Ohio Bobcats against Nebraska-Omaha. He did not give up an earned run and has now pitched the first 2.2 innings of his career without giving up an earned run. The second freshman lefty from Ohio, Alex Kuster, gave up his first earned run of the season Sunday, but Kuster has pitched well for Ohio in relief, only giving up one run in four innings pitched.

Over at Eastern Michigan, freshman Nate Jones went 2-for-5 with an RBI in a win over Nicholls Saturday. Jones has three extra-base hits on the season for the struggling 3-9 Eagles.

In the Northwest Conference, Connor Bailey of Willamette continues to have a nice season. Bailey combined for four hits and an RBI as the Bearcats went 1-2 against Whitworth last weekend. Bailey now has 13 RBI’s in 17 games to begin the season.

At Middle Tennessee State, right-handed pitcher Carter Bair picked up his first save of the season last Saturday in a win against ETSU. Bair struck out four and gave up one earned run, but still protected the victory for the Lightning.

Heading to Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the Southland Conference. Drake Osborn has been on fire from the right side of the plate for the Islanders. Osborn is hitting .333 with four doubles and two homeruns through 10 games. Osborn has a hit in every game but one and had three RBI’s combined in a three-game sweep of Utah Valley last weekend.

In the GLIAC, Saginaw Valley State’s Amani Godfrey picked up his first win of the season on the mound last weekend. Godfrey pitched six innings and struck out nine as the Cardinals defeated Maryville 8-5. Infielder Jordan Swiss is currently the best hitter in the Cardinal lineup. Swiss is hitting .517, including five doubles and six RBI’s. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a walk in a 7-3 win at Maryville Sunday. And Catcher, Griffin Green went 1-for-3 with a walk in the first game of the Maryville series, a 5-4 win for Saginaw Valley State.

In Division III, Zach Gartner of East Texas Baptist currently leads the Tigers in hitting with 23 hits and a .365 average through 16 games. Gartner’s best game last weekend was a 2-for-3 performance in game one of a three-game series at UT Tyler. Gartner also leads the Tigers with three doubles, three triples and a homerun.

For the Wheaton College Thunder, Michael McCraith picked up his first win of the season last Saturday. McCraith pitched seven innings, only gave up one earned run and struck out 14 batters while walking zero in a 9-3 victory over Rockford. It was his best performance of the young 2018 season.

Rounding it out in DIII, LHP Anthony Brophy had a decent outing for St. John Fisher College last Saturday. Brophy pitched 5.1 innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out seven batters in a close 6-5 loss to Baldwin Wallace.

To finish this Bombers team report, freshman infielder Riley Tirotta has been a bright spot for the 2-7 Dayton Flyers. Tirotta is batting .345 in the first nine games of his collegiate career. This includes a 2-for-5 performance with a double and a stolen base in his last game against Eastern Michigan.

The home opener for the Bombers is Wednesday, May 31st against the Kalamazoo Growlers. First pitch is scheduled for 11:05 a.m.


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, more than 185 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 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.