Bombers’ Outfield Takes Shape
The Battle Creek Bombers have signed their outfield for the 2019 Northwoods League season. Patrolling the outfield for Mike Ruppenthal’s club will be Kolby Johnson, Hunter Ruhstorfer, Erik Owen, and Matt McDermott. All four players are on full contracts with Battle Creek for the 2019 campaign.
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 benefitfrom over 168 years of expertise from a vast variety of organizations and industries today!
OF Kolby Johnson, 5’6”, (R/L) Freshman, University of Central Arkansas (NCAA- Division I)
Johnson, a native of Pearland, Texas, got off to a hot start with the Bears in his first series in Central Arkansas. Starting in the outfield as a freshman, playing both right and center field, Johnson went 5-for-12 in Central Arkansas’ first weekend set vs. Bradley University. Johnson will bring plenty of speed to the Bombers, as he posted a 6.75 60-yard dash with the Prep Baseball Report. As a junior in high school at Lutheran South Academy in Houston, Johnson stole 25 bases in 26 attempts. In 2018, Perfect Game Baseball named Johnson as an Honorable Mention to the Preseason All-Texas Region team and ranked him the 54 th best outfielder in Texas high school baseball.
Johnson also pitched while in high school and threw a one-hitter in May of 2018 to propel Lutheran South to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools championship game, which the Pioneers would win. Johnson was subsequently selected to participate in the 2018 Houston Area Baseball Coaches’ All-Star Game.
OF Hunter Ruhstorfer, 6’1”, (R/R) Junior, Davenport University (NCAA- Division II)
Ruhstorfer is a transfer from Lansing Community College, where he won back-to-back conference and regional championships. As a sophomore in Lansing, he played in 47 games and hit for a .429 batting average with 53 RBI while sporting a .493 on- base percentage. These statistics earned Ruhstorfer a spot on the First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-American squads. As a freshman, Ruhstorfer
batted .361 and was named to the Junior College World Series All-Tournament Team. He has also gotten off to a hot start at Davenport, hitting 7-for-12 in the Panthers’ first series vs. Ohio Valley University.
Prior to his junior collegiate career, Ruhstorfer attended Haslett High School just outside of Lansing, where he possessed a .457 batting average in 2016 and held an ERA of 1.24 while on the mound. While at Haslett, Ruhstorfer was named to the Division II All-State Second Team as a senior.
OF Erik Owen, 6’0”, (R/R) Redshirt Sophomore, Tyler Junior College (NJCAA Division III)
Owen, a transfer from Baton Rouge Community College in Louisiana, is originally from White Oak, Texas. He has made an immediate impact for Tyler, appearing in all 16 games for the Apaches this year. In that time, he has sported a .388 batting average and .544 on-base percentage, both of which lead the team among players with more than 10 at-bats. Owen’s 16 RBI and 13 stolen bases are both team leaders as well, as he has helped propel the Apaches to a 13-3 start to their 2019 campaign. He has also been solid defensively, posting a .944 fielding percentage while contributing 16 putouts from the outfield.
Before his junior college career, Owen spent four years at White Oak High School, where he held a career .343 batting average, including a .387 average his senior year. Owen also finished his high school career with 54 RBI and 77 runs scored, while striking out just 37 times in 88 games over four years.
OF/2B Matt McDermott, 5’8”, (R/R) Sophomore, College of William & Mary (NCAA Division I)
McDermott, a Little Falls, New Jersey native, started all 54 games at William & Mary his freshman year. In 2018, he possessed a .227 batting average while contributing 17 RBI, four doubles, and three triples. One of those doubles came in a 2-for-4 debut against then- #12 Clemson University. McDermott also posted a .978 fielding percentage while making 133 putouts. In 2019, McDermott has started every game for the Tribe at second base and had an RBI in a win vs. Marist.
In high school, McDermott led St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City to back-to-back Hudson County titles and was selected to the All-County team twice. He also hit over .400 two of his four high school years. While at St. Peter’s Prep, McDermott was also part of the National Honor Society.