Bombers tab three more from Arkansas State


Alex Howard, Tyler Mitzel and Winston Welch join Red Wolves teammate Justin Felix in Battle Creek

Battle Creek, Mich. – The Battle Creek Bombers signed three more Arkansas State juniors to the 2017 roster. Infielder Alex Howard, right-handed pitcher Tyler Mitzel and outfielder Winston Welch will add power and consistency to the Bombers lineup. This recruiting update is presented by OnStaff Group.

"Having these three veteran guys plus Justin Felix that have all played with each other is a huge plus for helping our team chemistry this summer," said Brian Solemsaas, field manager for the Bombers.

Alex Howard, 6’0”, 190, Infielder, Bats/R, Throws/R, Arkansas State (Jr.), Albuquerque, N.M.

Howard is currently hitting .195 in 41 at-bats in his first year with the Red Wolves. In the team’s fifteen games, he registered eight hits and seven RBI. His five doubles are the second most on the team.

Howard transferred to Arkansas State after spending 2015-16 at the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). Last year, he finished with a .380 batting average. He holds the single-season school record of 25 doubles and 10 triples. His twelve home runs and 63 RBI ranked third at NMMI. The Albuquerque, N.M., native garnered First-Team All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference honors after leading the team to 28 overall regular-season wins and 22 conference victories. He helped NMMI make the NJCAA Region V Tournament for the first time since 1961.


"Howard is a very good defender on the left side of the infield,” Solemsaas explained. “Offensively he is a guy that when he is hot you don't want to see come up if you're on the other side. He is a great teammate and is a leader by example." 

Tyler Mitzel, 6’4”, 215, Righ- Handed Pitcher, Bats/R, Throws/R, Arkansas State (Jr.), Sioux Falls, S.D. 

Mitzel has made four appearances on the mound this spring for Arkansas State and carries a 5.65 ERA. Out of the bullpen, he recorded 16 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting a team low of .157 against him. 

Mitzel transferred to Arkansas State after two years at Neosho Community College (Chanute, Kan.), where he helped log a 51-11 record over two years. On the mound in 2016, he went 8-5 with nine starts in 13 appearances and carried a 4.45 ERA in 64 innings pitched. Mitzel struck out a total of 69 batters.

"I'm excited to have Mitzel with us this summer,” said Solemsaas. “He is a low-90s arm that can throw three pitches for strikes. He has only been pitching for a few years, but really knows how to get guys out. He will be a big factor in our success this summer."

Winston Welch, 6’1”, 220, Outfielder, Bats/R, Throws/R, Arkansas State (Jr.), Tucson, Ariz.

Welch has played in seven games with two starts in his first year at Arkansas State. Like Howard, Welch transferred from NMMI and earned honorable mention All-WJCAC honors in 2016. 

At NMMI, he hit .373 with 19 doubles and a team-best 17 home runs. He holds the single-season record for RBI in a season with 65 and he tops the school’s list for career doubles. Welch is second all-time in home runs and third in hits and RBI at NMMI.

"Winston is a guy that came out of junior college with huge power numbers,” Solemsaas said. “He is an explosive bat that will play in the corner outfield for us. When not in the outfield can be a designated hitter candidate. I'm looking forward to see him compete in the Northwoods League."

Fans can guarantee tickets to the team’s top weekend dates of the season by locking in the Bombers 5-game pack. Five-game packs are $59 and include the best seats at the team’s five best games with all-you-can-eat food and beverages and guaranteed giveaways. Fans can buy online by going to Fans can also call the team’s front office at (269) 962-0735 or by email  

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.

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The Battle Creek Bombers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate 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 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM).  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.