Kalamazoo, Mich – The Kalamazoo Growlers have added talent to the pitching staff, as well as power hitting to their lineup. Chris Cervantes of Eastern Kentucky University and Nick Wernke of West Virginia University will add collegiate experience on the hill for the Growlers, and first baseman Nick Yarnall brings his power bat to aid in the Growlers inaugural season campaign.
Chris Cervantes: 6’1”-170lb, RHP, Bats/R, Throws/R, Eastern Kentucky (So.) Shelbyville, KY
Nick Wernke: 6’4”- 185lb, RHP, Bats/R, Throws/R, West Virginia (Fr.) Oswego, IL
Nick Yarnall: 6’0” – 205lb, 1B, Bats/L, Throws/L, Pittsburgh (Fr.) Landisville, PA
In 2013, Cervantes started four games for the Colonels and made 17 appearances in relief. Cervantes has started against top NCAA contenders such as No. 4 Louisville (Feb. 20).During his freshman year, the six-foot-four righty appeared in 31 innings with nine strikeouts.
So far in 2014, Cervantes has racked up 19 innings with eight strikeouts. Cervantes also received All-State and All-Region honors as a senior at Martha Layne Collins High School.
Wernke is currently a freshman at West Virginia University, which sports one of the best pitching staffs in all of college baseball. He will be a potential starter in the rotation for the Growlers featuring an electric fastball which headlines his three pitch repertoire.
The righty was a three year starter at Oswego High School on the mound and in the field. In 2013, Wernke added a no hitter to his resume, totaling 14 strikeouts in the memorable pitching performance.
During his senior season, Wernke was named 2013 Rawlings/Perfect Game All-Central Region Honorable Mention. He will also be an impact performer on the Growlers pitching staff this season.
Yarnall has appeared in 38 games for the Panthers including 12 starts. He’s had a solid start to his collegiate career, batting .241 (14-for- 58) as well as an on-base percentage of .375. Yarnall has also picked up seven RBI during his freshman campaign in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Ladisville, Pa. native was a first team Preseason Under Armour All-American heading into his senior year, as well as being named to the 2013 Rawlings All-Region team.
The six-foot freshman will spend the majority of his time at first base with the Growlers but has experience playing in the outfield, and also brings an explosive bat for added firepower to the lineup.
The Growlers first home game of the year is on Friday, May 30 at Homer Stryker Field, when the Bombers come to Kalamazoo in the first of a five game home stand.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit http://www.growlersbaseball.com.