Bronco Baseball Adds Six For 2013-14, Five From Michigan
This year's class consists of Keegan Akin (Midland Bullock Creek HS), Daniel Ayers (Columbus, Ind. North HS), Corbin Clouse (Grand Ledge HS), Chad Mayle (Kellogg CC/Midland Dow HS), Grant Miller (Bay City Western HS) and Nate Schneider (Portage Central HS). All but Mayle, who is a sophomore at Kellogg Community College, are current high school seniors.
"We are very proud to announce our recruiting class and to welcome them into our Bronco baseball family," Gernon said. "They make us better on the mound, defensively and improve our overall athleticism, which are all qualities of a championship program.
"When you sign arms that could step into your pitching rotation, and position players that could make there way into the starting lineup as freshmen, it is easy to get excited. All of our recruits are true competitors as well as young men of high character and will be tremendous additions to the current culture we have established at Western Michigan.
Keegan Akin • 6-0 • 175 • LHP/OF
(Midland, Mich./Midland Bullock Creek HS)
First team all-state, all-district and All-Tri-Valley conference selection in 2012 ... had a 9-0 record with a 0.78 ERA, recording 132 strikeouts in 72.0 innings pitched ... allowed just nine runs (eight earned) ... at the plate, held a .463 batting average and a .590 on-base percentage ... totaled 44 hits in 95 at bats, with 35 RBIs, 13 doubles, five triples and one home run, also drawing 15 walks.
Gernon on Akin:
"Keegan is not only a very talented left-handed pitcher but a very solid hitting defensive outfielder as well. Akin has accomplished some incredible things from the mound while swinging an impressive left-handed bat. He is very athletic and has recently made a big jump demonstrating a fastball in the upper 80's. His undefeated record and microscopic earned run average in 2012 will put him in a position to impact our pitching staff immediately."
Daniel Ayers • 6-2 • 190 • LHP
(Columbus, Ind./Columbus North HS)
Ranked No. 7 high school player in the state of Indiana by Prep Baseball Report ... ranked No. 207 in the nation by Perfect Game (first recruit under Gernon to be ranked in top 250) ... fastball has reached low 90's ... had a 6-0 record with a 1.33 ERA in 2012, ringing up 120 strikeouts in 58.0 innings pitched ... Columbus North ranked No. 3 in state last year with a 24-3 record ... was a an all-conference selection and all-state honorable mention ... was third in the state, averaging 14.5 strikeouts per seven innings ... member of the 2012 Perfect Game WWBA World Championship All-Tournament Team ... member of Indiana Redbirds summer ball team for past three years, team posted 33-7 record in 2012 ... chosen to Team Indiana for the Crossroads Baseball Showcase Series, played at All-Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio (home of MAC Tournament).
Gernon on Ayers:
"Daniel is a very talented left-handed pitcher that could easily impact our pitching rotation the minute he steps on campus. We are up against the Big Ten, Missouri Valley, Big South, and Sunbelt conferences for Daniel and that in itself speaks to his ability. He can be overpowering at times with a fastball that we have seen as high as 92 and a very good curve ball which makes it easy to understand why he led the state of Indiana in strikeouts his junior year."
Corbin (CJ) Clouse • 6-1• 200 • OF/LHP
(Grand Ledge, Mich./Grand Ledge HS)
Ranked No. 14 high school player in the state of Michigan by Prep Baseball Report ... ranked in the top 500 in the nation by Perfect Game ... batted .462 (55 hits in 119 at bats) in 2012, with a .788 slugging percentage and .566 on-base percentage ... had 16 doubles, eight home runs, 45 RBIs and 45 runs scored ... was 9-for-9 on stolen base attempts ... named all-region, all-district, all-conference and to Dream Team ... coached by Pat O'Keefe at Grand Ledge who has amassed over 1,000 wins in high school.
Gernon on Clouse:
"Corbin is a pure hitter and can swing the bat from both sides of the plate very well. He has tremendous talent as an outfielder and possesses very good arm strength that may transfer to the mound for us as well. He is very athletic and runs extremely well in his 6-1, 200-pound frame and will no doubt help us in the outfield sooner than later."
Chad Mayle • 6-3 • 185 • RHP
(Midland, Mich./Kellogg CC/Midland Dow HS)
Was a freshman at Kellogg Community College last year, helping KCC to a 2012 MCCA Conference Championship ... posted a 2-2 record with a 5.31 for KCC ... totaled 20.1 innings pitched in 10 appearances ... struck out 18, allowed 20 hits and 16 runs (12 earned) ... had a 3.89 career ERA over three years of varsity baseball at Dow High School (2009-11) ... second-team all-conference pick as a sophomore ... member of 2009 American Legion World Series All-Tournament Team ... KCC scholar-athlete and was three-time academic all-district in high school.
Gernon on Mayle:
"Chad is a rapidly developing right-handed pitcher that we feel is just now hitting his full stride. His long and lanky frame helps him create late and lively action on his fastball which we have seen in the upper 80's. We like the fact that he will bring two years of college experience from a highly respected junior college and that he is extraordinarily diligent in the classroom."
Grant Miller • 5-10 • 160 • INF
(Bay City, Mich./Bay City Western HS)
Ranked No. 19 high school player in the state of Michigan by Prep Baseball Report ... in two years of varsity, has a .410 career batting average with 56 RBIs and 71 runs scored ... was an all-region, all-district and all-conference selection last year ... played on Saginaw Means Stamping and Michigan Selects traveling teams, being coached by Texas Rangers scout Mark Krysiak and Cleveland Indians scout Tom Merkle ... was selected this fall to the Perfect Game Kernels Foundation All Tournament Team after batting .545 with two doubles, two triples, three RBIs and five runs scored in four games ... attends same high school as former Bronco standout and major-leaguer Matt Mieske.
Gernon on Miller:
"Grant is a player that demonstrates remarkable baseball fundamentals in the field and at the plate and plays with a sense of urgency that I really like. He has the ability to play any position on the field but will improve our program as a middle infielder. He is a remarkable student as well and his capability to play multiple positions could help him find playing time early in his career."
Nate Schneider • 6-2 • 185 • INF
(Portage, Mich./Portage Central HS)
Father, Paul Schneider is a WMU Hall of Famer and was an All-American Bronco outfielder in 1981 ... older brother, Derek, is currently a freshman left-handed pitcher on the Bronco baseball team ... father coaches high school team ... mother, Patti, also a WMU alum ... led Portage Central last season with 30 RBIs and 25 runs scored ... had a .320 batting average with four doubles, two triples and two home runs ... went 11-for-12 in stolen base attempts ... named all-conference and to the Kalamazoo Gazette all-area team ... batted .350 with 10 triples, 10 doubles and two home runs this summer with Kalamazoo Maroons 18-and-under travel team ... played in the Micky Mantle and Sandy Koufax World Series ... also was a quarterback on Portage Central's football team.
Gernon on Schneider:
"Nate is a physical specimen that possesses strength in the batter's box and athleticism in the field. I suspect Schneider will demonstrate the ability to play many infield positions although primarily a shortstop in high school. He is a multi-sport athlete and his grades make it clear he understands the concept of student-athlete."