Broncos Having Success in Summer Wooden Bat Leagues
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Several members of the Western Michigan baseball team are suiting up in summer wooden bat leagues across the country. A total of 13 different Broncos are playing on six different teams.
Player - Team (Location) - League - stats/roster link
Gabe Berman - Battle Creek Bombers (Battle Creek, Mich.) - Northwoods - stats
Vinnie Booker - Chillicothe Paints (Chillicothe, Ohio) - Prospect - stats
Nick Bradley - Lake Erie Monarchs (Maumee, Ohio) - Great Lakes - stats
Steve Buglione - Arvada Colts (Arvada, Colo.) - Rocky Mountain - stats
Brandon Cable - Rockford Foresters (Rockford, Ill.) - Midwest - stats
Kurt Hoekstra - Rockford Foresters (Rockford, Ill.) - Midwest - stats
Jared Kujawa - Lake Erie Monarchs (Maumee, Ohio) - Great Lakes - stats
Steve Laudicina - Chillicothe Paints (Chillicothe, Ohio) - Prospect - stats
Will Nimke - Plymouth Pilgrims (Plymouth, Mass.) - New England - stats
Theo Piccirilli - 22U Michigan Bulls (Novi, Mich.) - stats
Derek Schneider - Springfield Sliders (Springfield, Ill.) - Prospect - stats
Andrew Sohn - Alexandria Blue Anchors (Alexandria, Minn.) Northwoods - stats
Jordan Tillman - Arizona Iggi's (Scottsdale, Ariz.) Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League - stats
Three Broncos in particular have been red hot to start off the summer. Senior left-handed pitcher Steve Laudicina has a 4-0 record with a 0.90 ERA in four appearances and has struck out 15 batters in 20 innings pitched. Sophomore right-handed reliever Gabe Berman is touting a 0.75 ERA and has registered four saves in 10 appearances. He has 18 strikeouts to his credit in just 12 innings of work.
At the plate, junior shortstop Andrew Sohn ranks 10th in the Northwoods League in terms of batting average, hitting .348 through the first 21 games. He also has two home runs, nine doubles, 10 RBIs and nine stolen bases to his credit. Sohn was a First Team All-Mid-American Conference selection for the Broncos this past collegiate season.
The NCAA sanctions these wood bat leagues, some of which are sponsored in part by a donation from Major League Baseball. Several leagues exist throughout the country and teams are comprised of the top college players from North America and beyond. These summer leagues represent the highest level of pre-professional amateur baseball. Players are not paid so as to maintain their NCAA eligibility.