Hillsdale College baseball coach Eric Theisen is pleased to present the 2018-19 freshman class of the Charger baseball program. Eight players have committed to join the Hillsdale program next year, infusing the team with a fresh batch of talent.
Joining the Chargers next year are: Matt Granzotto (Northville, MI), Cody Kanclerz (Plymouth, MI), Steven Strachan (Caro, MI), Sean Nemetz (St. Charles, IL), Cooper Peterson (Leland, MI), William Gifford (Golden, CO), Dillon Manion (Park Hills, MO), and Marc Bergeron (Dearborn, MI).
"We filled some very specific and important needs with this class," Theisen said. "The addition of three lefthanded pitchers rounds out the depth and variety of our pitching staff. We were also able to bring in two extremely athletic and versatile infielders.
"Overall we are excited about this class. We've added guys we believe will be quality additions to the college and our team culture. We feel they can be key pieces to a championship-caliber roster."
Theisen added that the addition of the catchers is important, given the makeup of next year's roster.
"We added a switch hitting catcher and a right handed hitting catcher in anticipation of losing three catchers in the spring of 2019. Both have varying skill sets and will be a great combo behind the plate during their careers."
Information about each incoming recruit can be found below.
Matt Granzotto | SS | Gabriel Richard High School
Batted .380 with an .883 OPS as a junior in 2017…Had 38 hits and scored 27 runs last season…Batted .313 as a sophomore with a .783 OPS…Two-time All-Catholic League selection and was named Academic All-State…Helped team to 2017 regional championship…Named Second-Team All-State in hockey and was All-Catholic in tennis…Plays travel baseball for the Northville Broncos and the South Oakland A's…Member of the National Honor Society and has served as a math tutor.
Cody Kanclerz | RHP/SS | Detroit Catholic Central High School
Versatile player who could fit into the lineup in several different places…Helped lead the Shamrocks to a district championship in 2016…Entering his fourth season on CC's varsity team…Member of the honor roll and volunteers in special education classrooms.
Steven Strachan | UT/RHP | Caro High School
Enjoyed a terrific junior season which saw him get named First-Team All-State and Academic All-State…Plays travel baseball for Saginaw Golds…Currently ranked as his senior class co-valedictorian…Member of the National Honor Society, the Key Club, the Caro Exchange Club and was named the Youth of the Month for December 2017.
Sean Nemetz | C | North High School
Batted .310 with a .989 fielding percentage in his junior season of 2017…Honorable mention all-conference in 2017…Plays travel baseball for Longshots Baseball…Academic All-Conference selection in both basketball and baseball…Member of the Spanish National Honor Society…Volunteer for the Challenger Baseball Program…Volunteered at St. Patrick's Church Christmas Mass.
Cooper Peterson | C | St. Francis High School
Starting catcher on a perennial state contender at St. Francis High School in Traverse City…Helped team to a 38-4 record in 2017 with an appearance in the state championship game…Team has won three straight conference titles…Named All-Region and All-District in 2017…Hit 3 home runs with a .330 batting average in 2017…Batted .375 in 2016 and .313 in 2015…Volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and was a Right to Life March participant.
William Gifford | LHP | Lakewood High School
Lakewood High School's staff leader in innings pitched in 2017…Threw 60.1 innings with a WHIP of 1.26, 85 strikeouts and a 2.91 earned run average…Led his team in innings pitched, strikeouts and wins in each of his first three seasons on the varsity team…Led his baseball and hockey teams to the state playoffs in his prep career…Member of the National Honor Society…Has participated in two mission trips through his church.
Dillon Manion | | LHP | Central High School
First-Team All-Conference and All-District southpaw who has a career high school ERA of 3.04…Has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.3:1 so far in his career…Staff leader in innings pitched in each of his first three seasons…Named Second-Team All-District in 2015 and was First-Team All-District in 2016…Ranks fourth in his class academically…Member of the student council and the National Honor Society…Volunteered with Operation Christmas Child.
Marc Bergeron | LHP | Divine Child High School
Bergeron has played varsity baseball since his freshman year and has earned two varsity letters in hockey…Helped lead his baseball team to back-to-back appearances in the Michigan state semifinals…Hockey team qualified for the 2017 state semifinals as well…Lefthanded pitcher…Plays travel baseball for OABC and the Michigan Blue Jays…Has volunteered at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, the Knights of Columbus, Blight Busters and Sweet Dreamzzz…Four-year member of the student council…Will graduate Magna Cum Laude next spring.