Omaha, Neb. — Creighton Baseball head coach Ed Servais announced the addition of seven new recruits for the 2020 season during the fall signing period. Joining the Bluejays next fall will be Kaleb Carpenter (Lexington, Neb.), Nolan Clifford (Naperville, Ill.), Jack Erickson (Hudson, Wis.), Hudson Leach (Gladstone, Mo.), Cade Lommel (Delano, Minn.), Ryan Manikowski (New Lenox, Ill.) and Colton Smith (Bennington, Neb.)
“I am very pleased with our 2020 class, we needed to continue to develop our pitching depth and that was accomplished,” said Servais. “You have to give a lot of the credit for this class to our staff, Connor Gandossy and Eric Wordekemper. Tracking down such a strong class, then following up to bring the group to campus is a large task.”
A 6’2 left-handed pitcher, Carpenter comes to Creighton with three plus pitches (fastball, curve and change). His fastball tops out in the upper 80s. Carpenter played for Nebraska Prospects during the summer and was an All-Tournament Team selection for Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Championship during the summer of 2019. Carpenter was rated as the top southpaw recruit in Nebraska by Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Report.
“We are excited for Kaleb to arrive on campus because we needed to add some options from the left side,” noted Servais. “Kaleb has good arm strength and has a chance to help us quickly.”
“I have always been impressed with Nolan’s ability to defend and his bat has certainly improved over the last year,” said Servais. “He fits the qualities of many of the previous infielders that we have had at Creighton.”
Standing 6’0, Erickson is a excellent defender with good speed and power at the plate. Erickson is a three-time All-Tournament Team selection for Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Championship, earning the accolade at three different locations during 2019. Jack played summer ball for the Minnesota Blizzard.
“Jack is a very athletic infielder,” noted Servais. “He has the chance to play multiple positions and could help us in a variety of ways.”
Coming to Creighton from Missouri, Leach is both a catcher and a pitcher that has the ability to contribute in both roles at the collegiate level. Standing 6’2, Leach has an athletic, powerful build. He brings a four-pitch arsenal to Creighton (fastball, curve, slider and change), highlighted by a wipeout slider and above average sink on his fastball. Leach played summer ball for the Kansas City Royals Scout team.
“Hudson is a dual-position player with the arm strength to be a very good pitcher at the collegiate level,” said Servais. “His physicality allows him to contribute at the plate as well as behind the plate.”
A 6’2 southpaw from Minnesota, Lommel uses a three-quarter arm slot to offer three-plus pitches (fastball, curve and change). Lommel ranks as the top left-handed pitcher in Minnesota (Perfect Game). Cade played summer ball for the Mariners Midwest scout team.
“Cade is a good size left-handed pitcher, that has the chance to make a impact early,” said Servais.
“Ryan is a right-handed pitcher that has a plus breaking ball that you don’t see all that much,” said Servais. “I think he is a guy that can also have an early impact for us.”
Smith led Bennington HS to a Nebraska State Championship in 2019, with a strong performance in the tournament overall. He is among the top-five pitchers in Nebraska, per Prep Baseball Report and Perfect Game. He brings three-pitches to the Bluejays (fastball, slider and change), with his fastball approaching 90 MPH. Smith played summer ball with Nebraska Prospects, teaming with future Bluejay Kaleb Carpenter.