BGSU baseball signs 8, including Kress and Takats, to class of 2023

The Bowling Green State University baseball team and head coach Kyle Hallock announced the addition of eight players, including Nate Kress and TJ Takats, to the team’s future roster on Signing Day, which was Wednesday.

The Falcons will welcome three right-handed pitchers, two left-handed pitchers, two infielders and a catcher for the program with the current incoming class.

According to Prep Baseball Report, five BGSU commits are ranked in the Top 50 players in the state of Ohio, the most of any school in the Mid-American Conference. All eight commits are ranked in the Top 70.

“The 2023 recruiting class is a collection of highly talented student-athletes,” Hallock said. “This class features eight total players that will enhance our baseball program on the field, our university academically and the community of Bowling Green. We have two kids that are homegrown here in the 419, three more raised in the Columbus area and the final three that hail from Stark County. These young men will add depth to our roster and push our returning players to improve while making an immediate impact upon their arrival next fall.”

Nate Kress – RHP, R/R (Weston/Bowling Green High School)

Kress will join the Falcons as a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher. Kress was named First-Team All-Conference and First-Team All-District 7 in both 2021 and 2022. He was also the 2022 District 7 Pitcher of the Year, leading the Bobcats to a Sectional Championship.

“Nate Kress burst onto the scene as a sophomore and backed it up with a really good junior year for Bowling Green High School. He is a confident pitcher that works from two different arm slots. Nate can spin the breaking ball as well as anyone we have evaluated in the class. Nate’s best years on the mound are ahead of him here at BGSU,” Hallock said.

TJ Takats – LHP/UTIL (Perrysburg/Perrysburg High School)

During his junior year, Takats hit .370 at the plate with a .979 fielding percentage and 2.57 ERA. He was named First-Team All-League as a sophomore before being First-Team All-District as a junior. Takats is the son of Tom and Mimi Takats, both who played collegiately at Toledo. Tom Takats played baseball while Mimi Takats played basketball.

“T.J. Takats is a talented dual performer from Perrysburg High School. He is a very gifted athlete, currently quarterbacking his football team to a deep playoff run. At the plate, TJ has a smooth left-handed swing that generates contact and power. On the mound, he is able to get outs with all three pitches. He will be a great addition to our program in both areas,” Hallock said.

Brock Amelung – RHP, R/R (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty)

Standing 6-foot-2 on the mound, Amelung aided the Patriots to an OCC Championship and District Runner-Up season in 2022 behind a 1.71 ERA and 0.796 WHIP. Tossing 49 innings for the Patriots, Amelung recorded a 6-1 record while striking out 57 batters and walking just 12. His season earned him First-Team All-Conference, Second-Team All-District and being named the Liberty Baseball Most Improved Player.

“Brock Amelung is a right-handed pitcher that can mix and match three pitches for strikes. He has the ability to command the glove side fastball really well and competes with clean arm action that projects to throw harder in the future,” Hallock said.

Caden Bates – INF, R/R (Alliance, Ohio/Marlington High School)

Bates is a multi-sport athlete, lettering in basketball as well. On the diamond, Bates helped the Dukes capture an Eastern Buckeye Conference title and be District Runner-Ups in 2022. Individually, Bates was named First-Team All-Conference in 2021, and participated in the 2020 PBR Futures Game. He received the team’s Gold Glove Award in 2021 and was named the Archie Griffin Award Winner.

“Caden Bates is a versatile infielder that has pop from the right side from Marlington High School. He takes consistent good at-bats and can play each of the three infield spots defensively. Caden is a multi-sport athlete lettering in basketball and will grow immensely as a player on both sides of the ball in our program when he arrives to campus,” Hallock said.

Alex Laird – INF, R/R (Canton, Ohio/GlenOak High School)

Measuring at 6-foot-3, Alex Laird is an infielder that will join the Falcons from GlenOak High School. Laird and the Eagles advanced to the second round of the postseason during both his sophomore and junior years. Laird played basketball as well for GlenOak.

“Alex Laird is a fast twitch middle infielder with a projectable frame from GlenOak High School. He is a guy who can handle the bat offensively and situationally hit. The feature that stuck out to us about Alex was his defense. He can pick it and our emphasis on defense here will allow him to succeed in a Falcon uniform,” Hallock said.

Titus Lotz – LHP, L/L (Canton, Ohio/Washington Courthouse, Ohio)

A 6-foot-1 left-handed pitcher, Titus Lotz brings both captain and postseason experience to Bowling Green. Lotz and the Blue Lions made it to the regional semifinals in 2022 while he was named First-Team All-Conference and First-Team All-District. Lotz is the nephew of Mike Lockwood, who played baseball at Ohio State and had a minor league career.

“Ty Lotz is a left-handed pitcher who competes at the highest of levels every time he takes the field for Washington Courthouse High School. Ty has a smooth delivery and each of his pitches have good finish as they enter the strike zone. He will be a very good addition to our pitching staff and we are looking forward to seeing what he can become for us,

Owen Poole – RHP (Newark, Ohio/Newark High School)

Poole will join the Falcons pitching corps as a 6-foot-2 right-hander. Poole has been a captain for Newark, playing three varsity seasons in the OCC under head coach Mike Wheeler.

“Owen Poole is a strong-armed right-handed pitcher from Newark High School. He can really sink the fastball and live in the bottom of the strike zone to keep balls in play on the ground. Owen’s slider also plays very well because it tunnels off of the fastball. Owen will only continue to improve during his time at BGSU,” Hallock said.

Garrett Wright – C (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson High School)

Wright led his league with the best batting average last season. Wright went on to be named All-County, All-Federal League, All-District and All-Ohio. Garrett is the son of Ron Wright who played college football and baseball. Garrett’s brother Trey plays baseball for Toledo while his sister Erinn played softball for the Rockets and was named the MAC Player of the Year.

“He can catch and throw with anyone in the state. Garrett also makes consistent hard contact at the plate and has the athleticism to run the bases at a high level. Garrett is going to make a difference in our program during his career here at Bowling Green,” Hallock said.

­ ­