WMU News

Baseball Broncos sign five recruits for 2002

Feb. 5, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University baseball team has signed five players to National Letters of Intent.

Matthew Bolton (Chicago/Harlan Academy), Scott Olsen (Crystal Lake, Ill./South), Bryan Rumple (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont), Daniel Lanoue (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams), and R.C. Dickerson (Kalamazoo, Mich./Central) will attend Western Michigan and play baseball beginning in the fall of 2002.

Matthew Bolton is considered one of the top two shortstops in the Chicago area. He is a first cousin of current major leaguer Ellis Burks of the Cleveland Indians. Bolton was an all-city selection as a sophomore and junior and is a three-time honoree as an all-section choice. He hit .438 with 26 RBI in 30 games for the Harlan Academy Falcons in 2001, helping them post a 32-8 record and reach the city quarterfinals.

"He has unlimited potential," Bronco head coach Fred Decker said. "He's a great runner and has terrific hands and feet for an infielder. He's got an outstanding arm, and when he fills out he will be a really good hitter."

Bryan Rumple is a 6-0 left-handed pitcher who has also competed in swimming during his prep career.

"Bryan throws his fastball in the 88-89 mile per hour range," Decker said. "He's got a really good breaking ball and the makings of a good offspeed pitch. I like his competitiveness and natural arm action."

Rumple was a First Team All Northeast Hoosier Conference pick in 2001 and was also an honorable mention all-state selection as a junior.

Dan LaNoue has pitched and played catcher for Rochester Adams, but will primarily work behind the plate for Decker's club. LaNoue was and is the only freshman to letter in baseball at Adams. He was named to the AllOakland Activities Association, all district, and all regional first teams as a sophomore and was a second team all league and district selection as a junior. LaNoue hit .406 with six homers and 35 RBI during his junior season. His father, Dan, played at WMU from 1974-76 and was in the Detroit Tigers' system from 1976-79.

"Dan has real good arm strength," Decker said. "He throws 87-88 off the mound. He's a strong hitter with good power."

A centerfielder at the same high school that produced Derek Jeter, R.C. Dickenson has earned three letters in baseball and two in football for the Maroon Giants. A recipient of the Roberto Clemente All Star Coaches' Award, he was voted team MVP in 2001 and was a Big 8 Conference First Team selection after hitting .455 with four round trippers and 34 stolen bases.

"He's a lefty hitter with great bat control," Decker said. "He's an outstanding runner and gets a good jump on balls in the outfield - he takes a great angle on the ball."

Scott Olsen has a good chance to contribute to the WMU pitching staff as a freshman.

"Scott throws about 88 and has a terrific arm with the potential to throw harder," Decker said. "He's a very competitive pitcher."

Western Michigan finished the 2001 season 15-13 in MAC play, 26-28 overall.

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web at <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Geoff Brown, 269 387-4138, geoffrey.brown@wmich.edu

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