The Dutchmen finalized their trio of catchers this week by signing two experienced backstops to join Temple's Will Remillard. After a tough year behind the dish in 2010, the Dutchmen focused on bringing in defensive-minded players to control the game at home plate and are confident that they found two perfect fits in Ryan Welke of Northwest Florida State and Dain McNabb of Middle Tennessee State.
A Red-shirt Freshman from Tallahassee, Welke came to Northwest Florida State after originally signing with Auburn out of high school. The 6'3" 200 pounder, moved to the JUCO powerhouse, currently ranked #5 in Division One by NJCAA to be closer to home where he enjoyed a tremendous high school career. Playing for Brian Kelley at Rickards, Welke was named All-State honorable mention three times, was named District 2-4A Player of the Year, All-Big Ben Player of the Year and was a participant in the FACA All-Star Game. He was a career .370 hitter and threw out 69% of baserunners in his three years as a full-time starter. He has enjoyed similar success with the Raiders, hitting .263 with three HRs and 25 RBIs through 33 games.
Like Welke, McNabb has made his name with impressive defensive statistics. a four time All-District winner and three time All-Region nominee, the Loudon, Tenn native was named First-Team All-State as as Senior after setting a school record and throwing out 61 baserunners in one season to go along with a .516 batting average, nine home runs and 45 RBIs. As a Sophomore at Middle Tennessee State, the 5'8" 180 pound McNabb has forced his way into playing time behind the dish. Starting in 19 of his 24 appearances, McNabb has a .242 batting average and eight RBIs and continues to play tremendous defense, leading all catchers in assists.
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