By Nick Winstead
Wausau, Wisc.—The Bombers are officially on a winning streak. After sweeping the Kingfish at home for the second time this year the Bombers headed up to Wisconsin to take on the Woodchucks and won the first game of the two game series in dominant fashion, 9-5.
It was Christmas in July at Athletic Park, home of the Woodchucks and Toledo Rocket Kyle Slack got the start and had a very strong day in his first start in two weeks. Slack gave up just one run on five hits over seven innings of work—ensuring that the Bombers got the ultimate present, a victory.
“I felt really good today, I had really good defense behind me and overall just a good team win” said Slack in the hotel following his third win on the year. His dad was in the crowd tonight, which made the win all that more special.
Slack got some early help from his bats, a four run top of the fourth gave the Bombers a 4-0 lead—a lead they would not relinquish.
It all started with a David Richards IV (Savannah State) sharp grounder up the middle for a lead-off single. Richards IV went 4-5 with three RBIs and two runs overall on the day at the leadoff spot and sparked the Bombers offense.
“I was just trying to be selective at the plate trying to get better” David explained after the win. “It felt great, playing with such a great group of guys. Playing with the Bombers is awesome.”
Richards IV was not the only one providing the offense when it counted Sebastian Diaz (Univ. of Miami) helped blow the fourth inning wide open with a two-run homerun, his first of the year.
“It was kind of relieving in a way” Diaz said of his first dinger. “I’m trying to stay inside of the ball, as the year has gone on with more at-bats my plate confidence has gotten better.”
The Bombers would tack on one more run in the top of the fifth after the Woodchucks were able to get one run in the bottom of the fourth, making it a 5-1 ballgame. The 6th inning was quiet, but the Bombers bats can only be held in check for so long—they exploded for four more runs in the 7th.
A Bryan Daniello (UConn) lead-off walk followed up by a Brandon Van Horn (Dallas Baptist) opposite field double put David Richards IV in position to bring in more runs and he did not disappoint roping a double into right centerfield that cleared the bases. Richards IV and Connor Panas (Canisius) would both come around to score before the end of the inning making it a 9-1 Bombers lead.
Things got a bit dicey in the bottom of the eighth as the Woodchucks were able to score four runs to move the game to 9-5. But that was as close as the Woodchucks would get.
Alden Cartwright (LSU) came out for the bottom of the ninth and went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts, the last coming against the Woodchucks best hitter Paul DeJong a NWL All-Star.
The Bombers will try to make it four in a row with a sweep of the Woodchucks tomorrow. First pitch 8:05 Eastern Time.
WP: Kyle Slack (3-3) 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K.
David Richards IV: 4-5, 2B, 3 RBI, SB, 2 R
Henri Lartigue: 2-4, 2 RBI, R.
The Battle Creek Bombers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). For more information, visit http://www.battlecreekbombers.com