By: Pat Mullen
Battle Creek, Mich. – The Bombers have struggled against their in-state rival so far this season, but they got the better of the Growlers in game one today, 7-6.
After being up 6-1 over the Growlers in the 8th inning, Kalamazoo was able to get their first hit of the game. They plated one run in that inning before getting four more in the ninth to tie it. Unfortunately, the tie blew a great start from Andrew Mitchell (LSU), who was in line for the win.
“Mitchell threw the ball awesome today,” Coach Murphy said. “He was really solid and we keep stringing good starts together, but we got to go tonight again and rebound quickly.”
The Bombers look to get their first win at Homer Stryker Field, where Battle Creek has struggled in its three previous games. Coach Robinson is confident things will change today.
“For game two we just have to come back right away, ready to go,” Robinson stated. “We are really excited about this win and right when we get there, just have to get after it.”
He also touched a bit on Spencer Thornton’s day at the plate. Thornton (San Diego State) had two extra base hits today, one being a homerun.
“He was sticking to his approach and getting in plus counts. Then once his pitch was there he was just crushing the ball to the right side. That is great plate discipline from him and just great to see.”
The Bomber right fielder was equally pleased with his day at the plate.
“Early on I had a strikeout and knew I was coming off the ball a bit so my next at bats I was trying to keep my shoulder inside and drive something the other way maybe.”
Thornton did more than that, smoking the ball down the right field line three times.
“I happened to get into some good counts and get some good pitches and, you know, put my best swing on them,” he added.
Mitchell was unable to get the win, but he did pitch six innings for Battle Creek, their sixth solid start in a row from the rotation. Mitchell did not give up a hit in his six innings.
“No, I understood. I reached my pitch limit and I couldn’t have asked for a better outing really, so I was happy about that,” he mentioned about Coach Murphy taking him out with a no-no alive.
After the scare in the ninth inning where the Growlers tied the game, Battle Creek pulled off another walk-off win.
Anthony Cheky (Michigan State) led off with a single. After a few more Bombers got on, the bases were loaded with one out when Laz Rivera (Miami) came to the plate. Laz was hit square in the back in a 1-2 count to give the Bombers the win, their fourth straight (a season high).
Game two is in Kalamazoo tonight at 7:05 ET. Collin Orellana (San Diego State) will be getting the start for the Bombsquad as Battle Creek is trying to keep the wins rolling
Spencer Thornton on his recent power shown, with two home runs in a week: I hope I can (keep hitting homers), but I know if I start trying it won’t go (laughing). So hopefully I run into a couple more but I am just having fun and hitting the ball.”
Thornton on game two tonight: “You can tell the team is playing with a little more confidence, a four game win streak. We are just trying to end the season off right with a bunch of wins and I think the team is definitely on the right path to get there.”
Mitchell on game two tonight: “We will be just as good as we were this morning. We have Collin on the mound and he is always solid for 6 or 7. The sky is the limit with that kid so I am confident.”
Andrew Mitchell: 6 IP, 0 H, 1 R (unearned), 4 BB, 7 K (season ERA 4.10)
(WP) Hunter Jobe: .2 IP, 1 BB (season ERA 2.25)
Spencer Thornton: 2-4, 1 BB, 2 R, 2B (7), HR (2), 2 RBI (12)
Anthony Cheky: 2-4, 1 BB, 2 R
Cody Kuzniczci: 2-4, 2 R
Brandon Van Horn: 1-4, 2 RBI (12)