Battle Creek, Mich–The Battle Creek Bombers used five runs in the first three innings to win their first game of the season over the Kalamazoo Growlers Thursday night at C.O. Brown Stadium.
Matt Simmons [Gardner-Webb] hit a long 2-run home run in the first inning, and the Bombers never looked back. All of the Bombers runs came in the first three innings, as Taiwanese second baseman Lin Li [National Tiawan Sports Academy], on just his second day in Battle Creek, had a single in the second inning that drove in two runs. The Bombers scored another run in the third inning courtesy of an error by left fielder Stephen Lentz, which led to a sacrifice fly.
Edgar Sanchez [Cedar Valley College] led the way for Bombers all night with his superb pitching. He gave up just one earned run in six innings of work, while walking none on six hits.
The Bombers played well on both sides of the ball tonight, as they finally were able to capitalize on scoring chances. They also put on a defensive show. Dan Swian [Siena] made a highlight-reel play in the first inning, taking a hit away from Growlers second baseman Justin Fletcher with a diving catch in center field. Lin Li also made several good plays at second base for Battle Creek, by starting an acrobatic double play to end the sixth.
Gabe Gunter started for Kalamazoo, and he gave up all five runs in four innings of work. The Growlers bullpen was able to shut down the Bombers bats for the remainder of the game, as Purdue’s Matthew Frawley was sharp in his three innings of work, striking out four. Another Boilermaker, Shane Bryant, struck out the side in the eighth inning for Kalamazoo.
Tyler Harris [Miami, OH] pitched two very effective innings for the Bombers in relief of Sanchez. Harris didn’t allow a hit while striking out two. Min Hsia [National Tiawan Sports Academy], who came over from Taiwan with Li, got the save for Battle Creek, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
The Bombers will now head to Kalamazoo for the second game of the home-and-home series with the Growlers. The Bombers improve to 1-2 on the season while the Growlers fall to 0-3. First pitch Friday is at 7:05 p.m.