By Luke Tanaka, Radio Broadcaster
Mequon, Wis. – Alex Hermeling threw a stellar complete game, but a costly error allowed an unearned run to score in the seventh and the Chinooks squeaked out a 1-0 win to split the series.
The loss was the Bombers’ (6-6) first road defeat of the season. With the split, Lakeshore (5-7) snapped a four-game losing streak.
In eight innings of work, Hermeling (Louisiana-Monroe) struck out four and allowed only two hits. The Chinooks did not reach base until the seventh inning when Zarley Zalewski (Kent State) reached on an error by Bombers shortstop Tyler Walsh (Belmont). The very next batter, Doug Kraeger (Richmond), singled home Zalewski to score the only run of the game.
Hermeling’s opposer Lake Bachar (UW-Whitewater) dazzled as well allowing just three Bombers base runners, while striking out eight in seven innings of shutout ball. Tim McKeithan (Brown) recorded the only hit off Bachar, a single in the third. He was stranded at second, as was Trek Stemp (Washington State) who reached on an error in the fourth. The final runner against Bachar was Cayce Bredlau (Austin Peay) who reached second on an error in the sixth and touched third on a passed ball before being stranded.
John Schriber (Kent State), Mike Letkewicz (Augustana-S.D.), and Jake Tuttle (UW-Milwaukee) combined with Bachar in the shutout.
The Bombers finally found some success offensively in the ninth. Lin Li (Taiwan) walked, Stemp reached on a sacrifice bunt attempt when Chinooks’ first baseman Kyle Wood (Purdue) dropped the ball on a throw from Letkewicz. Charlie Madden (Mercer) wanted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but Letkewicz threw four straight balls to walk Madden and load the bases.
Letkewicz retired the next two hitters – Hemphill with a fly out and Sanderson with a strike out before being replaced by Jake Tuttle (UW-Milwaukee). Tuttle struck out Niko Pacheco (Cal State Fullerton), who pinch-hit against the Lakeshore lefty, to end the game.
The Bombers begin a two-game series with the Green Bay Bullfrogs tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Central time.
The Battle Creek Bombers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). For more information, visit www.battlecreekbombers.com.
(Story photo courtesy of Battle Creek Photography and Design – Levi Green)