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Bombers Skid Reaches Three With Loss at Wisconsin

By Luke Tanaka, Radio Broadcaster

Wausau, Wis. – The Battle Creek Bombers could not recover from Wisconsin’s seven-run first inning as they fell to the Woodchucks 12-6 on a warm Tuesday night. 

The Bombers losing streak extends to three with the loss, while Wisconsin snapped a four-game skid. 

Battle Creek took the lead in the first inning, plating two runs. Dan Swain (Siena) reached on an error by the third baseman and Lin Li (Taiwan) scorched a single to left-center field to put two on and nobody out. 

Trek Stemp (Washington State) moved both runners up, dribbling a fielder’s choice to the left side and Swain scored from third on Charlie Madden’s (Mercer) fielder’s choice. With two away, Spencer Hemphill (Louisiana-Monroe) drilled a double to the wall in right-center to score Li and put the Bombers up 2-0. 

The Woodchucks answered by sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs (one earned) off Bombers starter Cameron Ming (Arizona). Nick Gotta (NW Missouri St.) and Jared Oliva (Arizona) both reached base twice in the inning. Ryan Howard (Missouri), Keenan Eaten (Wichita St.), and Connor Heady (Kentucky) each recorded a single, but the big blow was a three-run homerun to centerfield by Ian Yetsko (Oakland). 

Fred Manke (Minnesota) replaced Ming in the first and struck out Max Ponzurick (Virginia Tech) to end the inning. Manke pitched four scoreless frames, but got into trouble in the sixth. Despite being ahead 1-2 to each of the three batters he faced, Manke walked the first two and then hit Oliva with a pitch. Kaleb McCurry (Mars Hill University) replaced Manke and allowed three base runners (two hits and walk) in the inning. In total, the Woodchucks scored four more runs, giving them 11 through six innings. They would add one more in the seventh to make their final total 12.

The Bombers put up a run in the fourth as Dre Gleason (Austin Peay) scored on Matt Simmons’ (Gardner-Webb) double down the right-field line. Battle Creek added three more in the seventh, as Swain singled home Simmons and Cayce Bredlau (Austin Peay), before scoring on Li’s RBI double. 

After two errors in the first inning, the Bombers defense was strong the rest of the way. Christian Helsel (Penn St.) charged a ball, tagged a passing runner, and threw to Gleason for a double play in the fourth inning, which helped Manke escape a jam. Dan Swain slid for a catch in the sixth and Bredlau saved a couple of runs by making a full-extension diving grab in the seventh.

Simon Matthews (Georgetown) earned the win for the Woodchucks, while Ming took the loss. Matthews threw six innings, giving up three runs (one earned) and striking out two. Newcomer Evan Dunn (Pepperdine) and Mason Marshall (BYU) joined Ming, Menke, and McCurry on the mound for Battle Creek. 

The Bombers look to snap their skid and split the series with the Woodchucks tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 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.