By Luke Tanaka, Radio Broadcaster
Battle Creek, Mich. – The Battle Creek Bombers could not recover from two big Madison innings Monday night, dropping their first matchup with the Mallards 6-1.
Min Hsia (Taiwan) found himself in some trouble right off the bat. Logan Regnier (Central Michigan) singled and Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s College) doubled two batters later. Regnier scored on Mikey Diekroeger’s (Stanford) groundout and Gonsolin scored when Jean Ramirez (Illinois State) hit a two-out single.
The Bombers answered back with one in the second inning. Lin Li (Taiwan) singled to left and was followed by consecutive bunt singles by Brennon Lund (BYU) and Michael Sanderson (Cal Poly). Tim McKeithan (Brown) followed with a walk, scoring Li. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Trek Stemp (Washington State) hit a soft liner that led Mallards’ first baseman Brian Rodemoyer (Illinois State) to the bag, doubling off McKeithan. Cayce Bredlau (Austin Peay) lined out to centerfield to end the threat.
Hsia’s settled down nicely after the tough first inning. He threw five straight scoreless innings, allowing just two singles and one walk. With Hsia still pitching in the seventh, the Bombers recorded two errors and both came around to score. The third batter in the inning grounded a tailor-made double play ball to shortstop, but it went under McKeithan’s glove. The Mallards added a third run to extend their lead to 5-1.
Madison scored one more in the eighth off of Bombers reliever Tyler Harris. Rodemoyer singled to lead off the inning and scored later in the inning on a fielder’s choice.
The bottom of the lineup lifted the Bombers offense. Spots 6-9 (Li, Lund, Sanderson, and McKeithan) combined for seven of the eight Bombers hits.
Hsia finished with with loss, tossing 6 2-3 innings, allowing seven hits, five runs (three earned), one walk, while striking out two. Harris allowed one run, while recording two outs. He left with the bases loaded and one out. Kaleb McCurry (Mars Hill University) forced an inning-ending double play and then pitched a scoreless ninth.
The rain that began to fall in the sixth inning and intensified in the bottom of the ninth, forcing the game to be delayed and eventually called after eight-and-a-half innings.
Madison’s Nate Hoffmann (Middle Tennessee St.) recorded the win, pitching five innings, while allowing six hits and one run. Corbin Olmstead (North Florida) threw three shutout innings in relief.
The Bombers and Mallards wrap up their two-game series tomorrow with a 7:05 scheduled first pitch. All Poptarkos are buy one get one free. It’s also Bark in the Park day. All dogs get in free. There will be a Dog 'Petting Zoo' Adoption Drive.
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)