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Published On: June 19th, 2015

By Max Gun, Radio Broadcaster

La Crosse, Wis.—The Battle Creek Bombers used a combination of clutch hitting and solid pitching to earn a series split with La Crosse Thursday night, winning 5-4.

The Bombers got the game’s first run in the very first inning, when Trek Stemp (Washington State), singled home Dan Swain (Siena), who led off the game with a triple. That made the score 1-0.

The Loggers got a run back to even the score in the third inning, as catcher Keith Skinner (North Florida), hit a solo homerun to make the score 1-1.

The Bombers went ahead again in the fourth inning, when Ryan Budnick (Santa Clara) and Christian Helsel (Penn State) both reached to start the inning. Then Niko Pacheco (Cal Fullerton) hit a ground ball that bounced straight up off the artificial turf, and Loggers third baseman Ronnie Gideon (Texas A&M) couldn’t field it cleanly and the ball sailed all the way to left field. That scored both Budnick and Helsel to make the score 3-1 Bombers.

This seesaw game continued, as the Loggers were able to tie the game right after the Bombers went ahead in the fourth inning. Cameron Ming gave up a hit and walked two Loggers to load the bases. With two out, Skinner delivered again for La Crosse. He hit a single back up the middle into center field, scoring Zander Clarke (UCLA) and Gideon to even the score at three a piece.

The Bombers took the lead again in the sixth inning, this time for good. Pacheco led off the inning with a double down the right field line. After a Matt Simmons (Gardner-Webb) strikeout, Michael Sanderson (Cal Poly Slo) walked to set up Swain. Behind in the count on a 1-2 pitch, Swain swatted a triple down the right field line that brought both Pacheco and Sanderson home to make the score 5-3 Battle Creek. It was Swain’s second triple of the game and a team leading fourth of the season.

Cameron Ming (Arizona) got the win for the Bombers and he was sharp through six innings. Ming allowed three runs on just four hits. He walked two and struck out two, and now has a 2-2 record on the season.

Ming was relieved by Michael Peterson (Riverside City College) who pitched a clean seventh inning, but ran into some trouble in the eighth. After hitting Chris Baker (Washington) with a pitch to load the bases, he was relieved by Evan Dunn (Pepperdine). Dunn got Grant Fennell (Nevada) to hit a ground ball to the new shortstop Lin Li (National Taiwan Sports Academy), but his underhand flip to second base was not in time, as a run scored to make it 5-4. Dunn then struck out pinch hitter Ryan Kirby (San Diego) to end the frame.

Mason Marshall (BYU) came on for the save for the Battle Creek. After giving up a one out single, he got Mason McCoy (Iowa) to ground into a game ending double play.

The win gives the Bombers a 10-13 record on the season, while the La Crosse Loggers fall to 12-11.

Battle Creek will continue their road trip tomorrow night as they travel to Wisconsin Rapids to take on the Rafters for the second time this week. The Bombers were swept in a doubleheader when the two teams first met.

Andrew Mitchell (Delgado Community College), will start for the Bombers Friday night. First pitch is at 8:05 p.m. EST.

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

(Story photo courtesy of Battle Creek Photography and Design – Levi Green)