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Bats Come Alive as Bombers Earn Series Split

Update (June 23): This Bombers victory has been vacated by the Northwoods League due to a pitching rules violation. In the sixth inning, Alex Hermeling crossed the foul line on his way to the mound, but did not pitch to a batter. Northwoods League rules state that a pitcher who crosses the foul line with the intention to pitch must throw to at least one batter in the ensuing inning. The Bombers replaced Hermeling because he had 102 pitches and, per another Northwoods League rule, a pitcher cannot start an inning with 100-plus pitches. The Bombers recieve a loss for the infraction and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters' loss is taken away (no win awarded).

By Max Gun, Radio Broadcaster

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis—The Battle Creek Bombers earned a series split with Wisconsin Rapids Saturday night at Historic Witter field, beating the Rafters, 7-4.

The Bombers jumped on Rafters starter Adam Hall (Xavier) in the very first inning, in which the Battle Creek tallied three runs. Hall got Dan Swain (Siena) and Cayce Bredlau (Austin Peay) to strike out to start the game, but then ran into some trouble. Trek Stemp (Washington State) reached on an error, and then Lin Li (National Taiwan Sports Academy) singled and Brennon Lund (BYU) walked to set up Christian Helsel (Penn State) with the bases loaded and two out. Helsel swatted a two-run single to left field, scoring Stemp and Li to make the score 2-0. Then Spencer Hemphill (Lousiana-Monroe) hit an RBI single to left field of his own, scoring Lund to make the score 3-0 Battle Creek.

The Rafters got a few runs back in their half of the first, though, as Alex Hermling wasn’t his usual dominant self. With two out and nobody on, Hermling allowed two singles to Jake Sandlin (Long Beach State) and Brock Carpeter (Seattle) and a walk to Ryan Cleveland (Georiga Southern), loading the bases for Sam Tolleson (Central Florida). Tolleson hit a two-run single, cutting the Rafters deficit to 3-2.

The Bombers scored another run in the third inning, when Lund led off with a walk. Dre Gleason (Austin Peay) then mashed a double to the right-center gap; scoring Lund and extending the Bombers lead to 4-2. Battle Creek scored again in the fourth inning when Bredlau led off with a walk and stole second base. Stemp then promptly drove him home with an RBI single, making the score 5-2. Stemp leads the Bombers in hits with 28.

The big hit of the game came in the fifth inning when Helsel led off with a single, and Hemphill hit a long two-run home run beyond the left field wall to make the score 7-2.

Hermling pitched five innings, allowing eight hits and two earned runs. He had a season-high eight walks and struck out three, earning the win to improve to 3-1 on the season. Hermling had to be removed after the fifth inning due to pitch count restrictions.

Edgar Sanchez pitched 3.2 innings of relief, but he ran into some trouble in the ninth. A wild pitch allowed a run to score to make the score 7-3, and then after walking another Rafter he was relieved by Mason Marshall (BYU). Marshall walked Mitch McGeein (Eastern Michigan) with the bases loaded to sore another run for the Rafters to make the score 7-4. Marshall then struck out Alex Herceg (Keystone College) to end the threat and the game.

The Bombers, now 11-14 on the season, will travel home for a four-game home stand beginning Sunday night against La Crosse, and then the Wisconsin Woodchucks travel to Battle Creek on Tuesday.

Min Hsia (National Taiwan Sports University) will start for the Bombers Saturday night. First pitch Sunday night is at 6:05 p.m. Eastern 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)