By Luke Tanaka, Radio Broadcaster
Battle Creek, Mich. – The Battle Creek Bombers used early scoring and strong pitching to defeat the Wisconsin Woodchucks 5-1 on a beautiful Tuesday night at C.O. Brown Stadium.
Layne Bruner (Washington State), Alden Cartwright (LSU), and Kaleb McCurry (Mars Hill University) combined to give up just one run and five hits, while striking out 11 Woodchucks.
The Bombers struck for three runs in the first innings, behind two hits and two walks. Dan Swain (Siena) singled to lead off the inning and consecutive walks from Cayce Bredlau (Austin Peay) and Lin Li (Taiwan) loaded the bases with nobody out. The cleanup hitter, Niko Pacheco (Cal State Fullerton) drove in two with a single to right. Li came around to score on a Wisconsin error.
The Bombers put up two more runs in the third inning. Newcomer Steven Wells Jr. (Florida State) doubled with one out and two Bombers, Spencer Hemphill (Louisiana-Monroe) and Tyler Walsh (Belmont) followed with walks. With two away, Ryan Budnick (Santa Clara) delivered another key base hit, driving in Wells Jr. and Hemphill.
Bruner kept the Woodchucks in check until the sixth inning. Yusuke Akitoshi (Cal State Northridge) singled, reached second on a wild pitch, and came around to score on Albee Weiss’ (Cal State Northridge) ground-rule double to center field.
The Bombers starter ended his night in the sixth after throwing 5 2-3 innings, allowing four walks and just three hits, while striking out six. Cartwright made his 2015 Bombers debut and recorded five strikeouts in 2 2-3 innings, while allowing two hits and a walk.
Wisconsin made things interesting in the ninth and Pitching Coach Matt Reed called upon McCurry in a save situation. With the tying run in the on-deck circle and one out, the right-hander forced two quick outs. Jared Oliva (Arizona) to poped out in foul territory down the third-base line and Ty Black (Kentucky) ended the ballgame by grounding into a fielder’s choice.
The Bombers look for the series sweep tomorrow against Wisconsin. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. It is another Weird Me Out Wednesday and the theme is Redneck Night.
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).