By Max Gun, Radio Broadcaster
Battle Creek, Mich.– The Battle Creek Bombers had to settle for a series split against the Wisconsin Woodchucks Wednesday night, falling to the Woodchucks 5-0.
“It just seemed like we were hitting right at guys,” Bombers Manager Rob Robinson said. “They were turning double plays left and right, but that’s baseball, we aren’t going to get those bleeders or get the gaps for hits every single night.
The Woodchucks jumped on Bombers starting pitcher Cameron Ming (Arizona) in the very first inning, tagging him for two runs. With one out and runners on first and third, Connor Heady (Kentucky) lined a single back up the middle into centerfield to score Albee Weiss (Cal State Northridge). The very next batter extended the Woodchucks lead to 2-0, when LJ Hatch (Johnson County CC) hit a sacrifice fly to score Youske Akitoshi (Cal State Northridge), who reached on a fielder’s choice.
Wisconsin got another run in the second inning, when Owen Taylor (Kansas) walked with two outs, setting up Max Ponzurick (Virginia Tech) who doubled him home to make the score 3-0. Ponzurick led the Northwoods League in batting average entering Wednesday’s game, hitting at a .375 clip. He is also tied for first in home runs with five.
The Woodchucks scored their final two runs in the fifth inning, when Hatch doubled to score both Weiss and Akitoshi. That made the score 5-0 and that completed the scoring in the game.
Ming (2-3) took the loss for Battle Creek. He lasted five innings, allowing all five runs while giving up seven hits.
Matt Smith (Georgetown) earned the win for Wisconsin, tossing 6.2 scoreless innings. He allowed eight hits and two walks while striking out four. His record is now 2-0 The Bombers did make Smith pitch under some stress, however, as they loaded the bases against Smith in the sixth inning and one out. Hank Trulock (Florida State), still looking for his first hit as a member of the Bombers, popped out to second base. Dre Gleason (Austin Peay) then followed with a strikeout.
“They scored five runs with the same amount of hits that we did. We just weren’t hitting with guys on tonight,” Robinson said.
With the split, the Bombers have not won two games in a row since May 30. Their overall record is 12-17 through 29 games.
Now the Bombers will travel to Green Bay to play three games in two days, with a double header scheduled for Thursday as part of a make-up game that was cancelled due to inclement weather earlier this month. Andrew Mitchell is scheduled to start game one of the double header, with Alex Hermling starting game two.
First pitch in Green Bay is scheduled for 5:35 Central Time on Thursday.
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).