By Max Gun, Radio Broadcaster
Battle Creek, Mich.– The Green Bay Bullfrogs came from behind to score six unanswered runs to beat the Battle Creek Bombers in game one of the series, 6-5.
Green Bay threatened to score in the top of the first. Robb Paller (Columbia) singled and stole second base to get into scoring position for Danny Rosenbaum (Louisville). Rosenbaum lined a single into right field for a base hit, and Paller was waved around third but he was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Steven Wells Jr. (Florida State) for an easy out.
The Battle Creek Bombers batted around in the first inning, notching five runs on six hits. The first six hitters reached in the first against Bullfrogs starter Luke Lind (North Dakota). Brennon Lund (BYU) started things off with a single, and he scored on a Dan Swain (Siena) double to make it 1-0 Bombers. Casey Bredlau (Austin Peay) then walked, setting up Niko Pacheco who singled to load the bases with still nobody out. That set up Christian Helsel (Penn State), who continued his hot hitting (.350 in his last 10 games), with a 2-run double to left-center gap, scoring Swain and Bredlau to give Battle Creek a 3-0 advantage. Dre Gleason (Austin Peay) continued to bust out of his slump with a single up the middle to score Pacheco, giving the Bombers a 4-0 lead. Gleason had two more hits, and was robbed of extra bases in the sixth inning when JAcobson made a running catch in center field crashing into the wall. Battle Creek extended their lead to 5-0 on a Lin Li (National Taiwan Sports University) sacrifice fly, scoring Helsel.
But Green Bay began to claw their way back, scoring one in the fourth. Rosenbaum singled to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a fielder’s choice by Brian Selsi (Cal Berkley) to pull Green Bay within four.
Then in the top of the fifth, Paul Jacobson (South Dakota State) led off with a double, and scored on a Mikey Duarte (UC Irvine) single to put the Bullfrogs down 5-2. Paller singled and Ryan Donavon (Hofstra) walked to load the bases with two out. That spelled the end of Bombers starter Edgar Sanchez’s (Prairie View A&M) day, and he was relieved by Fred Manke (Minnesota) Selsi greeted Manke on the first pitch he threw with a single back up the middle to score both Duarte and Paller to bring Green Bay within one run, 5-4.
Sanchez lasted 4.1 innings and allowed all four earned runs. He was making his first start since June 1, as he’s being worked back into the Bombers starting rotation after Layne Bruner (Washington State) and Cameron Ming (Arizona) have left the Bombers. Manke pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, and Evan Dunn (Pepperdine) pitched a clean eighth.
Mason Marshall (BYU) came on for the save in the ninth, and Green Bay tagged him for two runs, thanks to another 2-run single by Selsi, giving the Bullfrogs their first lead of the game, 6-5. It was Marshall's second blown save of the season.
The Bombers threatened in the ninth against Bullfrogs closer Jeremy Graf (St. Petersburg College), with runners on the corners, but Swain popped out to second base to end the game. Swain left eight Bombers on base in going 1-for-6.
Battle Creek looks to earn a series split with the Bullfrogs on Wednesday night, in what will be the final meeting of the year between the two teams. The Bombers are 0-7 against Green Bay this season. The Bombers fall to 14-28 and 1-6 in the second half, while the Bullfrogs improve to 26-16 and 4-3 in the second half.
Alden Cartwright (LSU) gets the start in the series finale for the Bombers, after lasting just one inning and giving up four earned runs in his previous start against Lakeshore. First pitch from C.O. Brown Stadium is at 7:05 p.m.
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)