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Published On: July 14th, 2015

By Max Gun, radio broadcaster

Kalamazoo, Mich.– The Battle Creek Bombers beat rival Kalamazoo for the fourth straight time this season, winning in a close one, 4-3.

The game remained scoreless until the fifth inning, and that’s when the Bombers tagged Growlers starter Andrew Shepherd (Jackson College) for a couple of runs. Blake Swann (Florida Southern) singled with one out, and then Dan Swain (Siena) hit a 2-run home run to the short porch in left field to make it a 2-0 game. The home run was Swain’s fourth of the season.

Battle Creek extended their lead with two more in the seventh inning. Brennon Lund (BYU) reached on an error by the shortstop to start the inning, and Swain knocked him in with a double, giving Swain 3 RBI’s on the day to give the Bombers a 3-0 lead. Swain then scored on a Michael Sanderson (Cal Poly) double to make it 4-0 after the top of the seventh.

Kalamazoo cut Battle Creek’s lead in half in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Edgar Sanchez (Prairie View A &M) surrendered a pair of runs. Korey Brown (Bowling Green) led off the inning with a double, and advanced to third on a Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) groundout. Brown eventually scored on a wild pitch to get Kalamazoo on the board, 4-1. A couple batters later, Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh) took Sanchez deep to left field for a solo home run, his fourth of the season to bring the Growlers within two, 4-2.

But Kalamazoo wasn’t done. They scored another run in the eighth inning off of Bombers reliever Thomas Sander (Northwestern Oklahoma State). He issued back-to-back walks to Max Schuman (Utah) and John Soteropolus (California), and Schuman came around to score on a John Ruiz (Miami) single to trim Battle Creek’s lead to 4-3. Mason Marshall (BYU) relieved Sander and got the final two outs in the eighth.

Marshall quieted the Growlers late comeback bid, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning to complete the five-out save. It was his fifth save of the season.

Sanchez earned the win (3-1) and pitched his best game of the year for the Bombers. He lasted 7 innings, and allowed 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 0 walks. He also had a season-high 5 strikeouts.

The win gives the Bombers a 17-31 overall record this season and 4-9 record in the second half. It also clinches a share of the "I-94" rivaly series. In what was scheduled to be a day night double header, the Bombers and Growlers played just the nightcap due to inclement weather earlier in the day. That game will be made up as part of a double header on July 30.

The Bombers return home for a 6-game home stand against the La Crosse Loggers starting on Tuesday night 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

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