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Published On: July 16th, 2015

By Max Gun, Radio Broadcaster

The La Crosse Loggers marched into Battle Creek and swept the Bombers Wednesday night in blow out fashion in front of a sold-out crowd at C.O. Brown Stadium, winning 11-5.

The Loggers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead against Bombers starter Min Hsia (National Taiwan Sports University) in the first inning when Will Savage (Columbia) singled and stole second base, and then Alex Merritt (North Florida) singled him home.

The Bombers came back in the second inning to take the lead, scoring three runs off of one swing of the bat. Michael Sanderon (Cal Poly) singled and Steven Wells Jr. (Florida State) reached on a fielder’s choice. That set up Dre Gleason (Austin Peay) who clubbed his first home run of the season over the center field wall for a 3-run shot, giving Battle Creek a 3-1 lead.

But the Bombers lead was short lived. Their defense became sloppy, committing a season-high five errors.

La Crosse scored another run in the third to pull within 3-2, when league-leading hitter Mason McCoy (Iowa) doubled and scored on a Sanderson error. The Loggers scored two more runs in the fourth inning. Jordan Zimmerman (Michigan State) reached on an error committed by Lin Li (National Taiwan Sports University), and Chris Baker (Washington) singled to set up Ryan Kirby (San Diego). Kirby swatted a single back up the middle to score both Zimmerman and Baker, giving the Loggers a 4-3 lead, and they never looked back.

The Loggers tacked on three runs in the fifth. Brock Lundquist (Long Beach State) doubled and Merritt reached on an error by Gleason to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Zimmerman then hit an RBI groundout to score Lundquist, Jordan Pearce (Nevada) doubled home Merritt, and Baker singled in Pearce to give La Crosse a 7-3 lead.

Kirby led off the sixth inning with a solo home run to right field, his fifth of the season to extend the Loggers lead to 8-3.

In the seventh, Zimmerman and Pearce both led off with singles. Kirby hit a ground ball that appeared to be a tailor-made double play, but it slipped right under the glove of second baseman Christian Helsel (Penn State), allowing Zimmerman to score. Luis Trevino (Navaro CC) then singled, scoring Pearce to give La Crosse a 10-3 lead. The Loggers scored their final run in the ninth inning when Baker singled, advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and scored on a Savage single, to go ahead 11-3.

Battle Creek scored two runs in the ninth inning, when Helsel walked and eventually scored on an error, and Blake Swann (Florida Southern) hit an RBI single to bring in the fifth and final run for the Bombers.

Matthew Naylor (3-1) (North Florida) picked up the win for the Loggers after pitching four scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Hsia (2-4) was tabbed with the loss after pitching 5.2 innings, giving up 9 hits, 8 runs (4 earned), while walking 3 and striking out 2.

“He’s probably hitting a little bit of a wall, just based on the fact that he’s been in Taiwan for so long,” said Bombers assistant coach Matt Reed regarding Hsia. “The way they throw there is tournament style, so he’s only used to throwing once a week, and here we ask him to throw once every five days. So I expected him to start to tail off at some point, but what I really liked from him today was even though he was tired, he still, for the most part, made quality pitches to limit damage.”

Hsia’s next start will not be until after the All-Star break.

“He’ll get a good seven days of rest and be able to relax a little bit and get back to what he needs to do,” Reed said. “I think you’ll start to see his better stuff come after that All-Star break.

The Bombers are now 17-33 on the season overall and 4-11 in the second half. The home stand continues on Thursday night when the Wisconsin Woodchucks come to C.O. Brown Stadium. It’s Thirsty Thursday at the ballpark, presented by Labatt. There will be $2 Labatt’s all night long. First pitch 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

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