Bombers Blasted By Kenosha Longball
By Luke Tanaka, Radio Broadcaster
Kenosha, Wis. – A six-run Kenosha Kingfish seventh inning proved to be the dagger as the Battle Creek Bombers dropped their fourth consecutive game to the Kingfish 13-4.
Kenosha blasted four home runs in the contest, but the Bombers hung around until the seventh when Kenosha’s first six hitters reached base, culminating in an Alex Borglin (Central Michigan) three-run longball.
Kenosha took a first-inning lead for the third time in four games, this time their largest. Borglin reached base on a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Jeremy Vasquez ripped a ball just past Ryan Budnick (Santa Clara) at first base, scoring Borglin and putting Kenosha ahead 1-0. Four more batters reached for the Kingfish in the inning, including the big blow – a Jason Scholl (Eastern Illinois) three-run home run to right, making the score 4-0.
Battle Creek chipped in to the deficit with one in the second. Ryan Budnick (Santa Clara) walked and moved to third in a Christian Helsel (Penn State) double. With one away, Brennon Lund (BYU) took an 0-2 pitch the other way, lifting the ball just deep enough for Budnick to score on the sacrifice fly.
After the Kingfish answered with a towering Eric Filia (UCLA) solo shot in the bottom half of the second, the Bombers gave themselves a great chance to get back into the ballgame in the third. Hank Truluck (Florida State) and Lin Li (Taiwan) both singled, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. Dan Swain (Siena) sacrificed home Truluck on a fly to left, bringing the deficit to 5-2. Niko Pacheco (Cal State Fullerton) and Budnick followed with walks to load the bases, but Kingfish starter EJ Trapino (Wright State) struck out Gary Russo (Miami-Ohio) and forced Helsel to ground out to end the inning.
Gasborro extended the Kenosha lead to four with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, but Battle Creek answered once again in the next half inning, keeping the Bombers within shouting distance. Blake Swann (Florida Southern) singled and Truluck followed with a double, his second hit of the game. Swann scored on Li’s groundout and Truluck crossed the plate on a Pacheco two-out base hit, bringing the score to 6-4.
Filia added to the cushion again in the sixth with his second home run of the game, another solo shot to right. But the real damage came in the seventh. After Scholl singled, Bombers reliever Brandon Willard (Cornerstone University) walked three straight batters, extending the Kenosha lead to 8-4. The Bombers brought in Chase Tavonatti (Salt Lake CC), who gave up a double to Zach Weigel (Seton Hall) off the top of the wall and the home run to Borglin, breaking to game open to a 13-4 score.
Ryan Orr (Kalamazoo College) and Garrett McKenzie (St. Mary’s) finished off the game for the Kingfish with four shutout innings.
Victor Gonzalez (East Tennessee State) threw two innings, allowing four hits and five runs, including home runs to Scholl and Filia. Dalton Greenwalt (Urbana University) bounced back from a tough first outing in Battle Creek to throw three innings of one-run ball in relief. In his second inning, Greenwalt took a line drive square off his right leg, but stayed in the game. In his Bombers debut, Willard tossed a scoreless sixth, but ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing a single and three walks. He ended up allowing five runs as Tavonatti allowed his inherited runners to score. Overall, Tavonatti threw two innings and allowed two runs of his own.
Truluck led the Battle Creek offense with three hits and a pair of runs scored. Pacheco, Lund, Li, and Swain recorded the four Bombers RBIs, while Russo, Helsel and Swann added a hit each.
EJ Trapino (Wright State) pitched four innings as the starter for Kenosha, allowing four hits and two runs, while stranding six Bombers base runners. Mario Samuel (UW-Parkside) earned the win in relief, tossing one inning and allowing the other two runs in the fifth. Orr and McKenzie wrapped the game.
Filia launched two solo home runs, while Borglin and Scholl both blasted three-run shots. Vasquez, Sensley, and Gasborro also recorded multi-hit games for the Kingfish.
In the four games against the Kingfish, Battle Creek was outscored 32-12. The Bombers end their season series 3-5 against the division leaders.
Battle Creek looks to snap their skid in La Crosse tomorrow with Edgar Sanchez (Prairie View A&M) projected to be on the hill. Monday’s first pitch between the Loggers and Bombers is scheduled for 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)