Luke Tanaka, Radio Broadcaster
Madison, Wis. – The Battle Creek Bombers allowed a 10-run inning to the Madison Mallards for the second night in a row, falling 16-7.
After the Mallards put five runs on the board in the second inning, the Bombers pulled within one in the third. But the Mallards sent 14 to the plate and hit two grand slams in the bottom of the third inning, breaking open an 11-run lead.
In the first, the Bombers looked to end the inning trailing 1-0 as Jake Roberts (Yakima Valley CC) lifted a lazy fly ball to right field. After covering a lot of ground, Cayce Bredlau (Austin Peay) bobbled and dropped the ball, allowing a second run to come in. The next batter, Tony Butler (Madison College) hit a three-run home run to make the score 5-0.
Battle Creek answered right back with two walks and a single to load the bases in the third. Then, with two out, Dre Gleason (Austin Peay) battled back in an at bat, fouling off five pitches and eventually drew a walk to score Brennon Lund (BYU) from third. Niko Pacheco (Cal State Fullerton) followed by scoring Dan Swain (Siena) and Bredlau with a single through the left side. Christian Helsel (Penn State) then singled home Gleason to put Battle Creek within one.
The Mallards’ big third inning included 14 batters, 10 runs, seven hits, two walks, and two grand slams. Roberts hit the first one, a shot that cleared everything to left field. Then, Cameron Frost (Washington State) parked one to left center. J.J. Gould (Jacksonville), Pete Stormmen (UW-Stevens Point) also recorded RBIs in the inning. After trailing by just one, the Bombers found themselves in a 15-4 hole.
Madison added one more in the fourth on an RBI single by Jason Goldstein (Illinois).
In the sixth, the Bombers chipped into the lead when Gleason skied a three-run opposite-field home run, making the score 16-7. It's Gleason’s third home run on the season and gives him 23 second-half RBIs.
The Mallards retook a double-digit lead with a Roberts RBI single in the seventh.
Gleason finished his night with four RBIs on two hits, including his home run. Pacheco also added two RBIs, ending his ballgame three-for-three with two walks. Helsel added an RBI for Battle Creek. The Bombers loaded the bases in the second, fourth, and seventh, but came up empty. In all, Battle Creek left 15 on base.
On the mound, the starter Chase Tavonatti (Salt Lake CC) struggled, allowing 11 runs (seven earned) over 2 1-3 innings. His outing ended with Roberts’ grand slams. Mitchel Patterson (Spring Arbor University) allowed five runs and Frost’s grand slam. After that, Kaleb McCurry (Mars Hill University) and Mason Marshall (BYU) settled things down, tossing four innings of one-run ball.
Roberts, Frost, and Butler combined for eight hits, three home runs, and 12 RBIs. Goldstein, Bryce Carter (Stanford), and Gould also totaled two hits each.
Andrew Beckwith (Coastal Carolina) lasted 2 1-3 innings in his fourth start against the Bombers. Both Beckwith and Sterling Sharp (Drury University) both gave up two runs. Tyler Frohwirth (Minnesota State), Jake Johnson (University of Mary), and Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s College) combined to wrap up the ballgame.
Next up for Battle Creek is the final series of the year in Wausau against the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Saturday's first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Central time.
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.
(Feature story photo courtesy of Battle Creek Photography and Design – Levi Green)