The Battle Creek Bombers dropped their season opener to the Madison Mallards, 8-3 Tuesday night at C.O. Brown Stadium.
Behind some stellar pitching from Justin Watts and some timely hits, the Mallards beat the Bombers in the team's opener. Watts pitched 6.0 innings, striking out 11 and allowing just 2 runs, one of which was earned.
On the other side of the diamond, Bombers starter Jordan Horak had a bit tougher time on the mound, going 5.0 innings and allowing five runs on four hits, walking four and striking out six. Horak was relived by Kaleb McCurry who pitched a scoreless inning of relief, while Kristen Johnson-Battilana and Edgar Sanchez closed out the game for the Bombers.
The Mallards started the scoring off early in the second, scoring two runs off a single and a couple of walks. The Mallards added three more to their total in the fifth, with the help of some passed balls, before the Bombers scored two in the bottom of the inning.
Nick Podkul started things off for the Bombers with a one-out double and came around to score as Nick Walker walked with the bases loaded. The Bombers added another in the inning when Brendan McClary misplayed a grounder to short. Errors were certainly a factor in this one as the two teams combined for six errors, four by the Bombers.
The Mallards would add two more in the seventh courtesy of singles by Nate Palace and Matt Vireling, and with a little help from a few wild pitches on the Bombers end. In the bottom of the inning, the Bombers threatened with two on and nobody out, but were unable to put more than one run across as Mallards reliver Alex Hintz came threw with a number of clutch strikeouts.
Madison added one more in the ninth and the Bombers never really threatened after the seventh, falling 8-3.
Joe Stefanki, Nate Palace and Matt Vierling all paced the Mallards with three hits apeice while Truman Brown led the Bombers with two hits. But it was a few untimely errors and misplayed balls by the Bombers that did them in in this one.
Horak picks up his first loss of the season, while Watts picks up the win.
The Bombers and Mallards will be back at it tomorrow as the they complete the two-game set with a morning matchup at 10:05 am.