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Bombers walked-off on, fall the Rafters, 7-6

By: Ari Ross, Broadcaster

The Battle Creek Bombers fell to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, 7-6, Tuesday night at Witter Field as the Rafters walked-off to snap the Bombers' three-game winning streak.

Battle Creek took the early lead in the top of the first inning as after Nick Poirier walked with one out, Ryan Dorow launched Rafters' starter Nick Belzer's 1-0 pitch over the left field wall to give the Bombers a 2-0 lead.

The Rafters would get one back in the bottom of the inning though, as Jake Lumley doubled and came around to score on Ben Fisher's single, but Bombers' starter Austin Nazabal left two runners on to keep the Bombers' lead at 2-1 in the bottom of the first.

But Wisconsin Rapids would get to Nazabal again in the bottom of the second to take a 3-2 lead. Max Widmar walked to lead off the second, moving to second on Joey Morgan's single. Both runs would score on Demetrius Sims' triple, but on the appeal, the first base umpire ruled Sims didn't touch first base so Sims was ruled out on a 9-6-5-1-3 putout, and Nazabal would get out of the inning with the Bombers trailing by just one.

After a scoreless third, Joey Morgan would extend the Rafters' lead to 4-2 with his solo homer deep over the center field wall, but the Bombers would get the run back on Nick Podkul's solo home run in the top of the fifth, making it a 4-3 lead for Wisconsin Rapids.

And then in the sixth, the Bombers tied things up at 4 as Jacob Blunt led off the inning, reaching second on an error against Calvin Giese, who came on in relief for Nick Belzer after five innings of work. After moving over to third on Daniel Jipping's groundout, Christian Helsel singled to score Blunt and even the score at four runs apiece.

But the Bombers wouldn't stop there. With two outs and Helsel on second base, Podkul hit his second home run of the evening, this time a two-run shot, over the left field fence, to give the Bombers a 6-4 lead, their first lead since the second inning.

Dorow and Podkul had themselves a day, combining for three runs and five RBIs. Dorow was 3 for 5 on the evening with a two-run homer and two doubles, while Podkul went 4 for 4 with two home runs and two singles. 

Edgar Sanchez would come on in relief for Nazabal in the sixth and work out of huge jam with runners at the corners to keep the Bombers' lead at 6-4. Nazabal finished his first appearance and first start for the Bombers, allowing four runs on five hits, while striking out and walking three over five innings pitched.

Another jam in bottom of the seventh would do Sanchez in, as he'd leave the game with the bases loaded and just one out for the Rafters and the Bombers' clinging to a 6-5 lead, but Brandon Guske would relive Sanchez and get out of the jam without allowing another run to keep the Bombers' one-run lead intact.

Again in the eighth, the Rafters would put runners on first and second with two outs, but Guske got Ben Fisher to groundout to end the jam and send Battle Creek to the ninth.

But one more rally in the ninth would be too much for Guske and the Bombers, as the Rafters walked-off in the ninth to top the Bombers, 7-6.

Guske takes the loss for the Bombers, who fall to 3-14 in one-run games, while Cameron Busby picks up the win for Wisconsin Rapids. With the loss, the Bombers fall to 26-27 on the season and 8-9 in the second half, while the Rafters move to 35-18 overall and 11-6 in the second half.

Chi-Ping Wu and the Battle Creek Bombers will go for the two-game series split Wednesday evening at 7:05 CST/8:05 EST at Witter Field before heading back to Battle Creek for a four-game homestand.