By: Ari Ross, Broadcaster
The Battle Creek Bombers defeated the Madison Mallards, 9-8, in their first single-elimination game of the south-half of the Northwoods League Playoffs.
The Mallards would jump on Cody Puckett early, as they'd knock him out after 2.0 innings pitched as Puckett threw too many pitches in the inning.
After stranding runners at first and third in the bottom of the first, the Mallards plated two in the second against Puckett as Josh Stowers launched his 3-1 pitch over the left center field wall to give Mallards' a 2-0 lead.
But the Bombers would come right back to take the lead against Heath Renz in the top of the third. Cooper Marshall and Jacob Blunt put together back-to-back singles before another single by Nick Podkul would cut the Mallards' lead in half before Dean Miller would hit a three-run homer to give the Bombers' a 4-2 lead.
With another home run though, this time a three-run blast in the bottom of the third coming against Edgar Sanchez, Stowers would give the Mallards' a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the inning.
Once again though, the Bombers would tie things up and retake the lead in the next inning, as Storm Joop led off the inning with a walk and came around to score on Eric Gilgenbach's RBI double. Marshall would single with one out to advance Gilgenbach to third before Jacob Blunt's sac fly would give the Bombers' a 6-5 lead.
And after Scott Sency, who came on to relieve Sanchez in the fourth, shut down Madison in the bottom of the fourth, the Bombers would add to their lead in the fifth and sixth innings.
Against Luke Shilling in the top of the fifth, the Bombers would tack on two more as after Daniel Jipping led off the top of the fourth with a walk, Joop launched a two-run bomb to left center to give Battle Creek a 8-5 lead.
And then in the top of the sixth, Battle Creek would add one more as a couple of errors would allow Marshall to advance to third and come home for the Bombers' ninth run of the game.
Sency would shut the Mallards down through the sixth, working around three hits and an error before the Mallards would once again get on the board in the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff double by Cameron Frost would put a runner in scoring position for the Mallards before Stowers would do some more damage for Madison, scoring Frost on an RBI single.
Sency would pitch a scoreless eighth and get the first out in the bottom of the ninth before a collision between Cooper Marshall and Christian Helsel led to a number of changes for the Bombers' and brought in Jonathan Cheshire to try to close out the ninth.
Cheshire though, would allow a two-run home run to Cameron Frost, the first batter he faced, as the Mallards' cut the Bombers' lead to 9-8. Nate Palace would follow Frost's home run with a double, as the game-winning run would step up to the plate.
Stowers, representing the game-winning run for the Mallards, would walk before Cam Comber, pinch hitting for Jordan Joseph, would pop out to Jacob Blunt. Joe Stefanki's infield single would load the bases but Cheshire would strike out Nico Horner to end the game and give the Bombers the win.
Sency picks up the win for the Bombers' as he shut down the Mallards after the third, allowing just two runs over 6.0 innings pitched while striking out 7, while Cheshire picks up the save for the Bombers.
With the win, the Bombers will travel to Wisconsin Rapids to take on the Rafters in the South Division Final at Witter Field on Tuesday night at 7:05 CST/8:05 EST. The Rafters defeated the Chinooks, 19-3 Monday night at Witter Field to advance to the final.