Battle Creek Retains On-Staff USA I-94 Cup for Third-Straight Year
Kalamazoo, Mich. – With two outs, down 2-1 to the Kalamazoo Growlers, the Battle Creek Bombers had runners on first and second. Aaron Antonini (Middle Tennessee State) smashed one down the right field line. Evan Faccena (Clark University) and Nikola Vasic (Southern Illinois) scored the go-ahead runs. Tom Stoffel (Virginia Tech) shut the door on Kalamazoo.
Homer Stryker Field was stunned.
Battle Creek (32-22, 12-7) won game one of the double header on Wednesday afternoon, 3-2. It wasn’t the best of offensive games for the Bombers, who were hitless until the sixth inning, but they came around when it mattered in the top of the ninth. A double by Cody Hawken (University of Portland) was the first hit of the game for the Bombers in the top of the sixth.
Taylor Horn (Wayne State) threw a season-high seven innings and allowed the two runs, he struck out four batters. Tom Stoffel (Virginia Tech) got the win, he pitched both the eighth and ninth innings.
Battle Creek, Mich. – Kalamazoo struck first again but at C.O. Brown Stadium, but the Bombers responded in the bottom of the fourth.
Down 1-0, Nikola Vasic (Southern Illinois) reached on an error by the third baseman. Aaron Antonini (Middle Tennessee State) was hit by a pitch which brought up Gavin Homer (McHenry County College). Homer, the Battle Creek native, singled to load the bases which brought up Evan Faccenda (Clarke University). Faccenda was hit by a pitch as well to bring home the tying run. Tom Stoffel (Virginia Tech) was walked to give the Bombers their first lead of the night 2-1.
Kalazmazoo regained the lead off Battle Creek starter Zach Helsel (Miami-Dade) in the top of the sixth. With runners on first and second and two outs, the Growlers roped a single to give themselves a 3-2 lead.
The Bombers retaliated in the home half though, scoring three runs off four hits. With two outs, back-to-back singles from Tom Stoffel (Virginia Tech) and Nick Walker (Austin Peay) had Battle Creek in business. JD Mundy (Virginia Tech) cranked a single to score two and give Battle Creek their first lead of the night 4-3. Wyatt Cross (Indiana University) garnered his first hit of the summer with the Bombers and scored Mundy, making it a 5-3 Bombers advantage on Kalamazoo.
Battle Creek added more insurance in the eighth inning off an Aaron Antonini (Middle Tennessee State) double which added two more runs for the Bombers. Antonini’s two RBIs gave the Bombers a 7-2 lead on Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo started a rally in the ninth inning on closer Mark Quinby (UC San Diego), the Growlers scored two runs off three hits, but Quinby retired the side and completed the 7-4 win.
Battle Creek and Kalamazoo will see each other again on Thursday night at C.O. Brown Stadium for LaBatt’s Thirsty Thursday at 7:05. The Bombers will throw Dakota Edwards (UC-Stanislaus), who will make his first start against the Growlers this year. Fans who cannot make the game can watch Northwoods League TV or listen in on the Battle Creek Bombers Radio Network with Neil Doyle and Jake Hromada ten minute prior to first pitch.
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The Battle Creek Bombers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.battlecreekbombers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Bombers as your favorite team.