Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc. – The Battle Creek Bombers won a heart skipping affair Wednesday evening at Witter Field, putting down the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 7-4 in the season finale between the two clubs. Battle Creek (39-28, 19-13) remain one game ahead of the Rockford Rivets in the overall standings, and still have the potential of hosting a playoff game if the Rafters (49-19, 22-10) win the second half.
The Bombers struck first to start the game, Alex Howard (Arkansas State) walked and was moved over to third thanks to a Nick Walker (Austin Peay) single. Newahn Norkeh (Tennessee Wesleyan) hit a fly ball to right to bring in Howard. The Rafters responded though, taking advantage on a Battle Creek error and bad pick-off attempt. The runner moved to third, and an RBI single in the following at-bat tied the game.
Justin Felix (Arkansas State) broke the tie with a solo home run to left. Dakota Edwards (Cal State Stanislaus) looked to make amends against the Rafters after they handed him his second loss of the summer at C.O. Brown Stadium last weekend. Edwards retired the Rapids Rafters in order in the second inning.
The Bombers got another home run from Norkeh, who crushed a pitch to deep left. His two run homer, and first of the season, gave Battle Creek a 4-1 lead in the third on the league-leading Rafters. Edwards once again retired the Rafters in order.
Then the fourth inning Battle Creek’s offense slowed up. Wisconsin Rapids saw the minimum three batters, then grabbed the bats. With runners on the corners, the Rapids hit a single to cut their deficit to 4-2. Then on a grounder to third, Storm Joop (University of Indianapolis) threw home to Felix, the runner retreated to third and Felix chased him down to attempt a tag, but unfortunately the runner got back safely. Felix then looked at the runner at second, who was well off the bag. Felix didn’t throw. All runners were safe on the fielder’s choice and bases were loaded. Edwards didn’t panic, he struck out the following batter and got the final out with a ground ball to second. This was the first of many messes Battle Creek would magically get out of.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Rafters were back at it. An error on Battle Creek allowed the leadoff runner aboard. A walk by Edwards and a double to the next batter scratched a run for Wisconsin Rapids, making it a one-run, 4-3 Battle Creek edge. The next batter lifted a pitch to right field with runners on second and third, it was caught by Walker and he gunned down the runner from third trying to tie the game. With two outs, Edwards loaded the bases with a walk and hit by pitch, but he got out number three with a fly out to left.
With two outs and two on, Battle Creek’s offense came to life again. Howard blooped a double down the right field line to score Felix. Then Walker scorched an RBI double to right center to score both Aaron Antonini (Middle Tennesee State) and Howard to put BC in front 7-3. The Rapids showed they wouldn’t go away though.
The bottom of the seventh got underway with two errors on Battle Creek and a walk to load the bases. Battle Creek relief pitcher Alec Berry (Elmhurst College) found himself in a tough spot, but got some luck. A comebacker to him on the mound, he threw home for out number one, and Felix turned the 1-2-3 double play. With runners still on second and third, a groundout ended the inning.
Again in the eighth, Wisconsin Rapids had another shot at scoring runs. With runners one via back-to-back walks from Berry, he allowed an RBI double to center for a Rafters 7-4 deficit. Then Tom Stoffel (Virginia Tech) came in to replace Berry. With the tying run at the plate and no outs, Stoffel struck out Wisconsin Rapid’s three and four hitters, while getting the next batter to groundout.
Stoffel came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth, where he allowed a leadoff single and a one out walk. He then struck out the final two batters of the game to give Battle Creek the 7-4 victory, and their second win of the season at Witter Field.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
You Get the Last Laugh
After the Rapids Rafters gave Edwards his second loss of the summer at C.O. Browns on August 3, Edwards threw six innings, allowed seven hits, three runs with one earned run, walked three and struck out two.
In the eighth, Stoffel faced two batters with batting averages above .350, both had 80+ hits and were batting three and four in the Rafters lineup. He struck them out with no outs. Stoffel has an ERA of 0.00 in nine innings pitched. He has fanned sixteen batters.
A two-hit day for Felix, he now has a hit in six of his last eight games played, including two homers. The Rio Rico, Arizona native crushed his fifth homer of the summer.
His 26th double of the summer, Howard gave the Bombers an insurance in the seventh with two outs. The Albuquerque, New Mexico native still leads the Northwoods League in doubles this summer. Howard has registered a hit in 45 of his 54 games played, including fourteen of his last fifteen.
Na-Wayyy Back & Gonneee!
Norkeh’s first home run of the year extended his hitting streak to seven games. The Brooklyn Park, Minnesota native has ten hits and six RBI in his first seven games with the Bombers.
Keep Doing You, Man
Walker tallied his nineteenth multi-hit game of the summer, including his tenth multi-RBI game.
Battle Creek will resume a game with Lakeshore at 3:30 CT from way back in June starting from the fourth inning, and will play a seven-inning game immediately following. Andrew Click (Davenport University) started the game and will resume his start from earlier in the year. Zach Karbowski (Kellogg Community College) will pitch game two.
The Bombers need one win to clinch a playoff spot and need the Rapids Rafters to win the second half in order to host a playoff game. The Rafters have already secured a playoff spot and with Battle Creek having the second best overall record, they would host a playoff game Monday August 14. Neil Doyle and Jake Hromada will have the call ten minutes prior to first pitch.
A family night out for less than the cost of a tank of gas? Yep. Game tickets, meals and caps, all for less than 30 bucks total. Fill ‘er up. It hasn’t been much fun to go to the pumps lately. Well we’ve got something that gives you great mileage when you consider family fun. You can take your family to a game, buy them dinner, get a free gift for each, and the whole evening costs less than a tank of gas.
Here’s the deal:
1. Four Reserved Grandstand seats to a Battle Creek Bombers game.
2. Four quality Bombers caps.
Wear ‘em, tip ‘em or talk through ‘em. These four embroidered caps help everyone remember this special night for years to come. If you bought these caps in a store, they would cost $15 each.
3. One large DEEP!DEEP!™ Dish, One Crazy Bread®, One 2-Liter Soda.
Food is all part of the game plan. Chow down before the game if you like. Or stop in on the way home after the game. Or use the free meal whenever you wish. Each family gets one large DEEP!DEEP!™ Dish pizza, one Crazy Bread®, and one 2-liter pop.
You can call us or come to our ticket office to buy. Or you can always order on our website BattleCreekBombers.com. Deals for individuals and parties of two are also available.
Friends and Family Deal – $29.99
Reserved Bleacher Seats
1 Large DEEP!DEEP!TM Dish Pizza
1 Crazy Bread®
4 Bombers Hats
Double – $15.00
2 Reserved Bleacher Seats
A large Classic Pepperoni
2 Bombers Hats
Single – $7.50
1 Reserved Bleacher Seat
Half of a Large DEEP!DEEP!TM Dish Pizza
1 Bombers Hat
Stop in: 189 Bridge St., Battle Creek, MI 49017
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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.