A rambunctious crowd was on hand on Wednesday morning as local schoolchildren were welcomed to C.O. Brown Stadium and they were treated to an offensive outburst as the host Battle Creek Bombers defeated the Lakeshore Chinooks 9-1.
The Bombers’ offense took advantage of big innings and a dominant collective outing from the team’s bullpen to power past Lakeshore and pick up their first win of 2019. Dillon Champagne began the day for Battle Creek on the mound, and provided two solid innings of one-hit baseball before giving way to Amani Godfrey to start the top of the third. The Chinooks greeted Godfrey with a single and stolen base from Jake Malec and an RBI single from second baseman Jake Thompson to take a 1-0 lead.
Battle Creek, though, responded in the bottom half of the inning. The Bombers sent nine batters to the plate in the third, scoring three runs on three hits and three walks. Jack Merrifield had a double down the left field line, and came around to score as Battle Creek took their first lead of the season. Godfrey settled down in the fourth, and ended his outing with three strikeouts.
Pablo Arevalo was the next Bomber out of the bullpen, and the Barry University junior was dominant. The Miami, Florida native threw three perfect innings through the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, striking out four batters.
Battle Creek backed Arevalo up with four more runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by Merrifield’s second double of the game. Hunter Ruhstorfer and Erik Owen also added singles in Battle Creek’s largest inning of the game, extending the lead to 7-1 in favor of the Bombers. Three walks and a hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning tacked on two more runs for Battle Creek, as Michael Morrissette walked for the third time of the night.
Ping-Chun Ho got the call for Battle Creek in the eighth inning, and produced two solid innings, giving up only one walk to Malec and striking out one in a scoreless eighth and ninth inning to end the game.
Battle Creek will try to ride their momentum into their next game as they host the defending Northwoods League champion Fond du Lac Dock Spiders tomorrow night at 7:05. Lakeshore will look to rebound as they play their first home series of the season tomorrow vs. the Wisconsin Woodchucks.