The Battle Creek Bombers couldn’t come back from a five-run deficit as they fell to the Traverse City Pit Spitters 5-2 in northern Michigan.
Traverse City got out to an early advantage with four runs in the second inning. The Pit Spitters sent eight batters to the plate in the frame, as Daniel Head’s RBI single led off the scoring. A fielder’s choice off of the bat of Hudson Byorick and an RBI single from Mario Camilletti would extend the lead to 4-0.
Bombers pitcher Lyle Hibbits would settle in, though, as he ended up throwing seven innings and allowing only one earned run, but four unearned runs. Traverse City would add one more in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Byorick reached on an error. Battle Creek would begin to bounce back, though, scoring one run in the fifth inning. Michael Morrissette singled to right field for his eight RBI of the season to bring the Bombers closer off of All-Star Traverse City starter Kyle Jones.
Morrissette would bring another runner home in the seventh inning, as he reached on a fielder’s choice to bring the deficit to 5-2. Both managers turned to their bullpens in the eighth, and Battle Creek had a chance to bring themselves even closer. The bases were loaded with two outs, but Traverse City reliever Will Buraconak induced a fly-out from pinch-hitter Jack Merrifield to work out of the inning.
Joe Pace came into the game in the ninth inning, looking for his first save as a member of the Pit Spitters. The Bombers would inch closer with an RBI single from Josh Sears, who was also named to the Northwoods League All-Star Game. Pace would strike out John Malcom, though, to end the game.
The win marks the 14th consecutive victory for Traverse City, who improve to 3-0 in the Great Lakes East in the second half of the season. The two teams will play again in the second game of a two-game series on Saturday night at 7:05 eastern time.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Currently in its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.