Spencer Juergens threw his second consecutive complete game as the Battle Creek Bombers fell to the Kalamazoo Growlers 8-3 at Homer Stryker Field in Kalamazoo.
Battle Creek got on the board first for the second consecutive game when Caleb Balgaard doubled home Seth Tucker in the top of the third inning. Kalamazoo, though, would not led the lead last long. Three runs scored in the bottom half of the third, including a wild pitch and throwing error that scored two runs on one play.
Cooper Trinkle, in only his second game as a member of Battle Creek, got the Bombers back into the game with a solo home run in the top of the fourth, but Kalamazoo responded again. Three more runs in the home half of the fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run double from Shea Kramer, gave Kalamazoo a 6-2 lead and chased Battle Creek starter Blaine Parker from the game. The four innings that Parker spun still represented his longest outing of the season.
The Growlers added one more run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings, including a long home run from Miko Rodriguez off of Battle Creek reliever Nick Klee. The no-doubter to left field was Rodriguez’s second home run of the year against the Bombers.
The seventh and eighth innings saw a slew of defensive changes for Battle Creek, including placing pitcher Ping-Chun Ho at shortstop. Ho, the Bombers’ leader in appearances out of the bullpen, notched his first base hit of his Battle Creek career in the top of the ninth. An RBI single from Kolby Johnson in the ninth brought things a bit closer, but Juergens closed things to complete what he had starter.
Battle Creek managed four wins against their I-94 rivals in 2019, and were eliminated from postseason contention with the loss. The game marked the 12th of 13 contests in which the Bombers and their opponents combined for 11 or more runs. The Bombers, along with the entire Great Lakes division, are idle on Monday. Battle Creek returns to action on Tuesday as they travel to Loves Park, Illinois to meet the Rockford Rivets.
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.