After a dramatic comeback victory on Thursday night, the Battle Creek Bombers couldn’t produce the same result Friday as they fell to the Madison Mallards 5-2 in Battle Creek.
The Mallards led wire to wire, scoring in the first inning for the third consecutive game. Austin Blazevic delivered a run-scoring single off of Battle Creek starting pitcher Keith Carpenter to start the Madison offense, bringing Timo Schau home. The Mallards added another run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly from Nick Gile.
Meanwhile, Mallards starting pitcher Eliot Turnquist was dominant on the hill. The right-hander from Madison College worked six full innings of scoreless baseball, allowing only five hits and striking out a season-high 10 batters. Turnquist left the game with a 4-0 lead, as an RBI single from Justice Bigbie in the fourth and fielder’s choice off the bat of Blazevic in the sixth gave Madison a 6-0 lead. Bigbie’s RBI was the 65th of the season for the Western Carolina University infielder, the most in the entire Northwoods League.
As both teams turned to their bullpens, Battle Creek climbed closer in the seventh inning. Leadoff hitter Trace Peterson hit a two-out, two-RBI double to left center field to cut the deficit in half. Anthony Catalano and Nolan Lawrence, who made his Battle Creek debut Friday, both came home to score off of Madison reliever AJ Archambo. Lawrence, who plays for local Battle Creek school Kellogg Community College, went 1-3 with a walk in his debut.
The Mallards added another insurance run in the top half of the ninth inning, as EJ Ranel smacked an RBI double to score Gile and bring the lead to 5-2. From there, Madison turned to their closer Theo Denlinger to finish off the game. Denlinger faced the bottom third of the Battle Creek lineup and retired the side in order to finish off his 11th save of the season. Denlinger is now tied for second in the league in saves.
The Bombers and Mallards will meet again in Wisconsin on Monday for the first of a two-game series in Madison. Battle Creek first hosts Kenosha on Saturday night at 7:05.
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.