BATTLE CREEK, MI,. – Battle Creek welcome the Rockford Rivets back to town and had two seven inning games in double header fashion on Monday, June 14. The double header was caused by a rainout when Rockford was last in town on Monday, June 7.
Game one went the way of the Bombers as they beat the Rivets 4-1. The scoring started early and for the fourth time in five games, Battle Creek scored first. Two runs would score in the bottom of the first inning as Mason Sykes drove Ben MacNaughton in on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field. The next batter, Stephen Krause would bloop one into right field for an RBI single and make it a 2-0 game.
Lyle Hibbitts was on the mound for Battle Creek and threw six and a third innings and only gave up one run while striking out four Rivets. He got some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth when newcomer Aaron Beck got a pinch-hit two RBI single to drive in Heath Hood and Sy Snedeker.
The lone Rivets run would be in the top of the seventh. After a single and two hit batters, Central Michigan product Jake Donahue would hit an RBI sacrifice fly. Beaux Bonvillain would then come into the game in relief of Hibbitts and retire the last two batters and earn the save. Hibbitts earned the win while Rockford starter Jared Herzog got the loss.
Game two started out the same but took a turn quickly. The Bombers scored one in the bottom of the first to strike first once again. An RBI single by Hood drove in new addition Harold Coll after he singled and stole second base.
However, Rockford would answer fast. Four runs in the top of the second would give them a 4-1 lead. The inning went as follows: a single by Donahue after a ground out, a walk by Jared Cushing, a single aided by an error for Greg Ziegler scored Donahue, a walk for Peter Fusek but not before a wild pitch scored Cushing, an RBI ground out for Brody Harding scored Ziegler, then a walk to Blake Mozley. This is where things got interesting. Bombers’ pitcher, Isaac Van Dyke, was at the 34-pitch mark and one away from the limit in the at-bat to Wade Elliot. Battle Creek manager, Michael Ruppenthal, then swapped Van Dyke with second-baseman Miguel Larreal so Van Dyke did not hit the pitch limit. Larreal balked on his first pitch to score the fourth run, but then retired Elliot with a fly out.
Although the intelligent swap saved Van Dyke from being yanked early, the damage had already been done. Rockford would add another in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Ziegler and secure the 5-1 victory.
The loss goes to Van Dyke while Noah DeLuga gets the win in his first appearance with Rockford. Battle Creek now sits at 7-7 on the season and looks to take the three-game series with the finale on Tuesday, June 15. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM EDT.
By: Josh Baker