BATTLE CREEK, M.I.- For the second night in a row, the Bombers had a lead with two outs in the ninth against the Rivets. And just like last night the Bombers could not put the Rivets away in Sunday’s 9-7 loss.
Battle Creek was ahead 7-5 going into the ninth as Micah Gibson looked to close it out. But after allowing a run and loading the bases, Gibson departed, in favor of Bryce Trail, who walked in the tying run and had the tough task of facing all-star Philip Matulia. The all-star displayed his clutch factor with a go ahead two-run single to give Rockford a 9-7 lead.
Ironically, it looked like Battle Creek had made the Rivets come unscrewed in the eighth. As the Bombers scored three to take a 7-5 lead. The Bombers entered the inning down 5-4 but a fielder’s choice tied the game. Then a dropped third strike gave Battle Creek that 7-5 lead, their first and only lead of the game.
Battle Creek scored seven runs on nine hits. Ray Hilbrich and Brady Held each went 2-3 scoring one run a piece. Held scored in the sixth on a fielder’s choice by Cameron Dalrymple to cut the Rivets lead to 5-4. Dalrymple lead the Bombers with 2 RBI after coming into the game in the sixth.
Battle Creek scored six off Rivets starter Shemar Page who went 7.1 innings allowing six runs on eight hits while walking five and striking out three.
The Bombers countered with Sean Hoey who gave up four runs in four innings striking out six. Hoey struggled at the start allowing two runs on four hits in the first inning which gave Rockford an early lead. Hoey would allow two more in the fourth on a two-run home run by Matulia which made it 4-1.
Matulia had three of the Rivets 12 hits on the game going 3-5. Matulia was joined by Conner Goodman and Kevin Bushnell as the first three Rivets hitters in the order. The three combined to go 7-14 with five RBI.
The Bombers were unable to salvage a game on their four game homestand as they fall to 7-18 in the second half and 20-39 overall. Rockford improves to 10-14 in second half play and 25-34 overall. With the win, the Rivets take the season series with the Bombers 7-5.
Battle Creek will hit the road for seven games starting tomorrow against the Booyah as the Bombers make their first trip to Green Bay this season. First pitch is set for 7:35 p.m.
Written by Harris Eisenberg