BATTLE CREEK, MI., – The Bombers walked off the Traverse City Pit Spitters 9-8 to end the 2021 season. An intense and action-packed game capped off a 5-1 home stand for Battle Creek and they finish one game above their rival the Kalamazoo Growlers.
The game started off sour for Battle Creek as two bases loaded walks in the first gave Traverse City a 2-0 lead. Battle Creek would get one back in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Brian Zapp that scored Cameron Dalrymple. However, a sacrifice fly for Traverse in the second gave them the two-run lead and then they extended it with one run in the fourth.
The big inning for Battle Creek came in the bottom of the fifth. Twelve batters came to the plate as the Bombers scored six runs on seven hits. Matt Catalfo got his first RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly. Zapp tripled home Trevor Patterson to bring Battle Creek within one. Cristian Tejeda singled home Zapp and the game was tied 4-4. The bases would reload, and Drew Dyer would give Battle Creek the lead on an RBI single. The lead was extended later as Dalrymple singled home two more and the Bombers were up 7-4. Dalrymple finished the game 4-for-5 with a walk and four singles.
Traverse City chipped away with two runs in the top of the sixth to bring the Pit Spitters within one, but the Bombers added another in the sixth as well and they had an 8-6 lead. Logan Hylek grounded home a run for Traverse City in the seventh and the game was within one run again.
The top of the ninth brought the intensity. A lead off single that was then erased on a strike ‘em out throw ‘em out double play and the Pit Spitters were down to their last out. Hylek doubled, and then Mario Camilletti would bloop a single into center field and tie the game at 8-8.
In the bottom of the ninth, Gunner Morris led off with a single and the winning run was on base. Zach Dehn pinch ran and was moved to first on a sacrifice bunt by Dyer. An intentional walk to Dalrymple and a fielder’s choice that loaded the bases brought up Catalfo with one out. First pitch swinging, and Catalfo lined it into center field and walked off the game for Battle Creek to sweep Traverse City.
The Bombers end on a 5-1 home stand and finish the 2021 season 27-45 overall. No playoffs for Battle Creek, but two walk off wins and a season sweep of Kalamazoo to end the year made it a fun last week of baseball at C. O. Brown Stadium.
By Josh Baker