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Published On: June 5th, 2022

Article by Bryce Tinson. Picture by Carter Giggy

Traverse City, MI — Every game between the Traverse City Pit Spitters and the Battle Creek Battle Jacks is close. This one was no exception as the Battle Jacks outlasted the Pit Spitters in extra innings, six to five.

Traverse City got on the board first as Colin Summerhill and Trey Truitt found their way home by way of error and tripe from Jake Smallwood.

Each team went scoreless until the sixth inning as both starting pitchers, Justin Graves and Derek Clark, found their groove.

In the sixth, the cardiac Jacks found their offense starting with a James Canar walk. Bobby Nichols advanced Canar to third off of a single to center, bringing up the scalding hot Fisher Pyatt. Pyatt hit a frozen bullet into right field scoring Canar and putting the Battle Jacks on the board. A Joey Grabanski walk would load the bases for catcher Aaron Dolney. Dolney would hit his fourth double of the season, with a ball that sliced down the third base line. Dolney cleared the bases with that hit, ending Clark’s day, as the Pit Spitters trailed four to two.

Battle Creek would get an insurance run in the eighth as Billy Hancock came to the plate with bases loaded, driving in Grabanski, to put them up five to two entering the ninth.

Lucas Bixby was fantastic in relief but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the ninth. After getting the first, he walked Smallwood and then two hits, which would score Smallwood. Nathan Ross came in for Bixby. In his very first pitch, Lukas White hit a ball that looked like it could be gone off the bat, but it fell short and kicked off the base of the pads in left field. The hit only scored one making it a five four ball game. During the next at bat, Alec Atkinson, the runner at third, stole home on the throw back from the catcher to pitcher. He was called safe, knotting the game up at one. Gavin Knust came in for Ross to face Orzech. Knust would walk Orzech, loading the bases. He would come back and strike out Trey Truitt and get Camden Traficante to get ground out to Robbie Merced, ending the ninth tied up at five.

In the top of the 10th, it was Billy Hancock drilling a triple to center field, scoring Jace Matkin standing up from third.  With Hancock on third, the Battle Jacks were unable to get another run for cushion.

Brett Sanchez would enter the game in the bottom half of the inning for Battle Creek. He walked the bases loaded after securing the first out. He came back and struck out the last two batters swinging for the Battle Jacks win.

This was the first series win in Battle Jacks history as they improved to 4-2 on the season. Meanwhile the Traverse City Pit Spitters lost their fifth straight game.

Battle Creek will face the first place Kenosha Kingfish on Sunday, June 6th at 3:05 pm.