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Pitching Staff Shines as Battle Jacks Win Series in Rockford 3-1

If you wanted a pitcher’s duel to finish off the four-game series between the Battle Jacks and Rivets, then you are in luck. Just 4 runs crossed the plate in this one, all of them coming in the second inning. Battle Creek left this one victorious 3-1, their fewest in a winning effort this season. The one run was also the lowest run total allowed from the pitching staff.

Billy Hancock drilled a base knock to get the second inning going. That was followed by a Jace Matkin and Dillon Kark single. Kark drove in Hancock as he kept his hit streak alive, moving it to 10. Rafael Gomez Jr. then bunted for a single to get on, loading the bases. A Robbie Merced sac fly plated Matkin. Bobby Nichols then got in on the action with an RBI single, scoring Kark. That would be the only scoring Battle Creek on the day.

Rockford responded in the bottom half of the inning as Mathew Mebane came around to score after a leadoff walk. He was driven in by Drew Baker who grounded out to the Merced. Just like Battle Creek, the Rivets would struggle to score the rest of the game, even with multiple threats.

Keegan Batka was phenomenal on the mound, going six innings, allowing just one run on four hits and two walks. He struck out six, one in each inning, to complete the fantastic outing. He had full command of his entire repertoire. He left Rivets hitters confused with the breaking ball, before blowing past them with a low 90’s fastball. Even when he wasn’t striking guys out, the contact he was giving up was weak, allowing his defense to make plays behind him. They did just that with no errors on the day. Gavin Knust came in to relieve Batka. Knust went 1.1 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits but struck out two. His lefty delivery threw off the timing of Rockford hitters. Many of them were out on their front foot swinging at air. He was relieved in the eighth inning by Anthony Tejeda, the huge strike out pitcher. He would only get one in the five outs he pitched, but he did record the save without allowing a run. He was speeding the fastball right past the hitters bats for strikes, getting them down early in counts. Overall, it was one of the best team pitching performances for the Battle Jacks. They forced the Rivets to strand nine runners on base.

The Battle Jacks maintain their sole possession of first place with the series win, their third on the season. They will be back in action, tomorrow, at MCCU Field for another game of the I-94 cup series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35.