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Battle Jacks Drop Pitcher’s Duel 2-0 to Madison, look ahead to Kalamazoo

Lucas Bixby on the mound (Article by Brendan Nordstrom, Photo by Melissa Vozar)

MADISON, WI – To conclude the Battle Jack’s first inter-divisional series of the summer, Battle Creek (13-12) split the series with a 2-0 loss to Madison (12-14). 

The game was an absolute pitcher’s duel between Mallards Ace Dan Wright and Battle Jacks LHP Justin Graves. Graves allowed 6 hits and 2 ER in 6.0 innings, while Wright allowed just 5 hits and no runs with 9 strikeouts in 8.0 innings.

The Battle Jacks first threatened in the second inning with Robbie Merced at second and Isaiah Gibbs at first, but they were stranded to end the inning. They threatened once again with Patrick Mills and Billy Hancock at the corners after a pair of singles, but they were again left without crossing the dish.

It took all the way into the fourth inning for the scoreboard to flash as Mallard’s Josh Caron doubled to start the inning and was scored by designated hitter Payton Smith, who grounded out. Graves then escaped the inning allowing only the one run.

The Mallards tacked on an insurance run in the sixth as Madison loaded the bases for third baseman Noah Smith, who grounded a sac-hit to Battle Jacks’s second baseman James Canar.

Battle Jacks relief pitchers Lucas Bixby and Jacob Lycan allowed no runs with four combined punchouts to close out BC’s day on the mound.

The Battle Jacks went down 1-2-3 in four of the last five innings to help Madison snap a two-game skid.

The Battle Jacks return to action tomorrow at 6:35 EST back in Battle Creek for game 1 in a 3-game set against the rivals to the west – the Kalamazoo Growlers.