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Published On: June 29th, 2022

Battle Jacks starting pitcher Jackson Braden with teammates (Article by Brendan Nordstrom, Photo by Melissa Vozar)

In game one of the second inter-divisional series of the summer for Battle Creek, the Battle Jacks (15-16) fell in a 4-3 loss against the Lakeshore Chinooks (16-15).

Battle Jacks starting RHP Jackson Braden had a fantastic day with 6.0 innings pitched allowing only two runs and seven hits to go along with four strikeouts. 

The team from Michigan struck first in the top of the first as Billy Hancock worked a 2-out walk setting up Joey Grabanski. The hit-and-run was on as Grabanski hammered the 0-2 pitch to the alley in left-center field to score Hancock and take the immediate 1-0 lead.

It took until the fourth inning for the Chinooks to knot the game at one apiece. The Chinooks’ designated hitter Garrett Martin, who also is tied for the league lead in home runs, worked a lead-off walk. Braden recorded two outs before a pair of singles brought Martin around. 

It did not take long for the Battle Jacks to respond as they scratched two in the top of the sixth. Isaiah Gibbs led the inning off with an infield single to the shortstop, which was followed by a Fisher Pyatt single into right. With a couple of ducks on the pond, Patrick Mills pulled RBIs #28 and #29 to right field to take a 3-1 lead.

The Lakeshore’s batting average leader Matthew Deprey started the bottom of the sixth with a no-doubter home run over the left-field wall. The Chinooks put runners on second and third with two down as Braden came in huge with a strikeout to end his night and keep the Battle Jacks ahead.

Lakeshore relief pitcher Hayden Birdsong struck out three in a row in the top of the fifth to keep the BC offense quiet. The Chinooks started out their half of the inning with a runner on third as the Battle Jacks committed an error on a hot shot to first. A ball that got passed catcher Gabe Sotres scored the run and tied the game at 3.

Birdsong was fantastic in relief working 3.0 innings with seven strikeouts, six of which came in a row. He allowed only one hit, which was an infield single to Sotres.

Battle Jacks’ relief pitcher Hank Weiss shut down the Chinooks in the bottom of the ninth to send BC to their third extra innings game in four days.

That was the end of Weiss‘s day as he was also fantastic through 3.0 innings allowing no hits and no earned runs to five strikeouts.

After leadoff batter Billy Hancock reached by way of a hit-by-pitch in the tenth inning, the Battle Jacks struck out three times in a row to cross zero. The Battle Jacks would have struck out 16 times throughout the contest.

The Chinooks ended up walking it off in the bottom of the tenth with an RBI single by Martin after a passed ball set up runners at second and third.

The Battle Jacks will return to action back on the shores of Lake Michigan tomorrow at 6:35 CST versus the Lakeshore Chinooks in the finale of the 2-game series.