Article by Bryce Tinson. Photo by Melissa Vozar.
Traverse City, MI–The Battle Jacks came into tonight’s game against the Traverse City Pit Spitters on a three game losing streak. During the three games they were outscored 30-9. Nothing was working for them, which would need to change heading into game two of the series in order to avoid the sweep and a four game losing streak, the longest of the season. It would be a bullpen day for the pitching staff and the offense was ready to breakout. It took extras for the Battle Jacks to pull it out, but the bullpen delivered with fantastic pitching and the offense exploded with five runs on nine hits. They won 5-2 in 10 innings, splitting the series with the Pit Spitters
For the second straight game the Battle Jacks started the scoring, but it wasn’t until the 6th inning. Patrick Mills led off the inning with a single to right field. He was brought home by an Aaron Dolney single through the 3-4 hole. Dolney then scored off of a Traverse City error on a ground ball to third that was air mailed to second base. The Pit Spitters would respond in the bottom half of the inning as Marshall Toole reached on an error and came around to score by way of a Jakob Marsee RBI single. The Pit Spitters did their damage yesterday in the bottom of the 8th and they would do it again tonight, tying the game up at 2, as Toole is driven in again by Marsee. Brycen Sherwood saved the Battle Jacks from blowing the lead, cutting down a runner at home. Joey Grabanski got them out of the inning after he launched a ball across the diamond to putout Camden Traficante who attempted to go from 1st to 3rd on a bad pickoff throw.
Because of that run, the Battle Jacks and Pit Spitters would play extra innings for the 4th time in eight games between the two. Billy Hancock was the hero in the top of the 10th with a bases clearing, 2 RBI, triple. It’s the second time he’s hit the game winning triple in extras at Turtle Creek Stadium. He then scored on a throwing error down to third to give Battle Creek the three run lead. Jacob Lycan came in and shut the door on Traverse City in the bottom half of the inning to give BC it’s 3rd win of the second half.
Caleb Lanoux was phenomenal in his first start going 5.1 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six. He was extremely efficient on the mound, throwing just 39 pitches in the first 4 innings. It allowed him to stay in the game longer, which was a huge plus for the Battle Jacks. In relief, Gavin Knust went a solid 1.2 innings, allowing just one run. Anthony Tejeda pitched in the 8th and 9th for the Battle Jacks keeping the Pit Spitters off the board. Lycan finished the job inducing weak contact from the Pit Spitter bats.
The Battle Jacks return home to MCCU field for a two game series against the Kokomo Jackrabbits. First pitch is set for 6:35 PM.