Article by Nevada Cullen, Photo by Melissa Vozar
TRAVERSE CITY, MI — A lightning delay halted Saturday night’s matchup between the Battle Creek Battle Jacks and Traverse City Pit Spitters. But, it was the Battle Creek offense that brought the thunder, striking for nine runs on 13 hits in the 9-7 victory.
The newcomers put the Battle Jacks ahead 2-0 in the top of the second. Evan Borst blasted a solo shot to left in just his third at bat for Battle Creek, and Tate Peterson delivered with an RBI single into center for his first hit of the summer.
In the bottom of the frame, Jacob Charon cut the deficit in half for Traverse City. He sent an RBI single to center for his first hit as a Pit Spitter.
Battle Creek responded in the third. Pat Mills led off with a ground-rule double, and Aaron Dolney plated him with an RBI single.
But, Traverse City made it a one-run game once more in the fourth. Trey Truitt doubled to make it a 3-2 contest.
Then, the Battle Jacks fought back in the next frame with two more runs. Dolney clobbered an RBI triple to right and Joey Grabanski scored him with a single up the middle.
However, the Pit Spitters kept chipping away. Brennen Dorighi hit an RBI single, and Traverse City trailed 5-3.
The runs kept on coming for Battle Creek in the sixth, as the offense plated three more for an 8-3 cushion.
Dillon Kark and Brycen Sherwood led off the inning with a pair of singles, and Isaiah Gibbs scored them both with a perfectly placed bunt single and an error, before scoring on a wild pitch.
With a Truitt RBI double and a Colin Summerhill RBI triple, the Pitters answered with three runs across the sixth and seventh innings. But, a well-executed relay by the Battle Creek defense prevented an inside-the-park homer by Summerhill.
The Battle Jacks were leading 8-6 going into the top of the eighth inning. Then, a lightning delay halted the game for nearly an hour.
A wild pitch plated Peterson after the game resumed in the eighth to push the Battle Creek lead to 9-6. The Pit Spitters scored a run in the ninth, but Travis Cowan locked down his first save of the season in the 9-7 win.
The Battle Jacks (24-26) go for the sweep of the Pit Spitters (28-22) Sunday. First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m. ET.