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Published On: July 28th, 2022

Article by Nevada Cullen, Photo by Melissa Vozar

BATTLE CREEK, MI — After a heartbreaking 10-9 loss in the first game, the Battle Creek Battle Jacks were swept by the Rockford Rivets with an 8-2 defeat in game two Thursday. Despite outhitting Rockford over both games, the Battle Jacks struggled to halt the Rivets’ bats.

Game One

Due to a five-spot in the second, the Rivets plated six runs through the first two innings of game one. Brandon Bannon had an RBI single and Matthew Mebane crushed a two-run double in the second frame.

In the fourth and fifth innings, the Battle Jacks got three runs back. Robbie Merced blasted a booming RBI double to right center, and Brycen Sherwood and Ray Hilbrich both delivered run-scoring singles.

After Rockford added an insurance run in the sixth, Battle Creek negated it in the bottom of the frame. Evan Borst singled to left, decreasing the deficit to 7-4.

Trailing 10-4 in the bottom of the seventh, the Battle Jacks clawed back starting with a Merced sac-fly. Then, Sherwood turned a two-run triple into an inside-the-park home run thanks to a Rockford error, completing the four-spot.

Hilbrich sent an RBI single to center in the eighth. But, the Rivets held on for a narrow 10-9 victory.

Other offensive standouts for the Battle Jacks included Billy Hancock and Charlie Rhee, who collected a two-hit game and a three-hit performance, respectively. Meanwhile on the mound, Ben Harris and Cole Altherr combined for seven innings of relief with only two earned runs allowed.

Game Two

The nightcap of the doubleheader provided a little less excitement for Battle Creek fans. The Rivets scored the first seven runs of the game before the Battle Jacks finally got on the board in the eighth with a Hancock RBI single.

Mebane recorded three hits for Rockford, while Drew Baker and Bryce Vincent each added two hits for the Rivets. Their starter, Miguel Reyes Jr., nearly pitched a complete game, setting season highs in innings pitched (8.1) and strikeouts (nine).

Jace Matkin provided an emphatic end to a disappointing day, clobbering a solo shot to center paired with an epic bat flip. Also, Anthony Tejeda took an at-bat in his final game for the Battle Jacks.

The Battle Jacks (8-12) and Rivets (11-10) square off again Friday for the final game of the series. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. ET.