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Published On: August 7th, 2022

Gavin Knust, who pitched in his final game of the summer. (Article by Brendan Nordstrom, Photo by Melissa Vozar)

KOKOMO, IN — It was June 9th. The Battle Jacks were hot coming off of a sweep of Traverse City in the Cherry Capital and a sweep against the Kingfish in dramatic fashion at MCCU Field. They were to face the Kokomo Jackrabbits for the first time all season in a double-header. After taking game 1 8-3, they saw their 5-game win streak snapped in the nightcap in a nail-biting 4-2 contest.

After taking game two in Fond Du Lac on Wednesday, the Battle Jacks went on a tear, defeating the Jackrabbits in the first four games. Tying their longest win streak of the summer, it was the Jackrabbits again who snapped it on Sunday afternoon in a 7-2 game.

On the flip side for Battle Creek, it was time to crack open the record books, as their two runs were enough to pass the franchise record for runs in a summer with 403.

The Jackrabbits starting pitcher Conner Throneberry had a fantastic outing, throwing a complete game, allowing 5 hits and 2 ER, but striking out 7.

The Battle Jacks, and more importantly Aaron Dolney, started the game off with a bang. Dolney stepped in with two outs and took the fifth pitch of the at-bat in the opposite direction over the left-field fence for his first home run of the season.

The Jackrabbits, looking to avoid the 5-game sweep, came out firing with a huge first inning. It started out well for Battle Creek as the first two batters of the inning were retired, including an impressive barehanded play by James Canar, making his debut at third. However, Battle Jacks SP Ben Harris walked three straight batters to load the bases, and Tanner Tompkins made him pay with a bases-clearing double down the right-field line. It was 3-1, the Jackrabbits’ largest lead of the series.

Kokomo tacked on another in the bottom of the second after a sac-fly from Mark McNelly gave them a 4-1 lead.

The Jackrabbits added another run with a monster shot over the right-field fence by Nick Harms, who was following up a 5-for-5 day at the dish yesterday. There had only been 8 home runs at Kokomo Municipal Stadium this summer coming into the game, and that was the second of the day.

The Battle Jacks finally answered with a leadoff triple off the bat of Dolney down the right field line ending in a score. Ray Hilbrich earned the RBI with a sac-hit, but more importantly, it was a new Battle Creek record for runs in a summer with 403. The previous record was held by the 2017 Battle Creek Bombers squad.

A couple of hits off the bats of Jaret Humphrey and Brayden Carter plate two more runs as the Jackrabbits jump ahead even more for a 7-2 lead.

Throneberry struck out two in the top of the ninth to secure the complete game win and snap the Jackrabbits’ longest losing streak of the summer.

With today marking the end of the 7-day road trip, the Battle Jacks will return home to MCCU Field tomorrow evening to face off against the Traverse City Pit Spitters at 6:35 p.m. EST.