By Sedric Granger
Kalamazoo, MI – For the second straight game, the Kalamazoo Growlers used a big inning to take down the Battle Creek Battle Jacks, winning the matinee game, 12-7, to sweep the two-game series.
“The team and I talked about trying to make those bad innings stop after the game,” said Battle Jacks Field Manager Chris Clark. “There’s got to be a guy that wants the baseball in that situation, and we will get there.”
In the first game of the series against the Growlers, Battle Creek led from the 1st inning all the way until the bottom of the 8th inning. Kalamazoo then rattled off five straight runs in the home half of the frame, to take the lead for good. The results of game two reflected game one in many ways.
Like the prior game, the Battle Jacks offense was red hot out of the gate. In the top of the 1st inning, Coltrane Rubner (Davenport University) scored on a wild pitch to put Battle Creek on the board. After that, Rubner’s teammate as both a Battle Creek Battle Jack and Davenport Panther Josh Robinson would up the ante for the Jacks with a booming two-RBI double scoring both Cam Farrar (University of Findlay) and Brock Daniels (University of Missouri), taking the lead, 3-0. Battle Creek would hold onto this three-run lead until the bottom of the 4th inning. Then, disaster struck for the Battle Jacks.
In the 4th inning, the game flipped on its head. Kalamazoo went from being down by a trio of runs to taking a six-run lead behind an inning where they totaled nine runs on six hits. Growler first baseman Kevin Krill went off in the frame, hammering both a three-run homer and an RBI single. In addition, the Battle Jacks committed some self-inflicted wounds, making three errors in the field. Although Battle Creek would later respond with a four-run inning of their own in the 6th, it was too little too late as Kalamazoo would cruise to a, 12-7, victory in front of over 3900 fans.
Even though the Battle Jacks dropped the series to the Growlers, Clark gave an encouraging message to his team about still having the opportunity to win the week.
“We talk a lot about winning the sevens,” said Clark. “We break every week down into a series of seven games. Our record may be 1-3 so far, but we still have the opportunity to go 1-0 for the week.”
Battle Creek (1-3) will look to both avoid giving up the big inning and finish the first week of the season strong as they travel to take on the Rockford Rivets on Friday.
The Battle Creek Battle Jacks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 250 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.battlejacksbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set Battle Creek as your favorite team.