By Sedric Granger
Rockford, IL – The Rockford Rivets defeated the Battle Creek Battle Jacks, 9-6, behind a strong finish by the Rivets both offensively and defensively.
For the fifth time this season, the Battle Creek Battle Jacks scored first. After only scoring one run in the first game of the series, Battle Creek found more success offensively tonight. In the top of the 1st, Brock Daniels (University of Missouri) hit an RBI single, driving in Payton Mazzola (Madonna University). A few moments later, Jake Allgeyer (Western Illinois) had a competitive at bat that not only resulted in an RBI single but also in driving up the pitch count of Rockford’s starting pitcher so high that he had to exit the game.
“Offensively, we were much better today at the plate,” said Battle Jacks Field Manager Chris Clark. “We cut the strikeouts in half, got 12 hits, and scored six runs. A much better job with runners in scoring position today as well.”
The Battle Jacks’ scoring bonanza continued into the 2nd inning. Battle Creek took advantage of the Rivets’ bullpen with a Cam Farrar (University of Findlay) RBI single scoring Nikolas Clark (Rock Valley College) and a Daniels two-RBI double bringing in both Cooper Middleton (Kellogg Community College) and Mazzola. By the end of the away half of the 2nd inning, the Battle Jacks had a, 5-1, lead.
Rockford would then flip the game in their favor throughout the middle innings, taking the lead for the first time in the bottom of the 4th, 6-5. The Rivets held onto that lead until the top of the 7th. When Battle Creek needed a clutch play down the stretch, Jake Allgeyer answered the call. The switch-hitting junior belted a slicing RBI double into the right field corner, both scoring Dave Alleva and tying the ball game, 6-6.
Unfortunately for the Jacks, two costly errors in the bottom of the 7th inning gave the Rockford Rivets a lead that they would carry throughout the rest of the game. Although the Dogs managed one run against the Rivets in the 7th inning, the Battle Jacks have been outscored by their opponents, 17-2, in the final 3 innings of games in 2023. Despite the fact that Battle Creek has outscored their opponents, 18-5, in the first three innings, the Battle Jacks lack of production late in games is one of the main reasons for the 1-5 start to the season.
With this loss, Battle Creek finished their first road trip of the season with an 0-4 record. The good news for the Battle Jacks (1-5) is that they are back at home against a Kenosha Kingfish (2-4) team that has dropped two straight. No matter the league or the sport, it is always tougher to play on the road than at home.
“These boys are ready to get back to MCCU Field,” stated Coach Clark. The players are feeling a bit beat up after this road stretch, so a chance to get healthy is huge as well. We are looking forward to being back at home.”
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.