By Sedric Granger
Battle Creek, MI – Despite a valiant effort by the home team, the Traverse City Pit Spitters used a strong outing by Nick Powers (Michigan State) and clutch pitching down the stretch from Anthony Ramirez (California State University Stanislaus) to stave off the Battle Creek Battle Jacks, 2-1
After losing to the Pit Spitters, 14-4, last night, the Battle Jacks were determined to get a better result today. Multiple players such as Blake Salamon (Northwood University) and Jake Allgeyer (Western Illinois University) spent the ensuing hours after game one ended to work on the pitching machine to hone their swings.
“These guys want to win,” said Field Manager Chris Clark before game two against the Pit Spitters. “The after hours training was great. It was cool to see the players both having fun under the lights and getting better.”
Battle Creek, clad in their alternate camouflage uniforms, made game two against Traverse City much closer than the first time around.
It all started with the play on the mound. After a game in which the Battle Jacks used seven arms, Battle Creek only had to use four in game two against Traverse City. Kameron Haviland (Benedictine University at Mesa), Kane Elmy (Kellogg Community College), Jacob Spencer (Kellogg Community College), and Jake Jekielek (Northwood University) all combined to strike out 10 Pit Spitters and allow only one earned run. The Dogs hammered the strike zone today, yielding only four walks today after walking 14 batters in game one of the series.
The offense struggled against Traverse City’s elite pitching staff. The Pit Spitters lead the league in Earned Run Average with an impressive ERA of 2.69. Nick Powers got the start for the Cherries and pitched seven scoreless innings with five strikeouts.
However, once Battle Creek forced Traverse City into their bullpen, they found some success initially. In the 8th inning with the Pit Spitters ahead, 2-0, Fisher Pyatt (Central Arizona College) scorched a RBI double to left field scoring Nikolas Clark (Davenport University) to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
The Battle Jacks would load the bases with only one out in the bottom of the 8th inning, putting themselves in prime position to score or take the lead. However, Traverse City’s Anthony Ramirez delivered a clutch performance for his team. With two runners in scoring position, Ramirez picked up two crucial outs to keep the score at, 2-1. Ramirez then upped the ante in the ninth by quickly ending the game with a pair of strikeouts and a pop fly to earn the save and the win for the Pit Spitters.
With the loss the Battle Jacks (3-9) fall six games behind the first place Pit Spitters (9-3). Battle Creek will look to bounce back on Saturday against their I-94 rival, the Kalamazoo Growlers.
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.