By Tyler Bright
Battle Creek, MI – The Battle Creek Battle Jacks took the short drive to face the Kalamazoo Growlers in a Saturday night showdown. The pitching trio of Hunter Varnadoe (Middle Georgia State University), Tre Benjamin (Western Illinois University), and Dylan Howanitz (West Chester University) came out victorious in a, 6-3, upset, giving them their first win in the I-94 series.
The game was unique as Homer Stryker Field was dealing with major technical issues. Electricity throughout the ballpark was absent, leaving Kalamazoo to use generators for concessions, the scoreboard, and their public address system. The jumbotron out in right field was completely turned off and they were not able to run a live stream of the game. That said, fans seemed to enjoy the game as it was reminiscent of old-school baseball.
Battle Creek’s Hunter Varnadoe was the ace on the mound today as Kalamazoo had Dakoda Wes (Utah Tech University) on the bump. The Battle Jacks got off to a hot start, which has become a trend of the team as of late. Both Jt Sokolove (Illinois State University) and Cam Farrar (University of Findlay) showed great discipline with a pair of walks, leading the power-hitting DH Kyle Ratliff to drive them in on a double to left field. The production continued with Farrar scoring an earned run to give Battle Creek a, 3-0, lead.
The crucial production continued for the Battle Jacks in the latter innings of the game. Fisher Pyatt (Central Arizona College) was able to get on base and glide his way home in the 7th. Spencer Verburg was hit by a pitch and displayed smart baserunning on his way to home plate off of some fielding errors from the Growlers. Sokolove produced another RBI with a single to center field, icing the, 6-3, Battle Jacks win.
The Battle Jacks (4-9) and Growlers (7-6) will be back at it again on June 11th for another clash in the I-94 series.
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.