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Published On: June 15th, 2023

By Sedric Granger

Traverse City, MI – The Traverse City Pit Spitters used a strong pitching performance to shutout the Battle Creek Battle Jacks, 3-0. 

After playing games for 15 consecutive days, the Battle Jacks got a couple of much needed rest days due to both the suspension of their previous game against Kokomo and league wide day off on June 14th. As a result, the Battle Jacks came into this Pit Spitters series with a rested team. However, the caveat with that advantage is that Traverse City also came into this game well rested.

On a rainy and cold evening, the Battle Jacks aimed to take advantage of an opportunity to make a statement against the first place Pit Spitters. In the week prior to the game, Traverse City defeated Battle Creek twice at MCCU Field, including a, 2-1, heartbreaker where the Jacks had the tying run at third base and the winning run at second. Unfortunately for the Battle Jacks, they fell into a similar situation in this game.

Battle Creek’s pitching was impermeable for all but one inning of the game. Jake Tirk (College of Marin), Dylan Howanitz (West Chester), Drew Burkholder (Rock Valley College), and Danny Flores (Milwaukee Area Tech) all shut out Traverse City aside from one bad 4th inning. The Pit Spitters scored three runs on three hits in the home half of the 4th frame, building a comfortable cushion.

The Battle Jacks had one big chance to threaten that cushion in the top of the 7th inning. Fisher Pyatt (Central Arizona College) reached on a walk, Kyle Ratliff (SIUE) singled to left center field, and Jake Allgeyer single to right field, putting the Battle Jacks in prime position to make a rally. Just like in the previous matchup against Traverse City, the Pit Spitters rose to the occasion by picking up two crucial outs in a row, stranding three Battle Jacks on the base paths in a late inning for the second game in a row. 

Traverse City would finish the job from there, winning game one of the series, 3-0. 

The Battle Jacks (5-11) were shut out in a game for the first time this season. They will have an opportunity to split the series against the Pit Spitters (13-4) on Friday.