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Published On: June 16th, 2023

By Sedric Granger

Traverse City, MI – The Battle Creek Battle Jacks outraced the Traverse City Pit Spitters, 12-8, behind an electric offensive performance from the entire lineup.

“This is what we are capable of.” said Field Manager Chris Clark proudly. “Traverse City is a really good hitting team and a really well coached team all around. It was good to see our guys outslug them and get one against them.”

Battle Creek was shut out on the prior night by Traverse City, 3-0. The Battle Jacks only registered four base hits while reaching third base just once the entire game. After being retired in order to start the game and giving up a pair of runs to the Pit Spitters out of the gate, Battle Creek looked like they were in for another long game. However, the momentum all changed with a strong two out rally in the second inning. First, Charlie Rhee (San Diego State) got on base with a single. On the next plate appearance, Blake McRae reached on a fielding error. Those plays the stage for Copper Middleton (Kellogg Community College) to deliver a big base hit.

“It felt great,” said Middleton with a smile. “I got the pitch that I wanted and put a good swing on it. It was great to help the team out and to start a fire under us.”

Middleton hammered a two-RBI double over the heads of the Traverse City outfield, scoring Rhee and McRae to tie the game, 2-2. 

The Battle Jacks continued to excel offensively in the 3rd inning. Fisher Pyatt (Central Arizona College) started the surge by driving in Cam Farrar (Findlay) and Jake Allgeyer (Western Illinois U) on a 2 RBI hit. Rhee upped the ante by driving in Kyle Ratliff (SIUE) to increase the Battle Jacks lead to three. After that, Pyatt would then score on a fielding error in the outfield. Lastly, McRae drove in Rhee to complete the five-run inning, giving the Battle Jacks a, 7-2, advantage. 

As the hits continued to rain in, the energy in the Dogs’ dugout grew exponentially.

“That energy is immaculate,” said Middleton enthusiastically. “I love my teammates and they love me. We may have only been together for about two weeks now, but we already fight for and are there for each other. It is a good team atmosphere, especially in the dugout.”

That belief in each other proved critical when Traverse City came storming back in the 4th inning. After Battle Creek added an extra run in the top of the 4th, The Pit Spitters rattled off five runs to put the score at, 8-7, with more than half of the game left to be played. Although both the crowd of over 3600 fans and the momentum of the game were against the Battle Jacks, the Battle Creek players continued to trust in themselves, their teammates, and their swings.

The Battle Jacks responded in the 5th with a trio of runs. Jt Sokolove (Illinois State) drove in both McRae and Middleton on a two-RBI single. Immediately after that, Nikolas Clark (Davenport University) took advantage of a wild pitch by Traverse City to come across the plate. This series of plate appearances gave the Battle Jacks the lead, 11-7, in the middle of the 5th inning.

The Battle Creek bullpen pitched well in the latter half of the game, preventing Traverse City from picking up any momentum. Jake Jekielek (Northwood University) was stellar, allowing only one hit and zero runs with three strikeouts in two and a third innings pitched. Jekielek’s made his most dynamic play of the day in the 6th inning when he completed a ground out on a strong throw to first while on the turf. Both Jacob Spencer (Kellogg Community College) and AJ Riddle Jr (Central Methodist University) combined to take care of the final three innings of the game, clinching the 12-8 Battle Jacks victory.

Battle Creek had many standouts in this victory. Copper Middleton finished three for four at the plate with two RBIs. Charlie Rhee finished four for five on the evening with three RBIs while both Fisher Pyatt and Cam Farrar had a two-hit performance for the Blue and White. As a team, the Battle Jacks registered their highest single game run total in the month of June by hammering 14 hits all over the field at Turtle Creek Stadium. 

With this win, the Battle Jacks (6-11) split the two-game road series with the Pit Spitters (13-5). In addition, Battle Creek finishes their five-game road stretch with a 3-2 record. They return to MCCU Field for their first cross-divisional game against the Green Bay Rockers (11-7) on Saturday.

“That is what we are capable of,” said Clark confidently. “With as good as our pitching has been, if our offense can keep this up, we are going to be pretty scary down the stretch.”


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 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.