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Published On: June 21st, 2023

By Sedric Granger

Kenosha, WI – The gritty Battle Creek Battle Jacks outlasted the Kenosha Kingfish, 11-8, in 14 innings to take game one of the four game series.

“I was extremely proud of the grind of the guys,” said Chris Clark triumphantly. “We talk all the time about finding a way to win. Well, tonight, to make a long story short, we found a way to win tonight.”

It did not come easy today for the Battle Jacks. After losing two games in a row to the Rockford Rivets, the Battle Jacks had to find it in them to win on the road. Although Battle Creek fell into a 5-1 deficit, the team clad in blue was not phased.

“We talk about not paying too much attention to the scoreboard,” remarked Coach Clark. “Just focus on going out, having fun, and grinding. I was extremely pleased with it.”

The Blue and White climbed back into the game slowly but surely, tying up the game to force extras. After that, Battle Creek and Kenosha went back and forth. Even though Battle Creek took a one run lead in the 11th, 12th, and 13th innings, Kenosha answered with a run of their own each time. The game became a war of attrition, in which whichever team could put together a multi-run inning first would win. 

The Battle Jacks got the offense they needed in the 14th inning. First, Dave Alleva (West Chester) scored on a wild pitch to give the Battle Jacks an advantage, 9-8. Then Fisher Pyatt would put the game out of reach with a bases-clearing RBI double, scoring Spencer Verburg (Central Michigan) and Charlie Rhee (San Diego State U). Daniel Flores (Milwaukee Area Technical College) and the defense would seal the win from there.

The Battle Jacks overcame a four run deficit, earned their first extra innings win, struckout a season high 15 batters, and saw multi-hit performances from Kyle Ratliff (SIUE), Jake Allgeyer (Western Illinois), and Fisher Pyatt (Central Arizona College). This is a monumental win for a team that needs to build some momentum going forward. 

One of the toughest parts about playing in a game this long is the fact that it puts a lot of stress on the depth of the team. Battle Creek was forced to use seven pitchers today. As a result, there is a lot of uncertainty going into Thursday’s doubleheader.

“All hands are on deck,” said Clark. “We will have to address it when tomorrow comes. This league is a grind.”

The Battle Jacks (8-14) will have the opportunity to get out of the basement of the standings as they take on the Kingfish (9-13) in a doubleheader on Thursday.