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Published On: June 26th, 2023

By Sedric Granger

Battle Creek, MI-On an overcast evening in the Cereal City, The Wausau Woodchucks (17-12) defeated the Battle Creek Battle Jacks (9-19) in 10 innings, 7-5. 

One of the biggest difficulties of playing in the NWL is dealing with the highs and lows.

“Right now with us going through a losing skid, the highs are high, and the lows are low,” said Field Manager Chris Clark. “Instead of riding on that wave all the time, we have to find a way to be the same team every day when you play 72 straight games.”

In this game, the Battle Jacks experienced each side of the spectrum. For the first eight and a half innings, it was all downs. The Chucks tacked on four runs in the third and held that lead all the way until the ninth. AJ Riddle Jr. (Central Methodist University) pitched four scoreless innings out of the bullpen, which proved huge in keeping Battle Creek in the game. His efforts gave the Battle Jacks a chance to experience the high point of the game for them.

Due to some clutch plays from the entire Battle Creek lineup and some errors by the Wausau defense, Kyle Ratliff (SIUE), Blake Salamon (Northwood), Jt Sokolove (Illinois State), and Charlie Rhee (San Diego State) all scored in the bottom of the ninth to push the game into extras. It was truly a valiant effort by the Battle Jacks to come all the way back in a game that looked like it was lost.

Unfortunately for the Battle Jacks, Wausau found their offense again in the 10th inning, plating three runs. Although Rhee would drive in Ratliff to make it a two-score game, the Blue and White fell short of victory, 7-5, after the Woodchucks retired the side with the bases loaded. 

In a lot of ways, this game was representative of what it can be like to play in the Northwoods League. There will be ups and downs, and it is up to the Battle Jacks to manage the extremes and find their consistency. Battle Creek will look to bounce back against Wausau on Tuesday.


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.