By Sedric Granger
Traverse City, MI-After taking a five-run lead early, the Traverse City Pit Spitters (19-11) cruised to a victory over the Battle Creek Battle Jacks (9-20), 9-2.
The last time that the Battle Jacks played the Pit Spitters, they pulled off a massive upset, 12-8. Unfortunately for Battle Creek, Traverse City got their revenge today to move back into sole possession of first place in the Great Lakes East.
Offensively, Blake Salamon (Northwood University) was terrific for the Blue and White, delivering a pair of hits and scoring a run. Kyle Ratliff (SIUE) also excelled for the Battle Jacks, reaching base three times on a double and a pair of walks. Lastly, Jt Sokolove (Illinois State University) contributed to the offensive effort by driving in two runners and Dave Alleva (West Chester) registered a base hit.
Defensively, Drew Burkholder (Rock Valley College) was fantastic out of the bullpen. Burkholder pitched three and a third scoreless innings, registering three strikeouts on the mound. It is always impressive whenever a middle relief pitcher can go greater than three innings.
Although the Battle Jacks have struggled in the first half of the season, they still can regroup in the second half to fight for a playoff spot. Battle Creek will look to bounce back in game two against Traverse City on Thursday.
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.