By Sedric Granger
Battle Creek, MI – On one of the biggest themed nights of the year in which the Growlers donned Mac Daddy jerseys and the Battle Jacks donned Doughnut jerseys, Kalamazoo (18-13) defeated the Battle Creek (9-22), 12-1, to recapture momentum in the series.
This matchup at MCCU field was game five of the series. The Growlers swept the first series while the Battle Jacks swept the second series. As a result, this game had a lot at stake in determining which team would have the early advantage in the rivalry.
The Battle Creek Doughnuts started the game off strong. Offensively, Charlie Rhee (San Diego State) drove in Blake McRae (Eastern Michigan) to give the home team the advantage, 1-0. Tyler McKinstry (Davenport University) built off of that run support with a terrific start, yielding only one earned run in five innings pitched.
Although the game was a low scoring pitcher’s duel going into the 7th inning, Kalamazoo turned the tides in their favor late in the game. After putting up a five-run 8th inning to clinch a win in game one of the season series between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, the Growlers scored five-runs in both the 7th and the 8th inning to create separation. Since the Battle Jacks walked 13 batters, Kalamazoo was able to take advantage of Battle Creek’s inability to find the strike zone to stack runs.
Despite the loss, a couple of players shined for Battle Creek. Kyle Ratliff (SIUE) and Spencer Verburg (Central Michigan) each went two-for-four at the plate. In addition, Charlie Rhee showed great range in left field, making phenomenal catches throughout the game and turning a rare 7-4-3 double play.
This loss to their bitter rival is going to sting for Battle Creek. On the bright side, Battle Creek has the opportunity to get revenge against Kalamazoo at Homer Stryker Field on Saturday.
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.