By Sedric Granger
Battle Creek, MI – The Traverse City Pit Spitters (23-14) plated two runs in the ninth to beat the Battle Creek Battle Jacks (11-25), 4-2, splitting the series.
After winning yesterday’s game, 18-3, the Battle Jacks knew that they would get Traverse City’s best in game two.
“We got to reset,” said Field Manager Chris Clark before the game. “We have been on both ends of a blowout before, and we know that after a big extreme like that we have to flush it. They are going to be a different team that is hungry for victory. We have to make sure that we are even keel, especially when the highs are high and the lows are low.”
Despite the Pit Spitters bringing in their best effort, the Battle Jacks maintained control of the game early. Starting pitcher Jared Schwartz (Davenport University) was terrific in his first start as a Battle Jack. Schwartz finished with seven innings pitched, four hits, and just two earned runs. The outing was tied for the second longest start by a Battle Jacks pitcher all season. He found success by forcing a lot of weak contact by Traverse City and leaning on his defense. His only mistake came on a two-run homer by the Pit Spitters that sailed over the Dog House in left field.
Offensively, the Battle Jacks were not able to drive in runners in scoring position. Aside from the fourth inning when Kyle Ratliff (SIUE) drove in Jake Allgeyer (Western Illinois) on an RBI double and when Anthony Aloisio (Davenport University) drove in Blake McRae (EMU), Battle Creek struggled to sustain offense across innings. Their biggest scoring opportunity after the 4th inning was in the 8th. However, Traverse City showed some clutch pitching down the stretch, stranding three Battle Jacks on the base paths.
In the 9th inning, the Pit Spitters were the benefactors of two balks by the dogs. Each of those lapses helped Traverse City to take a lead, 4-2, which they held onto for the final frame to earn the victory.
With this loss, the Battle Jacks fall to 1-1 in the second half of the season. They will look to bounce back in a five-game series against the Kokomo Jackrabbits (14-22) starting 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.