By Sedric Granger
Battle Creek, MI – The Rockford Rivets (28-21, 8-7 in the second half) defeated the Battle Creek Battle Jacks (18-30, 8-6 in the second half) at MCCU Field, 3-1, behind a terrific 11 strikeout performance from the Rivets pitching staff. This is the 5ht time this season in which Rockford has held Battle Creek to just a single run.
Although the Battle Jacks yielded the first run of the game for the 6th consecutive game, the pitching staff did provide another winnable outing. Gage Smith (Oakland) got the start and yielded two runs in four innings of work. Since Jared Schwartz (Davenport) only pitched two innings in his last start, Schwartz was able to pitch out of the bullpen for the Battle Jacks, striking out three Rivets in three and two thirds innings of work. Jake Kampf (SIUE) completed the final one and a third innings, giving up one earned run.
Defensively, the Battle Jacks have fallen into a bad habit of making fielding errors. After committing two errors in this game, Battle Creek has now made nine fielding errors in the last four contests. These mistakes can prove costly. For example, a throwing error in the ninth allowed a Rockford base runner to go from first base to third base. Moments later, the Rivets cashed in on an RBI single, showcasing how crucial it is for the Battle Jacks to play sharp defense.
The Battle Jacks offense struggled to get into scoring position throughout today’s matchup. The dogs totaled just one run on eight hits. Brock Daniels (Missouri) was excellent at the plate, finishing his day three-for-four with a double and an RBI. He drove in the lone run of the day on an RBI single, scoring Riley Silva (Nebraska). Other than that, Rockford showed great command of the zone, striking out 11 Battle Jacks. After two nights in a row of walk-off wins, the Rivets struck out the side in the bottom of the 9th, snapping Battle Creek’s streak of three straight walk-off wins.
Despite the loss, the Battle Jacks still remain in second place. Unfortunately for the Jacks, they are now two games out of first after Kalamazoo’s home win against Wisconsin Rapids. They will look to split the series against Rockford 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.