By Sedric Granger
Battle Creek, MI-The Rockford Rivets (29-21, 9-7 in second half) amassed a whopping 16 runs on 14 hits en route to smoking the Battle Creek Battle Jacks (18-31, 8-7 in second half) at MCCU Field, 16-4.
Going into this game, the main storyline for Battle Creek was the final home appearances of pitchers Kameron Haviland (Benedictine University at Mesa) and Dylan Howanitz (West Chester University).
“It is emotional for them and emotional for me to watch them come out here and develop while giving the team everything they have,” stated Battle Jacks Field Manager Chris Clark with a smile. “When Haviland is on the mound, we always feel we have a chance to win. When Howanitz comes into the game with a lead, the game is over. I don’t have enough good things to say about them. They are going to continue to be successful beyond their baseball days.”
Haviland finished his last start with a solid outing, striking out five Rivets and only yielding two earned runs in five innings pitched. Howanitz, on his birthday, also did what he has done all throughout the season, pitching a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.
Although the Rivets soured the day by beating the Battle Jacks, that fact did not stop the Battle Creek community from giving a standing ovation to both Haviland and Howanitz when they each exited the game. Both players raised their cap and gave a big smile to the fans while they made their way to the dugout to receive hugs and handshakes from their teammates.
The big play for the Battle Jacks came in the bottom of the 1st when Blake Salamon (Northwood University) hammered a solo home run over the wall in centerfield, giving Battle Creek an early lead, 1-0. The other bit of offense came from a Jay Adams RBI single scoring Jake Allgeyer. Otherwise, the Dogs struggled to sustain any consistent offense, once again leaving over seven runners on the base paths. The Jacks left 17 runners on the base paths.
Giving up the big inning plagued the Battle Jacks defensively. After the solid start from Haviland, the Rivets ravaged the Battle Creek bullpen tacking on 5 runs in the 6th and 8 runs in the 7th. The dogs continued their troubling trend of fielding errors, committing 3 of them. Over the last 5 games, Battle Creek has committed 12 fielding errors.
With this loss, the Battle Jacks slide two spots in the Great Lakes East second half standings to 4th place. Battle Creek will have a much-needed day off on Monday to get healthy for their seven-game road trip to Wisconsin. The Battle Jacks will kick off their stretch on the road with a doubleheader against the Wausau Woodchucks (27-21, 7-6) 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 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.