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Published On: July 27th, 2023

By Sedric Granger

Battle Creek, MI – After 11 days without a home game, the Battle Creek Battle Jacks (21-36, 11-12) fell just short to the surging Kokomo Jackrabbits (22-36, 9-14) at MCCU Field, 5-4. 

Before the game, Field Manager Chris Clark shared about how he encouraged his players to take a break from baseball over the three-day all-star break.

“To have a couple of days to push the reset button and kick back for a second is huge,” remarked Clark. “I told all the players to go out and get away from baseball for a little bit. Go golfing. Go see a Movie. Go hangout with some of the other guys on the team. I wanted each of my players to do something that allows them to reset mentally as well as getting a chance for players to recover after the 7-game road trip.”

The caveat to having the rest days was the fact that Kokomo also got them as well. The Jackrabbits arrived at the game four hours before first pitch, which is earlier than any team has shown up for a game all season. This fact showcased how Kokomo was just as rested and ready for the matchup.

With both teams rested, the game was a dogfight from start to finish. Defensively, Jared Schwartz (Davenport) made a solid start for the Battle Jacks, striking out three and yielding two earned runs in four innings of work. Jacob Lycan (Concordia) contributed two-thirds of an inning out of the bullpen, fanning two. Zacheriah Frasher (St. Peters) hammered the strike zone for three punch outs in one and two-thirds innings of work. Lastly, Brandon Markarian contributed one and a third scoreless innings. 

A couple of mistakes by the Battle Jacks defense plated two unearned runs by Kokomo. A throwing error in the 6th inning enabled a Jackrabbit to score. Later on in the frame, another runner scored on a rare dropped strike three passed ball sequence. Each of those runs proved costly in the one score game.

Despite the setbacks, the Battle Jacks did make up for their mistakes in the first 6 innings with some solid run support. The Blue and White registered their second multi-home run day with both Kyle Ratliff (SIUE) and Spencer Verburg (Central Michigan) scorching home runs. The other two scoring plays came from a Brock Daniels (Missouri) RBI scoring Jt Sokolove (Illinois State) and Anthony Aloisio (Davenport) scoring on a bases loaded walk. Going into the 7th inning, the game was tied, 4-4. 

With the game on the line, Kokomo made a big play in the 8th. With two outs in the inning, the Jackrabbits hit an RBI single to drive in the go-ahead run. The bullpen for the Brown and Orange clinched the game from there, stranding the tying run for the Battle Jacks in scoring position in the 9th. Kokomo picked up their third road victory in a row, 5-4.

With this loss, the Battle Jacks fall to 5-4 on the season against Kokomo, matching the final score of the game. Fortunately for Battle Creek, since Kalamazoo lost, the Battle Jacks still remain just four-and-a-half games out of a playoff spot with 15 games to go. The Dogs will look to bounce back against the Rabbits on Friday.


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 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.