Seventh Inning Frenzy Puts Battle Creek Past Woodchucks
Wausau, Wisc. – Down 4-1 heading into the seventh inning, the Battle Creek (24-16, 4-1) bats exploded for eight hits and seven runs to give the Bombers their fourth win of the second half and fourth win against Wisconsin (16-24, 1-4)
Wisconsin was all over Battle Creek starter Tyler Garam (Greensboro College) right off the bat. The Woodchucks scored first in the bottom of the third, with runners on second and third Wisconsin recorded their sixth hit of the game on a single to left to take a 1-0 lead.
Offensively to start the game, Battle Creek went three up, three down in the first three innings until Nick Menken (Virginia Tech) in his Bombers debut, singled. Alex Howard (Arkansas State) followed Menken with a hit of his own, but Nick Walker (Austin Peay) bunted back to the mound which allowed Wisconsin to get Menken at third. Howard and Walker were both left on base.
Wisconsin would keep hitting off their former pitcher Garam. A lead-off single and another single with one out led to a Woodchucks double to centerfield to make it 2-0. A wild pitch from Garam then scored another runner from third to give the Woodchucks a 3-0 advantage.
The Bombers would get on the board in the fifth, it was started by Nikola Vasic (Southerin Illinois) with a lead-off single. Vasic then stole second base with JD Mundy (Virginia Tech) at the plate. Cody Hawken (University of Portland) was hit by a pitch with one out. With Menken at the plate, Hawken ran for second base, a bad throw from the catcher went into centerfield and Vasic scored to cut the deficit to 3-1 for Battle Creek.
Wisconsin added to their lead 4-1 in the sixth off a bases loaded single off Bombers reliever Tim Nelson (UC San Diego). He struck out the side with the bases still loaded to enter the seventh.
It all started with Tom Stoffel (Virginia Tech) who singled to open the seventh. Vasic almost homered to left, but it was caught at the wall. Mundy then walked, and Wisconsin took out their starter. Aaron Antonini (Middle Tennessee State) scorched a double off the right centerfield wall to make it 4-2 Wisconsin. Hawken then singled to left field to cut the deficit to one run. Menken recorded his second hit of the game and first RBI of the season on a single to tie the game 4-4. Howard kept the inning alive and gave the Bombers the lead 5-4. Walker joined the party, smashing a single himself to put Battle Creek up 6-4. Alec Trela (University of Memphis) grounded out but scored a run to make it 7-4 Bombers. Stoffel then kept what he started alive, by singling to give Battle Creek an 8-4 lead.
Wisconsin didn’t let up, the Woodchucks scored two runs off Battle Creek reliver TJ Shook (Oakland University) to cut their deficit to 8-6. Mark Quinby entered the game with the tying runs on base, with one pitch he got the only out he needed to keep the score at 8-6 Bombers.
Entering the ninth, Battle Creek got an insurance run from Walker, who hit a solo home run to give Battle Creek a 9-6 advantage. In the bottom of the ninth, Colton Bradley (Central Michigan) would get into some trouble. A single to left field would score a run for Wisconsin and cut the deficit to 9-7. With runners on first and second, Bradley got the final out to right field to complete the comeback.
The 2017 finale of Battle Creek vs. Wisconsin will be Monday at 7:05 at Athletic Park. Jake Hromada will be on the air starting ten minutes prior to first pitch.
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The Battle Creek Bombers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, more than 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.battlecreekbombers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Bombers as your favorite team.