Bombers blank Woodchucks to reach .500 mark again
Battle Creek (8-5, 24-24) traveled to Wausau, Wisconsin Tuesday and shutout the Wisconsin Woodchucks (8-5, 20-28) 12-0 at Athletic Park.
The win gives Battle Creek a .500 record for the sixth time in 2018. The Bombers have failed to get over the .500 mark all season with an 0-5 record in games after evening up their win-loss record.
Battle Creek hit Wisconsin starting pitcher Branson Hull (1-1) well from the start and never looked back. Hull have up four runs on eight hits in the first four innings and was chased from the game after a three-run fourth for the Bombers.
The runs came from an RBI double by Mike Brown in the third inning, RBI singles off the bats of Will Baker and Roman Trujillo in the fourth and another RBI by Brown on a groundout to third base in the fourth inning.
Baker finished the night 4-for-5 with an RBI to earn player of the game, and Trujillo went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Brown’s only hit was the double, but he reached base three times on two walks as well.
Chase Wheatcroft (3-1) tossed five innings of scoreless three-hit baseball for Battle Creek to earn his third win of the season and the Bombers took a 4-0 lead into the sixth inning.
Battle Creek then broke the game open in the top of the sixth with five runs on five hits. Jordan Swiss knocked in two runs with a two-RBI single, and Caleb Henderson, Zach Gartner and Drake Osborn each tacked on RBI singles of their own. All five runs came with two outs in the inning off relief pitchers Brandon Bachman and Everett Hurst of Wisconsin.
Swiss, Henderson and Gartner all captured multi-hit nights, including three hits each for Henderson and Gartner. Osborn had just one hit but reached base two more times on a hit-by-pitch and a walk.
Brett Manis and Alex Kuster, both left-handed pitchers from Ohio University, pitched one inning scoreless out of the bullpen for Battle Creek. Manis struck out two Woodchucks in the sixth, and Kuster struck out one in the seventh.
The Bombers added two more runs on two hits in the eighth inning off relief pitcher Sam Ballard. Henderson singled and Gartner doubled to bring him to third, then a throwing error by Domenic DeRenzo in left field allowed him to score.
Ballard then walked the bases loaded, and Nate Jones picked up an RBI on a bases loaded walk.
Carter Bair came out on the mound in the bottom of the eighth inning for Battle Creek and allowed a hit, but no runs. A diving stop from Swiss at third base started a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Henderson picked up his third hit and second RBI of the night in the ninth inning to put the finishing touches on a 12-run night for Battle Creek.
Jake Zoller pitched the bottom of the ninth for the Bombers. Zoller gave up two hits and struck out two on his way to a scoreless inning.
The Bombers and Woodchucks meet again Wednesday night at Athletic Park. Battle Creek will go for their third straight sweep of Wisconsin and try to get above .500 for the first time all season. First pitch is set for 7:35 EST.