Bombers Win Big Behind McCraith’s Gem on the Mound
The Bombers (30-32) had all of the odds against them as they came into their Thursday night game with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (29-32). The Rafters beat the Bombers the last three times the two met and were coming off of a sweep against the Kalamazoo Growlers. The Rafters had their ace pitcher Trayson Kubo on the mound on top of that who came into the game with a 6-1 record and 1.30 ERA.
Michael McCraith (4-3) got the start for the Bombers and put the Rafters down in order to start off the first inning. The Bombers responded after Mike Brown reached second on an error and eventually scored on a Jordan Swiss RBI sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.
McCraith had a no-hitter going through four innings and the Bombers offense struck again in the bottom half of the inning. It only took one hit to score a run as Swiss got on with a walk and Connor Bailey hit an RBI double to make it a 2-0 Bomber’s lead.
The no-hitter continued through the fifth for McCraith and the Battle Creek offense exploded in reaction. Kubo had only allowed two hits and one earned run coming into the fifth. He walked
Roman Trujillo after getting an out and his night ended in the fifth. Andrew Owen came in for his Rafters debut and walked three straight Bombers including Brown, Tirotta, Swiss to bring in a run. Caleb Henderson earned an RBI on a sacrifice fly and Zach Gartner followed that up with a two RBI single to extend the Battle Creek lead to 6-0 through five innings.
The no-hitter was ended in the sixth for McCraith but he still got out of the inning scoreless before the Bombers added another pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Trujillo hit a double that was followed by a Mike Brown hit-by-pitch that took him out of the game with a hand injury, Jake Wilson replaced him for the remainder of the game. Tirotta extended his hit streak to ten games with a single to load the bases. Swiss hit a sacrifice fly and an error on the throw in allowed Wilson to score as well. The Bombers lead 8-0.
McCraith pitched the next two innings scoreless for the Bombers and they added one more insurance run through a Gartner double and Mason Jones RBI single to make it 9-0 Battle Creek through eight innings. Jake Zoller closed the game for the Bombers and preserved the 9-0 shutout win over the Rafters.
The player of the game for Battle Creek is Michael McCraith. He went eight innings of scoreless pitching where he only allowed two hits and struck out nine Rafters.
The Bombers have now won three games in a row and five of their last six games to keep themselves in the playoff mix. They are currently two games back from the fourth-place spot, but the Kenosha Kingfish also have a three game second half lead over the rest of the southern division in their back pocket. The Bombers will look to win four in a row for the first time all season as they try to even the mark with the Rafters Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (EST).