Battle Creek Sets Multiple Season Highs in Win over the Rafters
The Bombers (32-32) came into their Friday night game with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (39-34) already with a season-best four-game win streak and were tied with their season-best three-game win streak.
The Bombers had lost three in a row to the Rafters coming into the series but looked to even the mark at three games apiece. Amani Godfrey (4-4) started for the bombers while Jake Cook (1-8) took the mound for the Rafters.
Wisconsin Rapids got a leadoff triple from Ethan Stringer and had the bases loaded later in the inning on two walks and another single, but only managed to push one across. The Rafters lead 1-0 after the first inning.
Godfrey settled down and only allowed one hit in the second and the Bombers offense responded. Zach Gartner reached first on an error and made his way to second on a Drake Osborn groundout. Jake Wilson earned his first RBI as a Bomber on a single that tied the game up at 1-1. Godfrey retired the side facing the minimum in the third and the Bombers jumped on the opportunity to gain their first lead of the night. Will Baker got on with a leadoff walk and Riley Tirotta made it runners at first and second with a single. Jordan Swiss got his second hit of the game with a single to get the bases loaded for the Bombers before Caleb Henderson got an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Battle Creek had a 2-1 lead through the third.
Neither team got anything going in the fourth before Battle Creek increased on their lead in the fifth inning. It’s a familiar formula that scored the run for the Bombers with a Baker leadoff walk and a Tirotta single began the inning. Swiss left the game early and Connor Bailey subbed into to bat the three-hole spot. He picked up where Swiss left off and hit an RBI single to make it 3-1 Battle Creek.
Amani Godfrey’s night ended two outs into the sixth before Kevin Hahn replaced him and kept the scoreboard blank for the Rafters all the way through the eighth inning. Battle Creek couldn’t tag anymore runs on against the Rafter’s relief pitcher Jonathan Hernandez who only allowed two Bombers hits in three and one-third innings of relief.
Derek Martin joined the Bombers Thursday night and he got the chance to close out the game and earn a save in the ninth inning. Martin faced the minimum three Rafter’s and picked up two strikeouts alongside the save in his first pitching appearance as a Bomber. Battle Creek completed the series sweep with a 3-1 win over Wisconsin Rapids.
The player of the game for Battle Creek is the designated hitter Riley Tirotta. He went 3-for-4 at the plate and used an error to reach all four times for Battle Creek. Tirotta extended his hit streak to eleven games now for the Bombers.
The Bombers have battled their way back to .500 on the year and have picked up two season highs with five straight wins at home and four straight wins overall. Battle Creek sits one spot out of the playoffs as their final eight games approach of the regular season. They will look to inch their way into the playoffs with their final two home games of the season with a weekend series against the Rockford Rivets. First pitch for Saturday night’s game against the Rivets is set for 7:05 PM (EST).