Bombers Win Season Series with Rafters after Fourth Straight Sweep
Battle Creek (35-33) needed to extended their season best winning streak from 7 games to 8 if they were going to keep themselves in the playoff race. They took on the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (30-37) who they were looking to sweep for the second time in a row to take a 5-3 seasonal series lead.
Chase Wheatcroft (4-1) got the start for the Bombers while Tyler Giovinco (3-2) got the start for the Rafters.
Wheatcroft pitched the first three innings perfect, retiring the first nine Rafters he faced. Giovinco did allow a few hits and a walk, but also got through the first three frames of the game scoreless.
Both teams found the scoreboard in the fourth, the Bombers struck first after a pair of leadoff singles from Jake Wilson and Jordan Swiss got aboard. Caleb Henderson got the bases loaded for the Bombers after he reached on an error from Giovinco. Battle Creek managed to squeak one run across on a double-play groundball from Zach Gartner.
The Rafters used the exact same formula to get things going in the bottom half of the inning. Two base hits and an error reach by the pitcher Wheatcroft. A sacrifice fly RBI was all the Rafters could get going for themselves as the teams were tied at 1-1 through four innings.
The Bombers started off the fifth inning red-hot as Will Baker smacked a leadoff single that was followed by a Drake Osborn double. Roman Trujillo got an RBI single after that to regain the Bomber’s lead. Wilson got himself an RBI as well on a groundball out and Battle Creek lead 3-1 after the fifth. The Bombers got one more run on Giovinco in the sixth on a one run solo homerun by Zach Gartner, his third of the season. The Bombers lead 4-1 after the sixth.
Flashing forward a couple of innings and a few pitchers for both teams to the bottom of the ninth, the Rafters were right where they wanted to be after a two run eighth inning. The Rafters trailed just 4-3 as they came into the bottom of the ninth and the home crowd was on their feet. Dillon Sievert took the mound for the Bombers, looking to pick up his second save after he won a game as a starter in his last appearance. The Rafters got a leadoff single from Bret Fehr and advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Sievert struck out Jordan Wiley to make it two outs with a runner on second base. Ethan Stringer came up to the plate 3-for-4 on the day and hit a single to deep left field on the first pitch he saw to make it a 4-for-5 day. Fehr rounded third after getting the call from his coach to try and tie the game up. Conner Bailey sent a laser of a throw down to Drake Osborn and home where Osborn tagged Fehr in midair above his head for the final out of the game. The Bombers head on to win their eighth straight game and 10-of-11 games.
The player of the game for Battle Creek is the centerfielder Jake Wilson. Wilson went 2-for-4 with a walk, a run, and an RBI. On top of that Wilson made two grabs in centerfield defensively that saved upwards of four runs for the Bombers.
Battle Creek will look to make it nine straight wins in a row Thursday night as they head over to Kapco Park to take on the Lakeshore Chinooks. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 PM (EST).