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Bombers Fall Just Short in Thriller

The Battle Creek Bombers dropped their fourth consecutive game in a tight 2-1 loss to the Kokomo Jackrabbits Tuesday night. Battle Creek threatened in the ninth with two runners on and one out, but Hunter Ruhstorfer and Michael Morrissette both struck out to end the game.


Caleb Reinhardt shined on the mound for Kokomo, spinning eight innings and giving up just one run on six hits, while striking out six. The Jackrabbits struck first in the second inning after singles from Dylan Dohanos and Ryan Layne, along with aggressive baserunning, gave Kokomo a 1-0 lead. The Jackrabbits, who moved back to .500 with a 4-4 record, added one more in the fourth inning off of a Jack Kraus RBI double.


Battle Creek responded with one run in the bottom half of the fourth inning, as Jack Merrifield had an RBI groundout to score Kelby Weyler after back-to-back singles from Weyler and John Malcom opened the inning. The Bombers were unable to score again, though, as Reinhardt escaped trouble in the seventh and eighth innings to set up the pivotal ninth.


Josh Sears, who pinch-hit for Matthew Patton, led off the bottom of the inning with a walk, and after an Erik Owen flyout, Kolby Johnson singled to set up the one-out, two-on situation. Joey Haas, who was called on to start the ninth, struck out the right fielder Ruhstorfer swinging to set up the decisive at-bat with Morrissette. The first baseman battled with Haas for more than 10 pitches, but watched strike three catch the inside corner to the left-handed batter to end the game.


On the mound for Battle Creek, Dillon Champagne delivered a solid four innings to start the game for the Bombers. Champagne, who was making his first start since committing to Division 1 Longwood University, gave up one earned run and one unearned run, while allowing five hits and two walks, and striking out five. Ping-Chun Ho, Amani Godfrey, and Gavin Stone combined for five scoreless innings as the Battle Creek bullpen continues to shine.


The Bombers fall to 2-6, and travel to Kalamazoo on Wednesday to kick off the 2019 I-94 Rivalry Cup, presented by OnStaff Group.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Currently in its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.