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.
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