Bombers Hold On to Beat Pit Spitters
The Battle Creek Bombers protected a one-run lead for four innings to beat the Traverse City Pit Spitters for the first time in franchise history. Beaux Bonvillain was called on for his first save of the season and responded well, getting six outs including striking out the side in the Traverse City ninth.
The Pit Spitters opened the scoring in the top of the second inning as Daniel Head walked and advanced to second on a groundout. First baseman Jake Arnold then singled, plating Head to give Traverse City a 1-0 lead off of Bombers starter Ty Shoaff.
Battle Creek quickly responded in the third inning, though, off of Traverse City starter Chad Patrick. Patrick spun seven scoreless innings against the Bombers nearly three weeks ago in Traverse City, but didn’t fare as well in Battle Creek. Kolby Johnson led off the third with a double, and Rhett McCall followed with a walk. After Patrick retired Erik Owen with a popout and Kelby Weyler grounded into a fielder’s choice, Josh Sears stepped to the plate with two on and two out. Sears roped a double into left-center field, scoring two runs and giving Battle Creek the lead. John Malcom followed with a bloop into shallow left field that scored Sears, and the Bombers led 3-1.
Battle Creek added one more run in the fourth inning, as three singles plated a fourth run. Erik Owen had the RBI in that frame, scoring Jack Merrifield for the second baseman’s sixth RBI of the season. Traverse City immediately cut the lead to 4-3 in the top half of the fifth inning, largely thanks to the bottom of their order. Jake Arnold walked and Nick Powell singled before the Pit Spitters’ leadoff hitter Hudson Byorick walked to load the bases. Mario Camiletti hit a ground ball to shortstop Kelby Weyler, who flipped to Owen for one out. The throw to first base to complete the double play was errant, though, and two Pit Spitters scored.
Pablo Arevalo and Bonvillain combined for four and two-thirds innings out of the Battle Creek bullpen, though, and held on to the 4-3 lead. The two combined to give up only two base runners, both walks from Bonvillain, while striking out nine.
Battle Creek moves to 11-11 with the win and sits just one game back of the first-place Kokomo Jackrabbits. Traverse City falls below .500 to 12-13 and are 1.5 games back of first place. The two teams will meet again on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at C.O. Brown Stadium.
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