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Bombers Stumble out of Post-All Star Gate against Rockford

The Battle Creek Bombers were thrashed by the Rockford Rivets 13-1 in the first game after the Northwoods League All-Star Break.

Rockford set the tone early in the game with a nine-run first inning off of two different Battle Creek pitchers. Jake VanderWal hit a two-run home run off of Bombers starter Ty Shoaff, and five more Rivets piled on with hits in the inning, to go along with four walks and a hit-by-pitch. In all, Rockford sent 14 batters to the plate in the first frame, as Shoaff was chased from the game. 

Nick Klee, Shoaff’s replacement, gave up three more runs in the second inning to give Rockford a 12-0 advantage. Klee was the second of seven different pitchers for Battle Creek manager Mike Ruppenthal, and did not finish the second inning. 

On the other side, Rockford starting pitcher Zack Jones dealt his second seven-inning start against Battle Creek this season. A Michael Morrissette RBI single in the fifth inning was the only run allowed by the Rockford University prospect, who allowed only two hits while walking one and striking out seven in his evening. 

Rockford plated another run in the seventh inning, as ever Rivet scored at least one run. Four different Rivets players scored two runs, and every Rockford batter reached base in some form. VanderWal led the way with 4 RBI, as well as scoring two runs himself. The Battle Creek pitching staff also walked a total of twelve batters, and all but one Rivet received a free pass. 

Four different Bombers pitchers did throw scoreless outings, however. Ping-Chun Ho, James Reilly, Trevor Smisek, and Pablo Arevalo combined for 5.2 innings, while allowing only two hits and three walks while striking out six. 

Two new faces made their debut in the Battle Creek order, as third baseman Josh Sheck and catcher Jorge Gutierrez saw their first action in a Bombers uniform. Sheck delivered a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, but the two combined to go 0-7 on Thursday night. 

Battle Creek and Rockford meet again Friday, as the Bombers honor a former occupant of C.O. Brown Stadium on Back to the Battle Cats night. 

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 www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.