Bombers Offense Explodes on Throwback Night
The Battle Creek Bombers took down the Rockford Rivets 13-8 in an offense-heavy night in which Battle Creek donned throwback Michigan Battle Creek jerseys.
The jerseys, honoring the first professional occupants of C.O. Brown Stadium, saw a combined 21 runs and 26 hits between the two squads. The Battle Cats were a Class-A Minor League Baseball team affiliated first with the Houston Astros, then the Boston Red Sox, in the 1990s and 2000s.
After a nine-run first inning on Thursday night, Rockford got out to another hot start on Friday night with two runs off of Battle Creek starter Lyle Hibbitts. Singles from Jake VanderWal and Andrew Wilhite gave Rockford the early lead. VanderWal picked up right where he left off, after a four-RBI effort on Thursday.
Battle Creek, though, responded right back in the bottom of the first inning off of Rockford starting pitcher Jordan Nelson. The Bombers sent eight batters to the plate, and Jorge Gutierrez picked up his first RBI as a member of Battle Creek in a four-run frame to give Mike Ruppenthal’s squad a 4-2 lead.
The offense continued from there, as each team put up one run in the second inning. Rockford cut the deficit a bit in the third inning as well, scoring one more. In the fifth inning, the Rivets broke through to retake the lead. RBI groundouts from Tom Josten and Nick Juaire gave Rockford a 6-5 advantage. While Pablo Arevalo was on the mound for the plays, both runs were attributed to Hibbitts.
In the bottom half of the fifth, Battle Creek’s bats erupted. Three RBI singles, including a second from Gutierrez, combined with two sacrifice flies marked a five-run Bomber inning to give Battle Creek a 10-6 lead.
Rockford would score two more runs in the top of the sixth inning off of Arevalo to cut the lead to 10-8. Friday was Arevalo’s final outing of the season for Battle Creek, and the clubhouse and fan favorite was met with an emotion reception from his teammates as he left the mound for the last time in 2019.
Battle Creek would add three more runs in the bottom of the seventh for good measure, and left-handed reliever Beaux Bonvillain shut the door for Battle Creek to secure the victory on a festive night at C.O. Brown Stadium. Battle Creek returns to action on Saturday as they hit the road to face the Kokomo Jackrabbits at Kokomo Municipal Stadium at 7:05.
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