Adam McClain (Memphis) delivered a two-out RBI double to score All-Star Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) in the second inning during Monday’s 8-7 loss to the Battle Creek Bombers at C.O. Brown Stadium.
Battle Creek, MI – July 27, 2009. The Battle Creek Bombers scored three runs in the seventh inning on five walks by Mallards relievers Dan Burawa (St. John’s) and Garrett Granitz (Azusa Pacific) to regain the lead and later knock-off the first-place Madison club 8-6 in front of 1,237 fans at C.O. Brown Stadium Monday night.
After Bombers starter James Jones (Louisianna Monroe) struck out the Mallards side to begin the game, Battle Creek’s offense decided to flex its muscle in the bottom half of the first and showed that it would make an effort to supply Jones some support on this muggy evening.
After consecutive singles by the first three Bombers’ batters in Alan Denman (USC Sumter), Mike Murphy (Arizona State), and Chris Lewis (Western Michigan), Mallards starter Jacob Esch (Georgia Tech) continued the inauspicious start by walking Josh Valle (Marshall) to create an early 1-0 deficit. However, that run would be the only score for Battle Creek as Esch was able to get the next three batters out in order to get out of the first inning jam.
The Mallards would tie the game in the top of the second when leadoff man Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) singled to right field and advanced to second on a Troy Channing (St. Mary’s) ground ball putout to first baseman Valle. After a Brashad Johnson (Des Moines Area CC) strikeout, it was up to Adam McClain (Memphis) to deliver the big two-out hit, and he did just that, in stroking a double to left field to score Sabourin and tie the game at one.
Madison’s offense would bust in a big way in the third inning when Jimmy Parque (St. John’s) and John Hicks (Virginia) added back-to-back one out singles and Sabourin clutched-up with a big two-out double to score both after designated hitter Joe Patterson (Texas A&M) had grounded out to the first baseman. The Mallards now led 4-1.
The Mallards’ lead would only last until the bottom of the fifth inning when newest Bomber Larry Perry (USC Beaufort) hit a two-RBI single to left field to score Lewis and Jimmy Tanner (USC Upstate) who both were on base due to singles. Parker Berberet (Cypress College) added a two-out single to left field to score Joe Van Meter (Virginia Commonwealth) who was on base with a walk, and tie the game at four.
Madison simply wouldn’t go away quietly as the team added two more runs in the sixth inning after loading the bases when Johnson hit a one-out double that was followed by a McClain walk. After a flyout by second baseman JR Graham (Santa Clara), Chris Barker (MATC) was plunked to put three “ducks on the pond.” Up came centerfielder Jimmy Parque (St. John’s), who on this night was subbing for the injured All-Star Kurtis Muller (Iowa) who took a pitch off his calf on Sunday and wasn’t available, and he grounded to Bombers’ shortstop Murphy who proceeded to throw the ball away to allow two Mallards to score and regain the lead, 6-4.
In the bottom half of the sixth inning the Bombers would cut their deficit in half on a double by Valle to score Lewis, who had just recorded his third hit of the game. Lewis came into the night with the Northwoods League’s second best batting average at .338 and finished ten points higher at .348. The Mallards now led 6-5.
That score would remain the same until the bottom of the seventh when the Mallards bullpen imploded and allowed the Bombers to score three runs to regain the lead. Van Meter led off the inning with a single to left field that was followed by a walk to Perry. Berberet then followed with a walk of his own to load the bases in front of center fielder Craig Denman. Mallards reliever then threw a wild pitch that allowed Van Meter to score and another throwing error brought Perry home to give Battle Creek a 7-6 lead. Still at-bat, Denman then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Berberet and extend their lead to 8-6. In all, between relievers Burawa and Granitz, who came in second, they walked five Bombers’ hitters during that don’t-try-this-at-home seventh inning.
The Mallards would need to mount a rally in the ninth inning to at least send the game into extra frames and almost did so when Barker led off the frame with a single and two batters later, Hicks added another to put two men on. After a Patterson putout, the hot-hitting Sabourin smacked an RBI single to right field to score Barker and bring the Mallards within a run. However, Bombers’ closer R.J. Hively (Cal State Fullerton) would shut the door and record his 11th save of the season by getting Channing to strike out swinging.
Burawa picked up his second loss (1-2) of the season after allowing three earned runs in only 0.2 innings of work. Meanwhile, Bombers’ reliever Atlee Pearson (Erskine College) received his first win of the season (1-2) after throwing 2.1 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.65.
Battle Creek is now 2 games back of Madison with 13 games left in the second half of the season.
The Mallards and Bombers will do battle once again on Tuesday in a 6:05 p.m. affair at C.O. Brown Stadium. Madison then returns home for a brief two-game series versus the playoff-hopeful La Crosse Loggers on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday will feature the fifth and final bobblehead giveaway, this time the Maynard Pitching Bobblehead presented by Schoep’s Ice Cream and WKOW-TV. The first 1,000 fans to arrive will receive this collector’s item.
On Thursday, the first 1,000 kids, 14 and under will receive a Physicians Plus Tin Lunch Box and the first 1,000 fans of all ages will receive a Yo-Yo courtesy of Holiday Inn at the American Center.
Plenty of great seats are still available for both dates and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling the box office at 608.246.4277 today.