Rockers Outlast Spitters
Traverse City, MI – The Traverse City Pit Spitters lose the Great Lakes Championship game against the Green Bay Rockers, 15-14 in front of 1,451 fans at Turtle Creek Stadium. The Pit Spitters drop to 2-2 in postseason play and are officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Kendal Ewell and Cooper Kelly drew back-to-back walks to lead off the top of the first inning for the Rockers. JoJo Jackson singled to center, scoring Ewell to give the Rockers an early 1-0 lead. Jayson Jones then hit an infield single scoring Kelly extending their lead to 2-0. Andrew Mannelly singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning for the Pit Spitters, followed up by a walk from Colin Summerhill, and a single to left field hit by Evan Orzech. Michael Tchavdarov and Devin Hukill drew back-to-back walks, scoring Mannelly and Summerhill to tie the game at 2-2. Camden Traficante singled to center, scoring Orzech and Tchavdarov to give the Pit Spitters a 4-2 lead. Zach Johnson finished off the rally with a single to center, scoring Hukill to make it 5-2. Zane Zielinski singled, followed by a walk to lead off the top of the second inning. Following Ewell grounding into a fielder’s choice, Kelly singled to center scoring Zielinski and Ewell to cut into the Pit Spitters lead 5-4. Mannelly walked to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Summerhill doubled to left field, scoring Mannelly extending the Pit Spitters lead to 6-4. A single from Orzech and a walk from Cole Prout loaded the bases for the Pit Spitters with no outs. Tchavdarov singled, scoring Summerhill to make it 7-4. Hukill followed with a sacrifice flyout, scoring Orzech pushing the lead to 8-4. Traficante dropped a bunt down, scoring Prout and then was followed up with Tchavdarov scoring on a fielding error by the Rockers third baseman Jayson Jones giving the Pit Spitters a 10-4 lead. Mateo Matthews drew a leadoff walk in the top of the third, followed up with a single to left field from Nainoa Cardinez. Matthews came into score on a Zielinski groundout to second, to make it 10-5. Sam Polk singled to right, scoring Cardinez to cut into the Pit Spitters lead 10-6. The Rockers offense picked back up in the top of the fifth, as Jones singled, Matthews walked, and Cardinez singled to load the bases. Zielinski grounded into a double play, scoring Jones to make the score 10-7. Ewell doubled to right field, scoring Matthews to pull within 10-8. Kelly then came into score on a passed ball caused by Ethan Hyme, pulling within one run to make it 10-9. The bottom of the fifth inning led off with an error caused by Polk allowing Zach Johnson to advance to second. Alec Atkinson then grounded out to third, allowing Johnson to come into score, extending the Pit Spitters lead 11-9. The Rockers offense came alive in the top of the sixth beginning with a Jackson walk, followed up with a Jones single to left. Jackson stole home, making it a one run game at 11-10. Cardinez walked to load the bases, and then was followed up with Zielinski and Polk drawing a walk, scoring Jones and Matthews to take a 12-11 lead. Ewell doubled, clearing the bases, to give the Rockers a 15-11 lead. Orzech led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk, then Tchavdarov singled, followed up by another walk from Hukill to load the bases. Traficante singled to right, scoring Orzech and Tchavdarov, cutting into the Rockers lead 15-13. Atkinson singled to right, scoring Hukill to pull within one, making it 15-14. The Rockers hung onto the one run lead, to win 15-14, clinching a spot in the Summer Collegiate World Series game.
The Pit Spitters drop to 2-2 in postseason play, while the Rockers improve to 3-0 in postseason play, and advance to the Summer Collegiate World Series game. Pit Spitters starting pitcher Josh Lanham threw an inning and a third, giving up four runs on four hits, walking three, and striking out two. Mitch Grannan threw an inning and two thirds of relief, giving up two runs on two hits, walking one. Nico Saldias threw two innings and a third, giving up five runs, on four hits, and walking four, while striking out two. Sawyer Meeuwes didn’t record an out, as he gave up three runs on three walks. Hayden Brown threw the final three and two thirds inning, giving up two hits, a walk, and striking out two.
The Pit Spitters will finish the 2023 season with a 42-30 overall record, and a 2-2 record in postseason play. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. For more information, visit www.pitspitters.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Pit Spitters as your favorite team.
About the Traverse City Pit Spitters: The Traverse City Pit Spitters have been members of the Northwoods League since their inaugural season in 2019. The Pit Spitters have won two Northwoods League Championships and delivered their unique brand of FUN to hundreds of thousands of fans. The Pit Spitters share Managing Partners and principal ownership with the West Michigan Whitecaps, the High A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, based in Comstock Park, Michigan. The team’s home games are played in Traverse City’s favorite multi-purpose outdoor entertainment venue, Turtle Creek Stadium. For more information visit https://northwoodsleague.com/traverse-city-pit-spitters/ or contact Jacqueline Holm at 231-943-0100 Ext. 214/ email JacquelineH@pitspitters.com.
About the Northwoods League: The Traverse City Pit Spitters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 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 325 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. For more information, visit www.pitspitters.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Pit Spitters as your favorite team.