Battle Creek Bombers 2020 Schedule Announced
(Photo - Nathan Adams)
The Battle Creek Bombers will embark on their 14th season in the Northwoods League with 72-game schedule beginning May 26th.
The Northwoods League announced the 2020 schedule on November 20th, ahead of their 27th season of summer collegiate baseball. The NL is one of the most recognized summer collegiate leagues in the nation, along with the Cape Cod League and the Coastal Plain League. It is also the largest league in the nation by number of teams (22) and in mileage.
The teams will once again play a 72-game schedule with 36 games equally set aside for home and away. For the second straight season, the league will be split between the Great Lakes and Great Plains divisions. The Great Lakes will once again have 12 teams split evenenly by region into East and West sub-divisions. The Bombers will be in the East will their long-time rival Kalamazoo Growlers, defending Northwoods League champion Traverse City Pit Spitters, the Kokomo (IN) Jackrabbits, Rockford (IL) Rivets and the Kenosha (WI) Kingfish.
This year's schedule will be slightly different. Last year, the Bombers played the other five teams in their division in 12 games (six home, six away). They then played four games with three teams in the West with a pair of two-game series home and away.
This year's schedule limits in-division match-ups and expands travel to the West. The Bombers will play the other five teams in eight contests (four home, four away). They will also play eight games (four home and away) each with four teams from the West.
Another change are the home games for the Bombers taking place earlier. The long-time first pitch of weekday evening and Saturday night games have been push forward to start at 6:35pm instead of 7:05pm. According to Bombers General Manager Tyler Shore, the change was made to keep fans with children at the ballpark longer instead of leaving early.
Our fans lives are getting busier and busier. We heard feedback that families were having to leave games early to avoid keeping kids out too late. We believe this change will allow families to stay for the entire game while also getting them home at a decent hour.
There are two weekday day games this season on May 27th and July 16th. Sunday games will stay at 1:05pm.
The Bombers will also do something that hasn't been done since the 2015 season, as Mike Ruppenthal will return to coach the squad. He will be the third coach to return to the Cereal City in multiple seasons behind Brandon Higelin (2012-13) and Robbie Robinson (2014-15). Ruppenthal led the Bombers to a 23-49 record last season.
The Northwoods League All-Star Game will take place July 21st with a home to be announced in December. The Major League Dreams Showcase is August 4th with a site being announced in December as well. It has traditionally been held at Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin.
The playoff format remains the same this year, with the first and second half sub-divisional winners playing in a best-of-three series. The first half ends June 30th. If the same team wins both halves, the best record among the other teams through the whole season will play in the series. Following the sub-divisional series, the champions will play in a one-game Divisional Championship. The Great Lakes and Great Plains winner will then play a one-game League Championship, with the better record between the two winners receiving home field on August 15th.
The Bombers begin the 2020 campaign with their home opener on Tuesday, May 26th with the Traverse City Pit Spitters. The complete schedule can be found by clicking below.