Bombers Beat – On to the Second Half
The Battle Creek Bombers had a tough stretch to wind down the first half, with two doubleheaders scheduled against one of the teams in the race for the division title. With a chance themselves to keep pace, they would need a few wins themselves after a 2-4 week.
Here's a look at the busy week for the Bomb Squad with the Northwoods League postseason future hanging in the balance for the first half -
Monday, June 24th - Off Day
It was a Northwoods League-wide day off, as the teams prepped for the final week of the first half. It is just one of two league-wide off days during the summer outside of the All-Star Break.
Tuesday, June 25th - Rockford 9, (at) Battle Creek 2 - Game 1
It has been a common theme for the Bombers, as the bullpen squandered the 2-1 seventh inning lead by allowing eight runs in the final two innings. Josh Sears (Freed Hardeman) had two hits and drove in a run in the loss, with the other RBI from Rhett McCall (Lamar). Walter Talcott (Earlham College) came in on spot relief, allowing four runs in his final inning of four to take the loss on the mound.
Tuesday, June 25th - (at) Battle Creek 3, Rockford 1 - Game 2
In the shortened second game the Bombers managed just three hits, with two from Kolby Johnson (Central Arkansas) from the lead-off spot. He also knocked in a run in his 2-for-2 nightcap. Coloma native Calvin Starnes (Northwest Florida State) allowed the lone run in 5 1/3 innings to get his first win on the season. Beaux Bonvillain (Central Oklahoma) struck out the lone batter he faced to get his second save on the year.
Wednesday, June 26th - Rockford 3, (at) Battle Creek 1 - 10 innings
The woes for the week continued at the plate for the Bomb Squad with just four hits on the night. Jack Merrifield (LSU-Eunice) punched in a run in the first for BC. The Bombers defense struggled as well with four errors on the night. Jordan Rhodes (McDaniel College) allowed both runs in the extra period to take the loss.
Thursday, June 27th - (at) Traverse City 12, Battle Creek 4
The hits just kept coming, but it wasn't for the Bombers, allowing 19 hits to the Pit Spitters on the road. Johnson, Merrfield and John Malcom (Vanderbilt) each had two hits, with Kelby Weyler (Lamar) driving in a run from his new spot in the lineup in the five hole. Josh Hranicky (Lamar) got touched up for seven runs in five innings to fall to 1-4 on the season.
Friday, June 28th - (at) Traverse City 14, Battle Creek 4
After a 3-0 lead through two innings the Bombers couldn't hold the lead. The Spitters put it out of reach with a nine-run seventh inning. Malcom would drive in all three runs, including two on his second homer of the season. Sears would also have two hits. Amani Godfrey (Saginaw Valley State) allowed five runs in his four inning start, dropping to 1-2 on the season.
Saturday, June 29th - (at) Rockford 6, Battle Creek 5 - Game 1
The Bombers made the long bus ride from Traverse City to Rockford for their weekend series. It was a 4-3 Bombers lead through three innings, but they couldn't finish the job. Bonvillain had to return to the mound in the continuation, eventually allowing four runs to take the loss. Roy Thurman (Akron) went 3-for-4 with his team-leading third homer in the defeat.
Saturday, June 29th - (at) Rockford 2, Battle Creek 1 - Game 2
The error bug returned for the Bombers in the seven-inning nightcap with four errors for the second time in a week. Erik Owen (Tyler Junior College) had two of the Bomb Squad's four hits. Lyle Hibbetts (Tyler Junior College) shined on the mound in a tough luck loss with a complete game, allowing two unearned runs on four hits with six strikeouts.
Sunday, June 30th - Battle Creek 7, (at) Rockford 3
The Bombers were able to salvage one game on the weekend, thanks to a five-run fifth that would stand to be the cushion to end their five-game skid. Malcom drove in four runs on the afternoon as four players had two hits each. Johnson and Collin Clayton (Missouri State) also knocked in a run each. Talcott picked up the win on the mound, allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings to move to 2-2 on the season.
The Northwoods League second half begins this week, with the chase for the second playoff spot in the Great Lakes North Division up for grabs. Here are the final standings from the first half, with the Pit Spitters earning the first half title.
|Great Lakes Conference-East Division||Win||Loss||Percentage||Games Back||Streak||Last 10|
|Traverse City Pit Spitters||21||13||.618||-||9W||9-1|
|Battle Creek Bombers||13||20||.394||7.5||1W||2-8|
- John Malcom had an impressive week driving in seven runs, good for seventh-most in the Northwoods during the week. he leads the Bomb Squad with 18 RBI on the year.
- Josh Sears is ninth in the NL in hitting at .346 in 25 games with the Bombers. He also leads the club in several offensive catagories, including slugging (.494) and on-base (.455) percentages.
- Ty Shoaff (Notre Dame College) is fourth in the league in strikeouts with 34 on the season, just two away from the league lead of 36 K's. Unfortunately he also has 20 walks, which is tied for 11th most in the league. Teammate Josh Hranicky leads the team with 23 base on balls, tied for fourth most.
- Through one half of play, the Bombers are next-to-last in team hitting at .221, 11 points better than the Green Bay Booyah in the category. The Bombers pitching staff took their lumps this week, falling to 13th out of 22 teams in ERA at 4.31, tied with the St. Cloud Rox.
- The Bombers only have 16 regular season games remaining at C.O. Brown Stadium this season. In the second half, they have three road trips that last seven days. Their first one begins this week with a doubleheader in Kalamazoo with the Growlers. It is an eight-game, seven-day trip through Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Mequon, Wisconsin (Lakeshore Chinooks), and Kokomo. The total travel distance is 1,120 miles.
The Upcoming Week - Home games in Bold
Monday, July 1st - Bombers vs. Traverse City - 7:05pm
Tuesday, July 2nd - Bombers vs. Traverse City - 7:05pm
Wednesday, July 3rd - Bombers vs. Kalamazoo - 7:05pm (Friends & Family Night/ Fireworks)
Thursday, July 4th - Bombers at Kalamazoo (DH) - 1:05pm/ 7:05pm
Friday, July 5th - Bombers at Traverse City - 7:05pm
Saturday, July 6th - Bombers at Traverse City - 7:05pm
Sunday, June 7th - Bombers at Lakeshore - 2:35pm