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Bombers Can't Hold on in Defensive Battle

July 15, 2018 - Northwoods League (Northwoods) - Battle Creek Bombers News Release

Battle Creek (23-24) came into the final game of their week-long homestand dead even with a 23-23 record as they took on the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (28-19) for the eighth and final time. The Bombers reached the .500 mark for the fifth time the night before and looked to get over the .500 mark for the first time on the year while trying to tie up the series with Fond du Lac at four games apiece.

One of these teams hit double digits in four of the first seven times the two faced off but the Bomber's Saturday night win and Sunday afternoon game were not like the six games prior. Battle Creek got on the board early after the Dock Spiders starting pitcher Bubba Horton (1-0) hit Jordan Swiss and Caleb Henderson to get two Bombers on base. Connor Bailey came up clutch with an RBI single to get the Bombers a 1-0 lead through the first.

Jordan Rhodes (1-1) got his second start of the season and pitched a brilliant outing for the Bombers. Rhodes went seven innings while only walking one Dock Spiders and only allowing three hits. Rhodes held the Dock Spiders scoreless through seven innings and struck out four while doing so.

The Bombers offense couldn't add any run support in the meantime though as Fond Du Lac used two relief pitchers to only allow two hits and a walk through the seventh inning. The two hits came through a Jalen Thomas single and a Zach Gartner double. Jordan Swiss reached for a second time in the game without a hit as he was walked.

Dillon Sievert shut the door in the eighth for Battle Creek as he faced the minimum three batters, striking out two. Michael Hope pitched the eighth for the Dock Spiders and was equally impressive as he faced the minimum with one strikeout. Sievert, however, didn't have as successful of a second inning as he started off with a walk against Braden Stutzman and a single to Jordan Prendiz. Kiambu Fentress laid down a sacrifice bunt to put both base runners in scoring position and Jacob Adams did the rest with a two-RBI single. The Dock Spiders used just their third and fourth hits of the game to take a lead in the top of the ninth.

Battle Creek had one last shot in the bottom of the ninth which started out with two straight outs. Mike Brown was 0-for-3 on the day with a 0-2 count with two away in the ninth but ripped a single to keep the Bombers hopes alive. His collegiate teammate from Wofford, Alec Cargin, came into pinch hit and he did the same with a single to make it runners on the corners for Battle Creek. Unfortunately, the comeback effort was short-lived as Sam Kippen struck out to end the game and give the Dock Spiders a 2-1 win.

Despite a no-decision effort, the player of the game for the Bombers is the starting pitcher Jordan Rhodes. Rhodes has been lights out for the Bombers as of late after a rocky start to the season. He did everything he could in just his second start as he was nearly perfect over seven innings of play for Battle Creek.

The Bombers now fall back below the .500 mark after they have reached it five times in the last two weeks of play. The team will get a well-deserved league-wide day off on Monday before the Bombers hit the road for a four-game road trip. The Bombers will head to Wausau, Wisconsin to the take on the Wisconsin Woodchucks for the third time this season to start the road trip on Tuesday. Battle Creek is 4-0 against the Woodchucks this season but Wisconsin has been playing their best ball of the season since Battle Creek last saw them. The first pitch for Tuesday night's game is set for 7:35 PM (6:35 CST).

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