Bombers Beat – Long Losing Skid, Four Home Games Remain
The second of three long road trips began during the week, and one more follows in the final week of the season. It became a much tougher week with a lot of tough losses during the week, with several against the Battle Creek Bombers arch enemy just down the highway.
It was an exciting start to the week, along with a great Day Camp to get the Bomb Squad started, leading up to the start of the road trip. Here is a look at the past week's action --
Monday, July 22nd - (at) Battle Creek 13, Kenosha 12 - 11 innings
The Bombers were down 11-0 to the Kingfish through the first four innings. They would come back with help of a seven-run seventh inning and two more in the ninth to tie at 11 apiece. Both squads would score in the 10th, which was followed by a walk-off single in the 11th from Josh Sheck (California-Irvine) to pick up the win. John Malcom (Vanderbilt) drove in three runs and Trace Peterson (Lake Erie College) had three hits in the win. After Keith Carpenter (Maryland Eastern Shore) allowed the first 11 runs, the Bomb Squad bullpen stepped up big. Beaux Bonvillain (Central Oklahoma) tossed the final 1 1/3 innings to tally the win, moving to 2-2.
Tuesday, July 23rd - Kenosha 9, (at) Battle Creek 2
It was Day Camp day with an early turnaround following an almost four-hour affair the night before. The Kingfish jumped on Battle Creek quickly with eight runs in the first four innings. John Malcom and Trace Peterson were credited for the RBIs on the day, with Josh Sears (Freed Hardeman) providing two of the Bomb Squad's seven hits. Blaine Parker (Panola College) stepped in for the start and was roughed up, allowing six runs in 2 1/3 innings to take the loss in his second appearance for the Bombers. The Day Camp paid attendance was the third largest crowd for the Bombers this season (1,255).
Wednesday, July 24th - (at) Kalamazoo 11, Battle Creek 8 - Game 1
It was an offensive display between the two I-94 rivals with a combined 29 hits. The Growlers would eventually pull away in the back-and-forth battle with a seven-run fourth inning. Josh Sears provided three RBi on the day, with John Malcom and Caleb Balgaard (Iowa Western) each knocking in two runs. Nick Klee (Northampton Community College) was rocked for the first time in three appearances, allowing nine runs on 10 hits in three innings to take the loss on the mound.
Wednesday, July 24th - Kalamazoo 10, (at) Battle Creek 8 - Game 2
While the bats cooled off in the nightcap, the Bombers and Growlers provided two large innings with Kalamazoo earning the twinbill sweep. The Growlers scored seven runs in the fifth inning to break open an 8-3 lead. The Bomb Squad put together five runs in the seventh to tie the game, only to allow the winning runs in the eighth. Anthony Catalano (North Iowa Area CC) went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs for the Bombers, part of four total hits in the doubleheader in his first day with the club. Mitchell Lee (Lamar) suffered the loss, allowing the winning runs in the tail end of his 2 1/3 innings of relief, falling to 1-4 on the year.
Thursday, July 25th - (at) Kenosha 5, Battle Creek 0
The Bombers losing skid stretched to four games as the bats were quieted to just four hits. Walter Talcott (Earlham College) struck out seven on the night, but allowed four runs in five innings to drop his record to 2-5.
Friday, July 26th - (at) Kenosha 10, Battle Creek 7
The Bombers scored two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, taking a 6-4 lead over the Kingfish. Kenosha would storm back with six runs in the seventh to take the lead for good. John Malcom went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Jorge Gutierrez (Lamar) had three hits, along with Seth Tucker (Hendrix College) in his Bomber debut. Jordan Rhodes (McDaniel College) allowed seven runs in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss, falling to 1-5 on the season.
Saturday, July 27th - (at) Kalamazoo 10, Batle Creek 9
The two I-94 rivals battled in another back-and-forth battle, with the Growlers taking the late lead and holding on. Caleb Balgaard lead the 12-hit charge with three hits on the night, including a solo shot in the first and his second homer of the season. The Bombers capitalized on six Kalamazoo errors, but couldn't tie the game with their last run in the eighth, trailing 10-8 at the time. Luke Dawson (Bentley University) took the tough luck loss in relief, allowing the winning run in 1 1/3 innings of relief in his debut for the Bomb Squad.
Sunday, July 28th - (at) Kalamazoo 8, Battle Creek 3
The Bombers dropped their seventh straight and their sixth in a row to the Growlers in the final game between the rivals this season. Cooper Trinkle (John A. Logan College) had an impressive debut weekend for the Bomb Squad, with two hits (three on the weekend) and his first homer of the season. Caleb Balgaard and Kolby Johnson (Central Arkansas) each knocked in a run. Blaine Parker suffered his second loss of the week, giving up six runs in his four-inning start to take the defeat on the mound.
The Bombers only have 15 games remaining on their schedule and just four of them at C.O. Brown Stadium. The losing streak put an end to the playoff hopes, and they will look to play spoiler in the Great Lakes East race. Just two weeks remain in the regular season, and the expansion Traverse City Pit Spitters are looking to run away with the second half title after taking the first half.
- The Major League Dreams Showcase is a little more than a week away for the Northwoods League, with a pair of games scheduled for Tuesday, August 6th in Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin, home of the Madison Mallards. The Bombers have just one player selected to play, with John Malcom as the lone representative for the club. The freshman from Vanderbilt is batting .285 in 53 contests for the Bombers, leading the team in RBI with 32. He will be playing in the 8:35pm contest. Malcom won't have to go far to the game, as the Bombers will already be in Madison for a pair of games on August 5th and 7th. For the complete rosters, click here.
- Caleb Balgaard has been impressive since joining the Bombers after the All-Star Break. In just 17 games, Balgaard holds a .375 average with two homers and 16 RBI (fifth best on the team). He also gets on base, with a .450 on-base percentage (fourth-best for BC) and is second on the team in hit by pitch with six.
- Many of the players that started on the roster in May have gone home for the season. It is much more significant with two weeks remaining. Just six players have stayed in the Cereal City towards the end of the season. The lone pitchers from the beginning of the year are Beaux Bonvillain, Ping-Chun Ho (Barry College), Walter Talcott and Jordan Rhodes. Only three players - Kolby Johnson, Josh Sears and John Malcom have played all season in Battle Creek among the remaining roster
- The Bombers overall record this season sits at 20-40, which is currently the second-worst overall record in the Northwoods. The Bombers have the worst record the Great Lakes Conference, five games behind the Kokomo Jackrabbits. A majority of the Bombers schedule is set against Great Lakes West foes in the Madison Mallards and the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders. Remaining games within the division are four with the Kenosha Kingfish (two home, two away) and a pair on the road against the Rockford Rivets.
The Upcoming Week - Home games in Bold
Monday, July 29th - Off Day
Tuesday, July 30th - Bombers at Rockford - 7:35pm
Wednesday, July 31st - Bombers at Rockford - 7:35pm
Thursday, August 1st - Madison at Bombers - 7:05pm (Thirsty Thursday)
Friday, August 2nd - Madison at Bombers - 7:05pm (Friends and Family Night)
Saturday, August 3rd - Kenosha at Bombers - 7:05pm (Ballpark Food Drive, Tyler's Amazing Balancing Act)
Sunday, August 4th - Kenosha at Bombers - 1:05pm