WAUSAU (Press Release) - Robbie De La Cruz hit a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning to trim the Battle Creek Bombers' lead to one, but the Wisconsin Woodchucks were unable to complete the comeback from an 8—1 deficit, falling 8—7 Wednesday for their seventh consecutive loss.
Both starting pitchers fared well in the early going, each allowing only one run up until the fifth inning, where the Bombers broke through off ‘Chucks starter Adair Robles for five runs. The Bombers added two off reliever Gabe Feldman in the next inning to build a seven run lead, before the ‘Chucks chipped away with two in the sixth, and De La Cruz' grand slam in the seventh.
Kristian Calibusio shut the door for the Bombers, ending the ‘Chucks threat in the eighth and notching his tenth save of the season.
Battle Creek scored eight off eight hits and one ‘Chucks error, while Wisconsin scored seven off seven and three Bombers errors.
Battle Creek stuck first, taking one run off ‘Chucks starter Adair Robles in the third inning on two consecutive doubles by Jimmy Martinez and Troy White.
A very odd sequence occurred in the bottom of the fourth inning, as leadoff hitter Brian Carroll started the inning with a groundout. While Carroll stepped on the bag, however, first baseman Ryne Otis appeared to roll his ankle – prompting three defensive changes for the Bombers. After Carlos Escobar singled, subsequent errors were committed at two of the positions that received new defenders following the injury, loading the bases.
Nick Frey then relinquished an unearned run to tie game back up, walking Matt Guida with two outs for his first Northwoods League RBI.
Robles continued to impress in his second start at Athletic Park, until the flood gates opened in the fifth inning.
After a leadoff double was allowed to Jordan Dean, two runners walked and Daniel Rockett reached on a run-scoring fielder's choice, prior to Bryce Redeker's sac fly to centerfield. Brett Wiley hit a single to score another runner, before Dan Dispensa made it four with his own single. Rhett Goodmiller proceeded to hit a grounder to shortstop, which was misplayed by Garrett Yrigoyen – allowing the fifth run of the inning to score.
Gabe Feldman relieved Robles to start the sixth inning, and allowed a walk and a hit batter to score off a later sac fly and groundout.
Chad Jasman, holding an 8—1 lead, came on to relieve Frey in the sixth inning, ending Frey's night with two hits, three walks and one unearned run allowed, striking out six through five innings.
Jasman proceeded to allow two Woodchucks' runs on a leadoff walk, botched fielder's choice, another walk, and two singles.
Down 8—3, Carlos Escobar and Austin Coleman started the seventh inning with a single and a double off new pitcher Alex Tukey, before Tukey recovered and struck out the next two batters looking. With runners on second and third base, Matt Guida worked a two-out walk, setting the stage for Robbie De La Cruz to smash a grand slam and put the ‘Chucks behind by one.
Brock Heerdt got the call in the eighth, and proceeded to put the Bombers down in order over the final two innings, giving the ‘Chucks a one run deficit to makeup in the bottom of the ninth.
Kristian Calibuso, however, put down the ‘Chucks and recorded his tenth save of the season – pitching the final five outs while facing the minimum.
Nick Frey took the win, improving to 4—0, while Adair Robles fell to 0—2.
The Woodchucks will play host to Madison Wednesday, as Justin Burns takes the mound for the ‘Chucks regular season home finale at Athletic Park.
Courtesy: Woodchucks Press Release