WAUSAU (Press Release) - Marred by defensive mishaps and an early rally by the visiting Battle Creek Bombers, the Wisconsin Woodchucks dropped game two of a three game set Tuesday night, 7—3, in front of 1,586 Athletic Park fans.
The Bombers scored five runs in the first four innings of play, creating an insurmountable lead for a Woodchucks team that rested three of their top offensive players — Carlos Escobar, Mike Gerber and Kyle DeMerritt — as first-half play gets set to close on Wednesday.
Woodchuck starter Jordan Luvisi struggled in the early going, allowing the Bombers to score in the first, third, and fourth innings.
Jordan Dean led off the game with a double, advanced to second as Jimmy Martinez grounded out, and gave Battle Creek an early lead as Troy White followed with a sacrifice fly.
After getting through the second inning unscathed — working through two walks and a single — Jimmy Martinez singled, advanced to third on a hit-and-run, and scored on a sacrifice hit to centerfield.
Down 2—0 headed to the third, the ‘Chucks would tie up the game off Battle Creek starter Matt Dearden, as Danny Susdorf hit a one-out single, and Garrett Yrigoyen and Cody Regis followed with back-to-back doubles.
Battle Creek took back the lead immediately, however, as leadoff hitter Daniel Rockett smacked a leadoff homerun in the fourth. Bryce Redeker continued with a double, advancing to third on a grounder, and scoring as Garrett Yrigoyen committed the ‘Chucks first fielding error on the night. Rhett Goodmiller — who reached on the error — stole second base, and scored as Robbie De La Cruz committed the Woodchucks' second error of the inning on a dropped throw, making the score 5—2 Bombers.
Working through the fifth inning one-two-three, Luvisi allowed a one-out hit to Dan Dispensa in the sixth, before he'd field an attempted sacrifice bunt in the following at-bat, and hit the runner Rhett Goodmiller in the back on his way to first — allowing Dispensa to advance to third. The next Bombers hitter, Jordan Dean, went on to hit the third Battle Creek sacrifice fly of the night, increasing the lead to four.
After walking the next hitter, Luvisi was lifted in favor of Justin Burns, who ended the inning in the next at-bat.
Luvisi finished the night with seven hits and three walks allowed, striking out four, and allowing six runs in five-and-two-thirds innings of work. Two runs, however, went unearned, as three errors contributed to two Battle Creek scoring plays.
Facing a four-run deficit, the ‘Chucks went on a two-out rally to chase Bombers' starter Dearden in their own half of the sixth. After two strikeouts to begin the inning, Tyler Heineman was hit by a pitch, as Robbie De La Cruz and Brian Carroll followed with consecutive walks, prompting Alex Tukey to replace Dearden on the mound. Danny Susdorf came to bat with the bases loaded, and delivered an RBI single to left field, trimming the Bombers' lead to three. Garrett Yrigoyen put a charge into the 1-2 pitch in the following at-bat, Dan Dispensa, however, charged in to make the catch in right field to end the Woodchucks' threat.
Dearden also went 5.2 innings, allowing three runs off seven hits and four walks, while striking out four and improving to 5—2 on the season.
While the Bombers would add one more run in the ninth, relievers Justin Burns and Alex Tukey fared well for their respective clubs, allowing little activity on the base paths for their opposition.
The Woodchucks were never able to score after their sixth-inning rally was thwarted early, as they ended with three runs scored off nine hits.
Jordan Luvisi fell to 0—5 for the ‘Chucks, while Alex Tukey notched the three-and-one-third inning save — his second of the season.
While allowing seven runs and 10 hits, the Woodchucks committed five errors on the night, bringing the season total to 62 errors in 32 games.
With the Madison Mallards and Eau Claire Express in extra innings Tuesday night, the Bombers still have hope of clinching the first half with two Mallards losses and a victory over the ‘Chucks Wednesday.
Jonathon Boersma, a former temporary player who was re-activated Tuesday, will take the mound for the ‘Chucks in the first-half finale Wednesday, taking on the Bombers' Troy Forton.
Courtesy: Woodchucks Press Release