Battle Creek, Mich. – Saturday night, a Wisconsin Woodchucks (19-28; 4-8) pitcher turned in one of the team’s best starts of the year. Sunday afternoon, the pitching staff struggled mightily, combining for 12 walks allowed, 15 hits allowed, and a season-high 20 runs allowed in a 20-3 beatdown by the Battle Creek Bombers (27-20; 7-5).
The Chucks actually struck first at C.O. Brown Stadium. Ivan Nunez was hit by a pitch and Hunter Coleman smacked a ground ball right to third baseman Alec Trela, but he threw it away, allowing Coleman to get to second and Nunez to score. Yeager Taylor then stepped in and drove in Coleman with a single to right to give Wisconsin a 2-0 lead.
It would not last long. Thanks to six Wisconsin walks and two hits batsmen, Battle Creek struck for six runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by a two-run double from Trela, atoning for his mistakes in the top half of the frame.
Jake Gross threw a scoreless second in his first full inning as a Woodchuck, but the Bombers quickly got back to it in the fifth. Another walk and two singles loaded the bases, and Nick Walker drew a bases loaded walk to force one run in before Justin Felix cleared them all with a grand slam, the third surrendered by the Woodchucks this year.
The Bombers didn’t stop there. They put up six more in the fourth thanks to four more walks and a two-run double from Alex Howard. Howard then struck again with a solo shot that went just inside the foul pole down the left-field line to make it 18-2.
The Woodchucks finally stopped the bleeding somewhat in the sixth. Coleman led off with a single and Adonis Lao followed with one of his own before Brady Lindsly singled to bring Coleman home. They got two baserunners in the seventh courtesy of hits by James Davison and Tristan Clarke, but they would not score again. Battle Creek did, however, as Felix drove in two more with a double in the seventh for a six RBI day to cap off the Bomber scoring in a 20-3 rout.
The Woodchucks have the next three days off for the 2017 All-Star Game. Wisconsin’s Stevie Mangrum and Orsen Josephina will lead the South Division against the North Division at 7:05 PM on Tuesday, after Mangrum struts his stuff in the home run derby earlier that day at 5:05.