Traverse City Pit Spitters lose 7-1 to Kenosha Kingfish, dropping two straight at home

Jun. 7—TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Pit Spitters are on the verge of a streak they'd rather not continue.

The offense has struggled slightly as the Spitters closed out the two-game series with the Lakeshore Chinooks with eight combined hits. In their 7-1 loss to the Kenosha Kingfish (6-5) on Friday, they put six hits in play in front of a packed Turtle Creek Stadium.

"We've seen a couple of good arms back-to-back nights, and we've had trouble adjusting," Pit Spitters field manager Josh Rebandt said. "We've seen more velocity, so parts of it is timing and pitch selection."

The loss drops the Spitters (7-4) a half-game behind the Rockford Rivets (7-3) and tie the Battle Creek Battle Jacks (7-4) for second place in the Great Lakes East Division, with one home game remaining against the Kingfish on Saturday before traveling to Battle Creek for a two-game set.

Righthander Aaron Forrest (0-2, 4.09 ERA) served gas against Kenosha and made it difficult for the Kingfish to muster any runs until the top of the sixth inning.

"Forrest is a gamer. He does a nice job and throws four pitches for strikes," Rebandt said. "His composure out there is so good, and he's been in these moments for us. That's something that our younger pitchers can look at and say, 'That's how calm I want to be when I'm on the mound and it's a 0-0 game.'"

DJ Ghiorso singled to right field and stole second to set up Noah Jouras for an RBI double to center field for the 1-0 Kenosha lead. Karter Wong's one-out sacrifice fly to center field brought the score to 2-0, ending Forrest's night.

Before the Kingfish took the lead, Forrest allowed no hits through 4.3 innings. The Arizona native kept the ball in the infield, and occasionally the outfielders would have to track the ball to the warning track. He finished the night allowing three hits while striking out two and walking three on 91 pitches.

Collin Bradley came on in relief in the seventh and gave up a one-out sac fly to extend the Kingfish lead to 3-0. Jake Brown gave up four runs in the ninth to make it 7-0, giving the Spitters little hope of putting together a comeback despite scoring a run in the bottom half of the ninth.

The Pit Spitters had a chance to get on the board in the bottom half of the sixth after Brandon Chang and Brody Capps were hit by pitches with two outs to set up Carter Hain to be a hero. But Hain went down swinging on a 1-2 count to end the threat.

"We're just a little bit of a funk right now, but practicing it and getting the game reps right now, that's where we are going to get good," Rebandt said.

Kenosha's Hudson Calhoun (2-0, 0.00 ERA) made the Spitters' night at the plate miserable for six innings. Calhoun wiped out 10 batters while allowing two hits and walking one on 91 pitches thrown.

Kenosha reliever Augie Mojica allowed a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh but escaped the mild threat by striking out Michael Tchavdarov. He also gave up a single to Piasecki in the eighth, but Chang went down swinging and Brody Capps followed that with a groundout.

Jagger Neely (1-0, 2.25 ERA) takes the mound for Traverse City on Saturday in their final home series against the Kingfish. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.