10 in the Ninth Completes Impossible Dock Spiders Comeback

FOND DU LAC, WI – When the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders entered the bottom of the ninth inning down 11-2 against the Battle Creek Battle Jacks, the last thing anyone expected was a 10-run, 13-batter, record-tying performance, but when Bennett Thompson (Oregon) lined a double to the wall to score Nolan Tichy (UMass), the improbable became a reality in a 12-11 Dock Spiders win at Herr-Baker Field on Monday night.

Per Matt Menzl, the comeback tied the Northwoods League record for the largest comeback in a nine-inning game, set on June 30, 2018, when the Kenosha Kingfish scored 10 in the top of the ninth to beat the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.

With the win, the Dock Spiders improved to 33-27 overall, and 14-12 in the second half. The Battle Jacks fell to 28-32 with the loss, 10-14 in the second half.

The night started as a pitcher’s duel, with Dock Spiders starter Jake Kampf (Heartland) allowing one run on three hits over the first three innings. In the bottom half of the inning, Nick Mitchell (Western Illinois) launched a solo home run to right to tie the game at one and tie Chandler Simpson’s single-season franchise record with 77 hits.

In the fourth, the Battle Jacks would explode for five runs on three hits, including a two-RBI fielder’s choice from Raymond Hilbrich (Purdue Northwest). The Dock Spiders would get a run back in the fifth when Evan Smith (West Virginia) laced a double to the wall to make it 6-2.

The ninth inning started with five runs from the Battle Jacks to extend their lead to 11-2. Three hits and three errors would mark the inning, including an RBI single from Joey Grabanski (Concordia University of Nebraska).

The bottom half of the inning started with a walk and two hit batters before Bennett Thompson drove home one with a single and another would score on an error on the same play to make it 11-4. A walk would load the bases before Daylen Reyes (UCLA) drove home two more with a single to center to make it 11-7. Andrew Sojka (CSUN) lined another single to left to make it 11-8, and Branden Comia (Illinois) sent a single to right to score two to cut the deficit to one. Nolan Tichy would be next up, lining a single to center to tie it up. Thompson would then play hero with a double to the wall in right to win it.

Gage Smith (1-0, Milwaukee Area Technical College) got the win after pitching two-thirds of an inning in the ninth, and Riley Mertl (0-1, IUPUC) took the loss. Both teams will take tomorrow off for the Major League Dreams Showcase before they meet on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. for the final game of the season series. Wednesday also marks Weaver’s Birthday, with special appearances from mascots across the area.