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Scheduling change pushes Battle Creek Bombers home-opener to July 17

Bombers practice at C.O. Brown Stadium.jpg
Battle Creek Bombers hold practice at C.O. Brown Stadium. (WWMT/Luke Edwards)

Battle Creek won't see baseball at C.O. Brown Stadium for the first two weeks of the season.

The Bombers were originally scheduled to open the season July 2 at home, but a scheduling change has them playing their first nine games in Kalamazoo. The new home-opener at C.O. Brown Stadium is scheduled for Friday, July 17, 2020, against the Kalamazoo Growlers.

The season was delayed amid the state orders to stop all large gatherings as coronavirus disease 2019 began to spread in Michigan. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered an end to all large, public gatherings to curb the infection rate of the diseases, which has a fatality rate of almost 10 percent in Michigan.

Bombers Manager Mike Ruppenthal said it doesn't matter what field the team will be playing on, the guys are ready to go.

"We're just happy to be out here. We don't care if we're playing in Kalamazoo or if we're playing here at home. We're just going to out and play clean baseball and win baseball games this summer; and follow the guidelines that have been set for us," Ruppenthal said.

Bombers third-baseman Josh Swinehart doesn't have to travel far from home. He played high school baseball for Mattawan High School before playing a shortened freshman season at Western Michigan University.

"It's awesome to hop in the car and drive 30 minutes to play here. I get to play against some of the guys I know. So, it's nice being able to stay at home and being able to play every day," Swinehart said.

Bombers catcher Jimmy Wressel is a 2018 graduate of Paw Paw High School and after three months off he is ready to get back behind the dish.

"I'm ready. As soon as coach Ruppenthal said we have a spot for me, I took it right away," Wressel said. "I just want to get back on the field. It was a long three months, but I put in a lot of work and hopefully it pays off during the season."

The Bombers will have 16 home games at C.O. Brown Stadium. The rest of their 2020 schedule will be played in Kalamazoo against the Growlers and Mac Daddies.

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