By: Ari Ross, Broadcaster
The Battle Creek Bombers left 18 runners on base as they fell to the Kalamazoo Growlers, 5-3 in the first game of their home-and-home doubleheader against Kalamazoo.
The Growlers struck first in the third against Austin Bueter, making his first start of the year for the Battle Creek Bombers. After giving up a leadoff single to Tre Gnatt, Bueter got the next two batters out before giving up a two-out single to Dan Robinson, giving the Growlers a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third the Bombers would threaten, loading the bases with two outs, but the Bombers would leave them loaded, one of three times Battle Creek left the bases loaded.
Bueter would give up another run in the fifth after singles by Gantt and Camden Duzenack, and would be relieved by Nigel Ward who would who would get out of the inning with the Growlers leading by 2.
But the Growlers would again threaten and score in the sixth against Ward, scoring two runs on two hits in the inning, to give the Growlers a 4-0 lead. David Hensley hit a two-out double for the Growlers, coming around to score on a passed ball. T.J. Merick, who reached on a dropped third strike, would come around to score on Connor Kopack's RBI single.
The Growlers would tack on another run in the eighth, as Kopack would come around to score on a single by Duzenack and an error by Daniel Patzlaff.
In the bottom of the ninth the Bombers would threaten against Hayden Brauser as they would load the bases for the fourth time on the afternoon. Christian Helsel led off the inning with a double, and would advance to third on Kevin Dupree's single. After Nick Podkul walked to load the bases, an error by Growlers' SS Connor Kopack allowed two runs to score.
After the Bombers grounded into two fielders choices, Ryan Dorow reached on an infield single to score Dean Miller, making it a 5-3 ballgame.
But that would be all they could muster as after Patzlaff was hit by a pitch, Daniel Jipping grounded out with the bases loaded, ending the Bombers ninth inning rally, as the Growlers took game one, 5-3.
Bueter took the loss for the Battle Creek Bombers, dropping to 0-1 on the year, while Devin Pellien picked up the win for the Growlers, his second on the season.
With the loss, the Bombers now lead the I-94 Crosstown rivalry series, presented by the OnStaff Group, 3 game to 2, and drop to 10-11, below .500 for the first time this season since they last played the Growlers on June 4.
The Bombers are back in action Monday night at 7:05 pm as they take on the Kalamazoo Growlers in game two of their home-and-home doubleheader at Homer Stryker Field.