The Kalamazoo Growlers (27-15) defeated the Battle Creek Bombers (20-22) at C.O. Brown Stadium for the fourth time on the 2018 season. The Growlers have now won 4-of-5 games in the I-94 rivalry series, but the road team has won every game thus far.
Chase Wheatcroft (2-1) got the start for Battle Creek while Tyler Drabick (1-0) got his first start and appearance for the Growlers.
Both pitchers got through the first with zeros on the scoreboard. The Bombers found the scoreboard first in the second inning that got underway with a Riley Tirotta double. Roman Trujillo advanced Tirotta to third on a single to give Battle Creek runners on the corners. The Bombers didn’t even need an at bat to score the run after Drabick was called for a balk to make it 1-0 Battle Creek.
Both starters were still going strong into the fourth inning until the Growlers started to wake their bats up. Wheatcroft got two outs to start the inning but then the Growlers started to roar. Jonathan Foster and Matt Mervis hit singles for Kalamazoo to get runners on the corners. Baron Radcliff blasted a two RBI double to make it 2-1 Kalamazoo. The Growlers added two more runs on three more hits in a row to have a six hit, two out rally that got them up 4-1.
The Bombers answered back in the fifth that got started with a Alec Cargin walk. A balk advanced Cargin to second and left the opportunity wide open for Zach Gartner to blast an RBI single to make it 4-2 Kalamazoo.
Battle Creek just couldn’t keep up for the duration of the game offensively as Kalamazoo added three runs in the sixth and one more in each of the final two innings to take a convincing 9-2 win.
The player of the game for Battle Creek is the catcher Drake Osborn. Despite only getting one hit, he got a multi-base hit with a double and reached 4-of-4 times with two walks and a hit by pitch. Osborn didn’t allow a single stolen base or pass ball the entire game defensively as well!
Battle Creek is now 4-3 on the second half of the year and 20-22 overall. They will look to bounce back from two straight losses as they make the short journey down I-94 to take on the Growlers at Homer Stryker Field in Kalamazoo. First pitch for the Wednesday night game is set for 7:05 PM.