The Battle Creek Bombers lost their fifth consecutive game in a 6-4 loss to the Kalamazoo Growlers Wednesday night.
The Bombers got the scoring started with three runs in the top half of the second inning. Matthew Patton began the scoring with an RBI double, before Michael Lee reached on an error and Hunter Ruhstorfer had an RBI single. Kalamazoo came right back in the bottom half of the second, though, as left fielder Miko Rodriguez hit a three-run home run down the left-field line.
Starter Lyle Hibbitts threw three innings for Battle Creek, giving up three runs on five hits while striking out one. He then gave way to Jordan Rhodes, who gave up one run as Kalamazoo catcher Drew Blakely had an RBI groundout in the fourth inning. Rhodes threw two innings, before giving way to Mitchell Lee.
Battle Creek tied things in the top half of the sixth inning, as Patton had an RBI groundout to drive in Erik Owen. That was all for Kalamazoo starter Brayden Nelson, who spun six innings, while giving up four runs on six hits while striking out seven Bombers.
The Bombers bullpen, who has been excellent this season, faltered, though, as Kalamazoo took the lead in the seventh. Shea Kramer and Clay Owens led off the inning with back-to-back singles, before the Bombers got Dakota Kotowski and Noah Marcoux to pop out to second base. Two wild pitches from Mitchell Lee and Beaux Bonvillain, though, scored Kramer and Owens to give the Growlers a 6-4 lead.
Michael Dunkelberger and Will Mullen then combined in the Kalamazoo bullpen to hurl two scoreless innings, and the Bombers fell 6-4 in the first game of the 2019 I-94 Rivalry Cup by OnStaff Group. The two teams are back at it Thursday night at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek.
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