BATTLE CREEK, MI., – Opening Day of the 2021 season brought the Battle Creek Bombers back to C. O. Brown Stadium for the first time since August of 2019. However, they dropped game one of the season to their rival the Kalamazoo Growlers with a final score of 6-2.
The main story of the night was the dominate pitching by Kalamazoo’s starter, Adam Wheaton. Wheaton pitched seven innings only allowing two runs and struck out 12.
The Growlers took the lead early with a single run in the top of the second inning off and infield single by Anthony Catalano. Then, back-to-back two run innings in the third and the fourth for Kalamazoo made it a 5-0 lead.
An RBI single by Satchell Wilson and an RBI walk by David Coppedge in the top of the third followed by an RBI double by Stephen Culler and an RBI single by Luke Storm in the fourth.
The Bombers were able to crack the scoreboard in the bottom half of the fourth off an RBI single by Ed Johnson.
Nolan LaMere then entered the game for the Bombers on the mound and threw four innings only allowing two runs and one of those earned.
Relief pitching gave Battle Creek the chance to get back in the game. After LaMere, Beaux Bonvillain entered and struck out five batters in two innings and gave up one run.
In the bottom of the sixth, Miguel Larreal roped an RBI double over the head of Catalano in left field to make it a 5-2 game.
Culler drove in his second RBI of the game for Kalamazoo in the top of the eighth when the Growlers used the hit and run to perfection.
It looked like the game was over heading to the bottom of the ninth in a 6-2 game, but Battle Creek was able to load the bases and bring Roy Thurman to the plate as the tying runner. In a 2-2 count, he flew out to left field for the final out of the game.
The Bombers drop to 0-1 on the season as they try to shrug off the loss and play host to Kalamazoo on Tuesday, June 1.