Bombers Win Streak Halted in Loss to Growlers
The Battle Creek Bombers fell for the first time in four games in a 6-2 defeat to the Kalamazoo Growlers at C.O. Brown Stadium Tuesday night.
Battle Creek struck first, as Roy Thurman drove in Kelby Weyler with a sacrifice fly. It was the second time in two games that the Bombers had scored in the first inning. Battle Creek added a bit of insurance in the second inning, leading off the inning with back-to-back singles from Bomber newcomer Steven Kokowski and Kolby Johnson. Third baseman Jack Merrifield then grounded into a fielder’s choice, plating Kokowski in his first game for Battle Creek.
The 2-0 lead was handed off to Bomber starter Lyle Hibbits, who spun six innings for the second time this season. Kalamazoo climbed back into the game in the top half of the third inning when Gabe Rivera singled home Brooks Coetzee to cut the deficit in half. Hibbits then responded with three straight scoreless innings, before being pulled in the top of the seventh. That was the most problematic inning for Battle Creek, as Kalamazoo plated four runs to take the lead 5-2. A Miko Rodriguez double, Rivera sacrifice fly, and Dakota Kotowski double led the charge for the Growlers. Ping-Chun Ho gave up the most runs in an outing from him this season, as he was charged for three of the four runs that Kalamazoo scored in the inning.
Rivera added one more run in the top of the eighth inning with an RBI single, and the lead would hold at 6-2. Max Bain was fantastic in relief for Kalamazoo starter Brayden Nelson, tossing three innings while allowing just three hits and two walks without surrendering a run.
A Kokomo Jackrabbits loss to Traverse City catapulted the Growlers into sole possession of first place in the Great Lakes East division, as they improve to 9-6. The Bombers loss drops their record to 6-9, sitting three games back of first place. The two teams will meet again at C.O. Brown Stadium for a doubleheader on Wednesday, starting at 1:05.
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