Bombers Give up Runs Late, Drop Third Game in Last Four
KALAMAZOO, MI., — The Battle Creek Bombers could not find a way to win a pair of close games, as the Growlers won 4-1 and 4-3.
Battle Creek’s struggles to hit with runners in scoring position continued early in game one, as it had Bradley Goulet (Akron University) on third base and Matt Hogan (Vanderbilt University) on first with nobody out. Despite the prime chance, the next three Bombers were retired, as they could not bring Goulet or Hogan home to score.
The Growlers first hit proved to be costly, as Blake Dunn (Western Michigan University) knocked in Ben Van Cleve (Ole Miss) who worked a walk to start off the third inning. That would be the lone run Ryan Vogt (Southeast Missouri State University) gave up as the Bombers starter.
Vogt finished the day with four innings, allowing six base runners.
Battle Creek responded in the very next inning as Goulet rifled a line drive to the short porch in left field, tying the game at one apiece.
Both Vogt and Growlers’ starter Nate Wargolet (Grand Valley State University) surrendered just one run in their appearances, as each went four innings strong.
In the top of the fifth, the Growlers ran away with the game against Bombers’ reliever, Evan Ingram (University of Alabama – Birmingham) as he allowed three runs, his first of the season. Kalamazoo executed small ball early in the inning to perfection, as they started the inning with runners on first and second. Ryan Marra (Brown University) advanced both runners by way of a sacrifice bunt. Trent Quartermaine (Ball State University) knocked in the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly to left field. The Growlers tacked on another two runs when Brett Barrera (Stanford University) hit a single to right.
Ingram ended the day with his first loss of the season, throwing one inning and allowing three runs on two hits and a walk. Andre Orselli (Ball State University) recorded the three-out save, working a one, two, three inning with two strikeouts.
The Bombers dropped game two in a nail-biter, as they gave up three runs in the top of the fifth.
Battle Creek started the scoring in the second, as Joe Mason (Mount Olive College) led off the inning with a double. Josh Swinehart (Western Michigan University) followed it up with a walk, but it took the Bombers a couple strikeouts before Nate Stolze (Miami (Ohio) University) knocked in both runners with a single.
The Growlers responded in the third inning, as Dunn scored on a sac fly from Carson Greene (Stanford University). On the play, Marra was doubled up at first base, but the out was recorded after Dunn crossed home.
Hogan looked to extend the Bombers lead back to two with his first hit of his young season. He did just that with a solo homerun drilled to right-center field.
It looked like smooth sailing for the Bombers until the top of the fifth inning, where the team struggled to record the final out. Kalamazoo scored two of its three runs with two outs. The first run scored came off a sac hit by Dunn, who knocked in Luke Stephenson (Xavier University). Greene reached on an error from Peter Hutzal (Marshall University). Ben Chosid (Kalamazoo College) and Garrett Schultz (Xavier University) scored the game-tying and eventual game-winner, as Schultz pinch ran for Chosid.
The Bombers had runners on first and third with one out but could not score in the bottom half of the inning, as they dropped their second straight and third in four games.
Thomas Schultz (Vanderbilt University) pitched a gem, going four innings and allowing just one run. His Vanderbilt University teammate, Luke Murphy, suffered the loss, yielding three runs, two of them being earned.
Ben Thomas (Grand Valley State University) was named the winning pitcher allowing one walk in an inning of work. Trey Nordman (Howard College) recorded the save in the ninth inning.
The Bombers will return to action Thursday, July 30 against the Kalamazoo Mac Daddies with first pitch slated for 5:15 and 8:00 p.m.