Shinabery pitches Growlers past Battle Creek in 6-3 win
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Growlers might be wishing they played at C.O. Brown Stadium more often after they defeated their I-94 rival Battle Creek 6-3 on Sunday afternoon, completing a 3-1 series win against the Bombers.
Mason Shinabery stole the show for Kalamazoo with a dominant performance in relief of starter Jeff Burch. The Huntington University man went 5 innings in relief only allowing 2 hits and striking out 4 while picking up the win.
Shinabery’s performance was matched by the Battle Creek bullpen as only 5 of the 16 hits came off the arms of relievers.
Battle Creek started the party in the first with three hits and two runs, the big hit came off the bat of Connor Bailey when he looped a 2-RBI single to left.
But the Bombers lead didn’t last long, as Niko Kavadas ripped a double to start the 2nd inning coming around to score on an RBI single from Michael Maclean. Zach Daniels also scored in the inning on a SAC Fly from Parker Murdie.
Kalamazoo starter Burch struggled in his second start allowing six hits and three runs in just four innings pitched, but Battle Creek starter Alex Kuster wasn’t much better. Kuster pitched 3.2 innings surrendering five hits and six runs and was stuck with the loss.
The lead then fully unraveled for the Bombers in the 3rd inning when Zach Daniels skyed a ball to short center field that couldn’t be fielded by Battle Creek shortstop Roman Trujillo who tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch. Two runs scored on the technical single by Daniels and the Growlers never looked back.
Kevadas added to the lead, and to his recent hot stretch, when he smacked a 2-RBI single in the 4th inning. Kevadas out of Notre Dame now has 6 RBI’s in two games, and has the only two doubles for the Growlers.
The Growlers pushed their record to 4-2 on the season and are undefeated away from home, with all three road wins coming at C.O. Brown Stadium over their rival. Kalamazoo will return home for a two-game series against the Madison Mallards at Homer Stryker Field.
Battle Creek fell to 1-4 on the season, an unfamiliar place to be for the defending South Division champs. Battle Creek will remain in the Cereal City with two games against the Lakeshore Chinooks at home.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com or download the Northwoods League App!