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Big inning stings Growlers in loss to Rockford

Kalamazoo, MI — The visiting Rockford Rivets (17-14) used a huge offensive fifth inning to their advantage as the host Kalamazoo Growlers (13-16) drop a tough 10-7 decision at Homer Stryker Field Friday evening. Rockford completes the two-game series sweep. 

Kalamazoo struck first in the opening frame on a RBI groundout by Rudy Maxwell (Duke) to give the Growlers an early 1-0 advantage. Rockford quickly knotted the score at 1-1 in the second inning on a RBI single from Rivets catcher Mason Minzey.

The Growlers took back the lead in the fourth on Zack Gelof’s (Virginia) sacrifice fly to right field to make it 2-1. Rockford then posted a massive crooked number in the fifth, tallying eight runs on seven hits to sprint to a commanding 9-1 advantage. The Rivets then added an insurance run in the sixth to stretch the lead to 10-1.

Kalamazoo continued to fight in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run double from Dakota Kotowski (Missouri State) to trim the margin to 10-4. The Growlers scratched across three additional runs with two outs in the ninth on a three-run blast from Clay Owens (USC) to cut the deficit to 10-7. 

Growlers starting pitcher Spencer Juergens (Missouri) took the loss in his first start of the season, falling to 0-1. Rockford reliever Trevin Eubanks earned the win, improving to 3-0.

The Kalamazoo Growlers hit the road this weekend for a crucial two-game series against the Kokomo Jackrabbits. First pitch tomorrow night from Kokomo Municipal Stadium is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start. 

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