MADISON, WI – The Kalamazoo Growlers fell victim to a pair of five-run frames as the Madison Mallards rocketed to a 16-1 victory to sweep the two-game set at Warner Park in Madison.
The Mallards batted around against Kalamazoo starter TJ Cerven (KVCC/Grand Valley State) in the bottom of the second inning. After a walk and a fielder’s choice, Jonathan Quintana (Barry) launched a double to left center to plate the game’s first run. Chris Tschida (Western Illinois) followed two batters later with his own RBI double down the right field line. Cameron Frost (Washington State) singled and Anthony Gonsolin (Illinois State) reached on an error that plated Tschida. J.J. Gould (Jacksonville) capped the scoring by blooping a two-run single over the shortstop to make it 5-0.
The Growlers got a run back in the top of the fourth, as Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) jumped on a Nate Hoffmann (Middle Tennessee State) fastball, launching it into the left-center picnic area to make it 5-1. Madison quickly responded in the bottom of the frame as Gonsolin hit a soaring fly ball over the left field wall for a solo home run. The Mallards piled on in the fifth as back-to-back RBI doubles by Tschida and Frost chased Cerven with the game.
Madison kept the pressure on in the sixth and seventh innings, scoring three and five runs, respectively. Logan Regnier (Central Michigan) provided the exclamation point with a pinch-hit two-run homer to give the game its final margin.
Hoffmann (1-0) picked up his first win of the season with five innings of one-run, two-hit ball. He walked one, struck out four, and did not allow a hit until the fourth inning. Cerven (0-1) was shelled with the loss after allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits in 4.2 innings.
Scott Moss (Florida), Tyler Frohwirth (Minnesota State-Mankato), Vince Arobio (Pacific), and Mike Kaelin (Buffalo) kept Kalamazoo off the board for the final four innings. The Growlers’ Nathan Coakley (Saint Francis) gave up eight runs, all earned, over his two innings in relief. Ryan Slaughter (KVCC) came in from third base to finish off the final four outs.
Fletcher carried two of the Growlers’ three hits on the night, going 2-4 with the fourth-inning home run and a sixth-inning single. Slaughter singled in the fifth for Kalamazoo’s only other hit.
Quintana led the Mallard charge by going 3-3 with a double, steal, and three RBIs. Gould also drove in three, while Tschida came home to score three times.
Kalamazoo now turns its attention back east for the start of the I-94 Rivalry Series presented by OnStaff Group. The Growlers will travel to Battle Creek on Thursday before hosting the Bombers on Friday. First pitch from C.O. Brown Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.