KALAMAZOO, MI – Ball State's BJ Butler brought his eye popping 0.39 ERA with him into tonight's contest against the Green Bay Bullfrogs and did not disappoint. Butler pitched six innings for the Growlers and gave up three runs, with only one of those being earned, on six hits and struck out seven Green Bay batters in the 4-3 Kalamazoo victory.
The Growlers' bats did not hesitate in this one. Kalamazoo was able to score in the first inning thanks to a Nick Hutchins (Southern Illinois) base hit that plated Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana). They added on to their right away in the second inning when Camden Duzenack (Dallas Baptist) collected an RBI on a base hit that scored David Hensley (San Diego State).
Green Bay attempted a comeback in the third inning when they were able to get a run back off of the bat of Matthew Hoeg. His sacrifice fly drove in Parker Cross and trimmed Kalamazoo's lead down to just one run. Hensley did not let this score last long as he hit a sacrfice fly of his own in the bottom half of the inning that Brady Cherry (Ohio State) was able to score on.
Each team added a run to their totals in the fourth inning on balks that were called on both pitchers. Hill Alexander trotted home from third base on a balk called on Butler and Hutchins did the same for the Growlers in the bottom of the inning and it was a 4-2 advantage for the Growlers through four innings.
The Bullfrogs attempted to get another comeback going in the sixth inning and were able to make it a one run game again. Alexander brought Quincy Nieporte around the bases on an RBI base hit, but Green Bay was unable to get anymore runs after this and Kalamazoo held on to win by a score of 4-3.
Garvin Alston and Austin Rodesky came in from the bullpen and combined for three scoreless innings on the mound while striking out seven.
Both teams will be back in action tomorrow night at Homer Stryker Field for Kalamzoo Strong Night presented by Steensma Lawn and Power Equipment. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. EDT with post-game fireworks.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods 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, more than 150 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 (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Growlers as your favorite team.