KALAMAZOO, MI – Ball State's BJ Butler set the tone for the Growlers tonight as he was able throw a complete game shutout against rival Battle Creek. Butler, from Mattawan, MI, had all pitches working tonight and struck out eight Bomber hitters on only 101 pitches.
The scoring also started early for the Growlers, who went by the nickname of the Cabbies for the evening in "What Would Have Been" Night presented by Westnedge Family Dentistry. Dan Robinson drove in Connor Kopach for the first run of the game on a double in the bottom of the first inning. Eli Lovell did not waste any time trading spaces with Robinson after he hit a double of his own to bring in the second run.
Kalamazoo added three more runs in the forth inning. Kasey Cooper connected on a 1-1 pitch, with Lovell on base, to send it over the left field wall for the Growlers first home run of the season. Alex Holley drove in his first run of the season later in the inning on a base hit that Michael Crowley was able to score on.
Growlers bats stayed hot in this game and they added four more runs to their total in the seventh inning to make it a 9-0 advantage. Robinson continued his hot hitting this season as he collected another RBI on a base hit that scored Kopach. The final three runs for Kalamazoo were scored on a monster three-run home run off of the bat of Nick Hutchins. Robinson and Daniel Leckie scored on the play.
Following the game, Butler explained how important it was to set the tone for Kalamazoo and used the run support that the offense gave him. The two runs that were scored in the first inning allowed Butler to cruise for the remainder of the game.
Battle Creek and Kalamazoo will complete this four game series tomorrow at C.O. Brown Stadium at 1:05 p.m. EDT. The Growlers will look to keep their bats hot in this final game as they attempt to split the series, 2-2.
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.