Rockford, Ill. – In a gloomy and rainy Sunday matinee in Rockford, Illinois, one crooked number shaped the Growlers’ fortunes as they dropped game two of their series with the Rockford RIvets 9-3.
For the sixth consecutive game, the Growlers would find themselves down early. Nick Demarco sent a two-run homer over the left field wall and into the trees, giving the Rivets an early 2-0 lead after a full frame. Demarco’s dominance against the Growlers continued after a 2-4 night on Saturday where he had two doubles.
After a five spot in the immediate inning after giving up the first run of the game on Saturday, the Growlers were in prime position to replicate it on Sunday with bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the second. Unfortunately for K-Zoo, they would only be able to score one. A strikeout set up a sac fly from Colin Blanchard before a lineout to left stranded a pair of runners.
Missed chances for the Growlers would once again be a theme for the Growlers, who stranded the bases loaded the very next inning and left on a combined 12 on. The double-digit total makes it now 18 games that the Growlers have left on nine or more runners.
K-Zoo was able to poke through with a pair of runs in the sixth to tie the ballgame back up at three but the seventh inning would prove to be a devastating one for the Growlers.
A bullpen with just a staggering 2.64 ERA coming in and 27 earned runs allowed struggled for the Growlers. Following Kyle Salley working out of a couple of jams in the sixth, Jake O’Connell and Holland Townes both would be pulled before recording a single out in the seventh. The Rivets would put 11 men up the plate, scoring six runs on three hits, four walks, and three wild pitches.
With K-Zoo’s momentum entirely flattened, K-Zoo would find just one hit in the next two innings, dropping their Sunday matchup with the Rivets.
Kalamazoo is back at home Monday, taking on the Madison Mallards in a two-game set. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. with live action available on ESPN+.