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Published On: June 11th, 2015


Photo by Kimberly MossKALAMAZOO, MI – If the Kalamazoo Growlers were to designate a kryptonite for this 2015 squad so far, it would be the early innings. Again the Kingfish of Kenosha attacked early, scoring 11 runs in the first three innings to an eventual 12-8 victory over Kalamazoo.

Though Kenosha ended the game with 12 runs, the Growlers (4-12) actually out hit the Kingfish (12-4) 14 to nine. Kalamazoo’s eight runs would have been enough for its fifth win of the season, but the defense let starting pitcher Derek Schneider (Western Michigan) down as it committed five errors in the third inning. Those five errors allowed six runs to cross the plate, which proved to be the difference.

Unlike previous Kingfish-Growler match-ups, Kenosha starting pitching was not dominant as starter Ryan Blanton (Madison College) only went five innings, with four Growler runs being charged to his ERA. The relievers for Kenosha also failed to keep runs from scoring as only one of the three relievers used succeeded in keeping Kalamazoo at four runs. When the lead is 12-4, though, the winning team can afford such an occurrence.

With Kenosha comes a storyline of repeating events as again, for the second night in a row, a Growlers’ starting pitcher exited early with a reliever, this time Ryan May (LSU) pitching 3.2 innings striking out three and not allowing a single earned run.

“Ryan redshirted this year so early on in the season the stamina and velocity wasn’t there,” Growlers’ Assistant Coach Cody Piechocki said. “But he is starting to get to shape.”

Even though another loss was added to Kalamazoo’s record, the recently stagnant offense came to life to slowly chip away at Kenosha’s 11-0 lead, as Kalamazoo had its highest hit total of the season.

Every hitter, from one to nine, had at least one hit with five of those hitters having a multi-hit night.

The big inning for Kalamazoo came in the seventh as the first three hitters, Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois), Brandon Hughes (Michigan State) and Nick Yarnall (Pitt) went back-to back-to back  driving in two runs in the process. Two more runs were added for the Growlers after John Soteropolos (Cal) and Charles Leblanc (Pitt) added singles of their own.

“When you are down eleven runs you are more relaxed at the plate,” Piechocki said. “The guys are just putting the ball in play more often.”

Up next for Kalamazoo is a two game set against an Iowa squad as the Waterloo Bucks come to Homer Stryker Field.

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