BATTLE CREEK, MI — Despite starter Elijah Gill and a pair of relievers only allowing one earned run, the Growlers drop their third straight game, falling 3-1 to the Battle Creek Bombers.
The offense struck early for Battle Creek. A single in the first inning by Miguel Larreal was followed up by a Growlers error. Two more hits in the inning via Stephen Krause and Nicholas Israel allowed both runners to score and the Bombers jumped out to an aggressive 2-0 lead.
After a shaky first, Gill settled in nicely, pitching around a pair of Battle Creek singles in the third. The only other Bombers run came in the fourth, when a throwing error off a weak tapper, followed by a wild pitch, allowed Drew Dyer to navigate his way around the base paths.
Gill finished the evening after six innings, allowing only one earned run on five hits, with five strikeouts. All five Growlers starters this season have allowed 2 earned runs or fewer.
Offensively, Kalamazoo saw something it hadn’t during the first two games in Battle Creek this season, a pitcher who aggressively attacked the strike zone.
Battle Creek starter Will Christophersen went 6 strong innings, throwing over 100 pitches. He limited Growlers batters to just two hits. Kalamazoo’s only run of the contest came on a double steal in the bottom of the fifth, when a double steal saw Dod Goodes beat the throw to second, while Anthony Catalano rushed home from third.
Still, the Growlers weren’t without opportunity, going 0-9 with runners in scoring position.
A pair of Lukes out of the pen – Scoles and Krkovski kept it close, but Kalamazoo was unable to crack the Battle Creek bullpen.
The Growlers record now sets at 2-3. The team will look to rebound against the Bombers on Saturday night, this time at Homer Stryker Field, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. ET.