Kalamazoo, Mich . – The Kalamazoo Growlers behind yet another fine pitching performance from RHP Ryan Smoyer (Notre Dame) defeated the rival Battle Creek Bombers, 10-3 for the third time this season.
The Growlers (13-21) would jump out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning when right fielder Jared Kujawa (Western Michigan) rocketed a ball through the right side, scoring the runners from second and third. The Western Michigan connection came through once again as catcher Brett Sunde (Western Michigan) scored Kujawa from third on the SAC fly to give the Growlers the lead.
"We are tired, but the players came out today and played very well, " said head coach Joe Carbone.
The Bombers (15-19) would inch their way closer in the top of the second when they scored two runs off of two hits and cut the Growlers lead to just 3-2. That would be the closest the Bombers would get in this contest as the Growlers scored in the bottom of the fourth, widening their margin to 4-2.
Kalamazoo would expload for six runs in the sixth inning highlighted by Kujawa hitting his third home run of the season, this time a three-run home run to put the Growlers up and out of reach of the Bombers at 10-2. Battle Creek would earn one more run on the day but the Growlers pitching shut them down late to hold on to the 10-3 victory.
"I was looking for a fastball first pitch and luckily I got it and he just left it over the plate and I put a good swing on it," said outfielder Jared Kujawa.
Ryan Smoyer was unbelieveable on the mound once again, going seven innings allowing just two earned runs on six hits while striking out four. Smoyer moves to 4-0 on the season, earning the victory in his fourth straight start.
"He is one of those guys that developed and is the leader of our pitching staff," said Carbone.
Jared Kujawa was the "Growler of the Game" going 3-for-5 with one home run and five RBI's on the day. Troy Montgomery upped his Northwoods League leading batting average as he went 2-for-3 on the afternoon with one RBI. Newly acquired Karl Sorenson, in his first debut as a Growler had a strong showing going 3-for-4 with two RBI's and a run scored.
"I'm just trying to simplify everything at the plate and in my game," said outfielder Troy Montgomery. "
The Growlers will be back in action for game two of the home and home series against the Battle Creek Bombers at 7:05 p.m. inside C.O. Brown Stadium. That game will conclude the first half of the Northwoods League season. Projected starter is Ryan Colegate (1-2, 5.40 ERA).