Growlers, Bombers split doubleheader clash for 1st place
Kalamazoo, MI- The Kalamazoo Growlers and Battle Creek Bombers split today’s doubleheader, with the Growlers earning a 3-2 victory in walk-off fashion in game one before the Bombers came back with vengeance in game two, winning 5-0.
The Bombers jumped out to the early lead in game one, taking the first advantage when Peter Hutzal (Marshall University) launched a sacrifice fly to score TJ McKenzie (Vanderbilt University).
The Bombers would add to their lead in the top of the 3rd with a solo home-run off the bat of Joe Mason (University of Mount Olive).
The Growlers got one back and cut the deficit in the bottom of the 4th, when Ben Van Cleve (University of Mississippi) cracked an RBI Single off the bat, scoring Luke Stephenson (Xavier University) from second.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 5th, the Growlers got a two out rally started when Blake Dunn (Western Michigan University) and Ryan Marra (Brown University) drew walks. Brett Barrera (Stanford University) then delivered the game-tying RBI single, and Trent Quartermaine (Ball State University) delivered the walk off hit with a ground-rule double.
The game one win for the Growlers brought the team’s records even at 21-15-2, and set up a clash for first place in the SW Michigan pod standings in game two.
The Bombers once again jumped out in front in game two, starting the offense in the top of the 3rd with a 2-run homer off the bat of Justin VanDeBrake (Washington State University).
The Bombers then increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the 4th, whe Nate Stolze (Miami University (OH)) came across the plate via a balk call.
The Bombers carried that 3-0 lead into the top of the 5th, where Mason came across to score for the Bombers on a wild pitch. Matt Hogan (Vanderbilt University) then brought the 5th and final run across for the Bombers with an RBI groundout, scoring VanDeBrake from 3rd.
Luke Murphy (Vanderbilt University) earned the save in game two, successfully shutting down the Growlers in the final two innings and holding Battle Creek in atop the SW Michigan pod standings with the 5-0 game two victory.
**Game two’s results are under review due to the use of a potentially ineligible player. An update will be provided shortly. A reversal in the game’s outcome would swap the team’s records, and move the Growlers into first place.**
The Growlers are back in action tomorrow night for a doubleheader with the Kalamazoo MacDaddies, home-run derbies preceding the games set to begin at 5:15 and 8:00 PM.