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Growlers Comeback Falls Short in 13-11 Loss to Kingfish

Down 12-5 in the top of the seventh, the Growlers could’ve easily rolled over; Instead, they came back with a roar. Kalamazoo put up six runs on three hits and three Kingfish errors, but it wasn’t enough. Early mishaps helped Kenosha get a big lead, and kept the Growlers comeback out of reach.

The Growlers scored the first two runs of Monday’s contest at historic Simmons Field, running Kenosha starter Dante Guarascio out of the game after one inning, then were met with a barrage of offense from the Kingfish. Kenosha scored 12 runs from the bottom of the second through the bottom of the sixth. Four of those came off of Growlers starter Hayden Berg through the first three frames, and the rest against the Kalamazoo bullpen.

Berg stepped in to the rotation because normal third starter Karter Fitzpatrick didn’t make the trip to Kenosha, and started strong, striking out the side in the first. However, the Bronco’s pitch count ran up in the second and third, and the Kingfish bats started to heat up. Two came across in the second on a run and two errors; Justin Janas (2-3, 2 BB, 2 R, RBI, HBP, reached on error) and Cam Redding (3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB) both came around to score in the third.

The runs continued to pile after Berg departed. Luke Pappas gave up three in his one inning of work, as did Evan Kiser, and Grant Jebbia gave up two during the bottom of the sixth. Kalamazoo tried to keep some semblance of offense going, scoring one in the fifth and two in the sixth, but the deficit seemed to be larger than life.

That is, until the top of the seventh. Dylan and Cade Stanton both singled,Satchell Wilson and Don Goodes walked, scoring the younger Stanton, and an error by Kenosha’s shortstop Mitch Jebb plated the elder Stanton as Ian McCutcheon got on base. Stephen Cullen grounded out to score Wilson, Goodes and McCutcheon came in on a Luke Storm 2-RBI base hit, and Storm touched home on the second Jebb error of the inning which allowed Joe Stewart to reach base. The inning was quickly and controversially ended, however, as Dylan Stanton was called for batter’s interference as Stewart tried to swipe second. After all that craziness, the score was 12-11.

Unfortunately, the Growlers couldn’t muster another run afterwards, and Kenosha got an insurance run when Michael Dunkelberger hit the first batter of the eighth, and an error extended the inning, allowing the the runner to score.

Kalamazoo and Kenosha battle again tomorrow at 7:05 ET.