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Growlers Drop Heartbreaker Late to Kingfish

KENOSHA, WI — After a ton of resiliency, the Kalamazoo Growlers ultimately fell to the Kenosha Kingfish 9-8 on Saturday night.

The game turned into a battle of the bullpens rather quickly. On the Growlers side, starter Braden Forsyth was placed on a 35 pitch limit for his start. After the right hander from Ole Miss allowed just one run on 32 pitches through two frames, his evening had to end.

On the Kenosha side, left hander Ethan Peters entered troubled waters in the third. The Kalamazoo bats forced him over the Northwoods League 35 pitches in a single inning threshold, totaling three runs on four hits. Virginia Cavalier Alex Tappen scored on his college teammate Jake Gelof’s RBI single. Gelof and Duke infielder Luke Storm then crossed home on an RBI double from Stanford man Brett Barrera, giving the Growlers a 3-1 lead.

From that point on, the game became a seesaw affair. Three runs by the Kingfish in the next half inning were answered by a TJ Williams solo home run in the top of the fourth. It was the Notre Dame outfielder’s fourth long ball of the summer, and it tied the contest back up.

An inning later, the Kingfish took the lead back on a 2-Run Home Run from their catcher Angelo Cantelo. Not to be outdone, the Growlers swung momentum back in their favor in the sixth inning, tying the game once more. Damon Lux doubled home Williams, followed immediately by a Gelof sacrifice fly which plated Storm. The score stood at 6-6 heading to the seventh inning.

It was in that frame that Kalamazoo took the lead back. Two Kentucky teammates combined for the offense, as outfielder Nolan McCarthy drove in the DH, Devin Burkes. McCarthy then aggressively scored from second on a past ball that eluded the vision of both members of the Kenosha battery. This gave the Growlers a 8-6 lead.

Unfortunately, the lead was not built to last. Eventually, the Kalamazoo bullpen lost control of the strike zone. Kenosha’s patience and some timely base knocks paved the way for three runs in the bottom of the eighth, as the Kingfish took a 9-8 lead. Kenosha held on in the ninth to clinch the victory.

The Growlers record now sits at 23-36. Kalamazoo’s final game in Kenosha this summer will be played on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 ET.