ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Kalamazoo Growlers lost 14-1 to the Rockford Rivets on Thursday in the first game of a two game series. The loss dropped the Growlers to 21-10 on the season and three games behind the Madison Mallards for first place in the Northwoods League South Division.
A six-run fifth inning propelled the Rivets to a victory over the Growlers with the runs coming against Kalamazoo reliever Bryce Welborn.
The Growlers got on the board first in the second inning when Jason Sullivan scored from third base on a passed ball.
It was all Rivets from that point forward with Rockford scoring runs in each of the next four innings. Brennan Reback started things for the Rivets on a two-RBI triple to centerfield in the second to make the score 2-1.
Rockford added two more runs off Growler starter Tommy Vail in the third inning with a Brock Mathis home run to left field.
The fourth inning was Welborn’s first inning of relief for the Growlers this season. He allowed one run in the frame when Ryan Cole scored on a wild pitch.
In the sixth after the first three batters all reached a Mason Templet double to right field scored two runs. Joe Butler hit another double scoring two more runs. The final two runs of the inning were plated on a single from Hal Hughes to make the score 11-1.
Rockford scored the final three runs of the game in the eighth inning off of Ohio lefty Derek Carr. Ryan Cole doubled off the wall in left field to score two Rivets. Cole would score two batters later on a groundout from Hughes.
Vail went only three innings on the mound for the Growlers, allowing five hits and four earned runs. Welborn gave up seven earned runs on five hits in two innings of work.
Andrew Belcik will take the mound for the Growlers to take on the Rivets in the series finale Friday at 8:05 E.T.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.comor download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Growlers as your favorite team.