Growlers Drop Two of Two on Day/Night Doubleheader with Battle Creek
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers entered the 9th inning against the Battle Creek Bombers with a 2-0 lead, and seemed to have all control in the game as the Bombers had only registered 1 hit up until this point. Walter Talcott took the mound looking to close out the Bombers and win the 1st game of today’s day-night double header for Kalamazoo. The opposite happened for Talcott, however, as the first batter he faced, Alex Howard, took him deep for a solo homerun, and cut the Growlers’ lead to 2-1. Talcott proceeded to get the next two Bombers out with relative ease, and looked to be in command against Evan Faccenda as Talcott got ahead of him in the count 1-2. The next pitch hit Faccenda which started the Battle Creek 2 out rally. Nikola Vasic hit a single off of Talcott to put runners at first and second, and the rally was finished off by Aaron Antonnini who hit a hard double that just stayed fair down the first base line scored 2 runs putting Battle Creek on top 3-2. Tom Stoffel shut the door in the 9 th setting down the Growlers 1,2,3 and giving Battle Creek a 3-2 victory.
JR Holloway started on the mound for the Growlers this afternoon, and had his best start of the whole season. JR was absolutely dominant as he had great control, and was able to locate pitches early in counts which led to him throwing more off-speed pitches which Battle Creek had no answers for. Holloway threw an amazing 7.0 innings only allowing 1 hit with 6 strikeouts. He carried a no hitter into the 6th inning, however, he lost it with an out in the 6th as Cody Hawken smacked a double. After the 7th inning Holloway’s pitch count reached 101 pitches and Northwoods League rules prohibit a pitcher from starting an inning above 100 pitches, so Holloway had to be removed from the game even though it looked like Holloway had something left in the tank.
Battle Creek’s starting pitcher, Taylor Horn, was dominant as well. Horn went 7.0 innings allowing 3 hits, and 2 earned runs with 4 strikeouts. The Growlers had trouble mounting multiple baserunners against Horn, so Kalamazoo went with more of a small ball approach. Kalamazoo racked up 2 bunt hits, 3 sacrifice bunts, and 2 suicide squeezes against Bombers’ pitching. The 2 suicide squeeze by Jason Sullivan in the 4th inning, and Stephen Dubb in the 7th inning were the only runs the Growlers scored in this afternoon’s game
BATTLE CREEK, MI – The Growlers had a chance to try again as part of the scheduled day/night doubleheader with Battle Creek. Kalamazoo would come into the nightcap trailing the Rockford Rivets by four games in the second half South Division standings.
The Growlers bats would come alive early. Three hits for Kzoo in the first inning and an RBI single for Drew “Papa” Huff (Middle Tennessee State) would plate right fielder Jack Duffy (Missouri State) of whom reached on a fielder’s choice, 1-0 good guys.
Nikola Vasic (McHenry County College) reached on a throwing error out of the hand of third baseman Drew Huff to start the home half of the fourth for Battle Creek. The costly error would be followed by a hit-by-pitch for designated hitter Aaron Antonini (Middle Tennessee State) and a one out single for Gavin Homer (McHenry County College). Credit leadoff batter Evan Faccenda (Clarke University) with a bases-loaded RBI on a hit-by-pitch out of the hand of Kzoo starter Blaine Fisher (Pittsburg State). The hit-by-pitch would be followed by a two out walk to Tom Stoffel (Virginia Tech) that would plate Antonini, 2-1 in favor of the hometown team.
Growlers got one back in the visitor’s half of inning number six. Jeff Riedel (Ball State) with an RBI single to plate right fielder Jack Duffy, 2-2 ballgame. That RBI would be Riedel’s twenty-fourth on the season.
It wouldn’t take the Bombers long after. JD Mundy (Virginia Tech) would come through for Battle Creek with a single bringing home two more baserunners in Tom Stoffel and Nick Walker (Austin Peay State). Following a Wyatt Cross RBI single, BC extended its lead to 5-2.
After two more Bombers crossed the plate in the home half of the eighth, the Growlers made noise in the top of the ninth. Anthony Rios (Lewis University) and Michael Diffley (SDSU) each with an RBI single for the good guys. It wouldn’t be enough, however, as Mark Quinby (UC San Diego) closed the doors for a day/night sweep over the Growlers.
Blaine Fisher pitched 5 strong for the Growlers, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, no earned, striking out six batters in the process.
Kalamazoo will try again tomorrow. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm ET at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year old summer collegiate 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, 180 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.