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Published On: July 23rd, 2021

MADISON, WI — After a three day All-Star break, the Kalamazoo Growlers returned to the diamond Thursday evening, falling on the road to the Madison Mallards, 5-4.

It was a packed house at the “Duck Pond” and the energy throughout the stadium certainly added to the excitement on the field.

Madison struck first against Kalamazoo right hander Anthony Bennetti, with Mallards catcher Drake Baldwin doubling to lead off the frame before coming around to score on a passed ball. However, the Growlers quickly responded against the Madison bullpen. A Brett Barrera RBI double off the center field wall plated Henry Gargus, and after plenty of patience at the plate, a bases loaded walk to Don Goodes was enough to bring Barrera home. The Growlers lead 2-1 through four frames.

Unfortunately, Madison struck back in the bottom of the fifth. After hitting two home runs in two games against Kalamazoo at Homer Stryker Field, Matt Scannell struck again. This time, a 2-RBI double was enough to put Madison on top, 3-2. The Mallards would add one additional run in the inning.

The Growlers, though, came roaring back. An RBI single from Gargus made it a 4-3 game in the seventh and Kalamazoo was threatening with two on and nobody out, but neither runner could be plated in the inning.

After a scoreless inning of relief from both Nolan Lepkoske and Kyle Salley, Trey Nordmann entered for the Growlers in the bottom of the eighth. Northwoods League All-Star Alex Iadisernia knocked an RBI single up the middle to grant Madison an insurance run at 5-3.

Luke Storm singled home Gargus in the ninth to make it 5-4, but ultimately was left stranded at second as the tying run to end the ballgame, as Mallards reliever Jared Fong threw over 50 pitches to record the final 8 outs of the ball game and secure the victory for Madison.

The Growlers fall to 20-31 on the season, looking for a split on Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET.