Kalamazoo, MI. — In a wild offensive slugfest, the Kalamazoo Growlers (32-29, 16-13) dropped their third straight game in an 11-8 defeat to the Rockford Rivets (30-33, 10-18) at Homer Stryker Field Thursday evening.
Rockford struck first in the second on a RBI single by Anthony Fumagalli to grab an early 1-0 advantage. The Rivets added more damage in the third inning with another RBI single followed by a three-run double courtesy of Fumagalli to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Growlers attempted to rally back in the bottom of the third with back-to-back RBI doubles from Austin Knight (Tennessee) and Shea Kramer (Utah) to cut the deficit to 5-2. Clay Owens (USC) then delivered a RBI single to make it 5-3.
The Rivets soon opened the offensive floodgates in the fourth with five runs on six hits to extend their lead to 10-3. The frame began with a Matt Higgins RBI double followed by a two-run homer. Fumagalli struck again with a two-run single to cap-off the inning.
Kalamazoo plated a pair in the fifth on the first hit of the season for Khale Showers (Northwood) to trim the margin to 10-5. In the sixth, Owens tallied a sacrifice fly and then Jimmy Sullivan (Virginia) scored on a wild pitch to make it 10-7.
Rockford tallied a huge insurance run in the seventh on a Higgins two-out RBI single to go up 11-7. The Growlers tried to claw back in the eighth as Owens drilled a solo shot to cut the margin to 11-8, but it would not be enough as the Rivets held on for the three-run triumph.
Rockford relief pitcher Mitch Rogers earned the win, while Tanner Propst notched his fifth save of the season. Kalamazoo reliever Travis Snyder (St. Clair College) took the loss in his debut.
The Kalamazoo Growlers remain at home tomorrow night for the final meeting of the season against Rockford. First pitch is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Currently in its’ 26thseason, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 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 (MIA). 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.