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Published On: May 29th, 2019

Growlers opening day comeback falls short

The Kalamazoo Growlers dropped its first game of the season after a late comeback was squandered by Nathan Thomas of Fond du Lac.

The Fond du Lac offense was led by Andrew Bullock (Western Carolina) after going 3-for-6, with two runs and two runs batted in.

The Dock Spiders led 2-0 after the top of the fifth, until Miko Rodriguez (Texas A&M) scored on a Shea Kramer (Utah) RBI-double. Kramer led the Growlers as he went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Fond du Lac then added to their 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth as Brad Hudson (SIU) led the inning off with a single and scored in the next at bat by Bullock. The Dock Spiders scored another after Cherokee LeBeau (Oakland) grounded into a fielder’s choice. The Growlers then stranded two in the bottom half of the inning, after Jacob Hoover (Hillsdale) led off the inning with a triple, yet could not come around to score.

The Dock Spiders scored another in the top of the seventh to lead 5-1. The Growlers offense started chugging as Joel Brewer (South Carolina) drilled a two-run home run to left field, bringing Kalamazoo within two.

Michael Dunkelberger came into the ballgame in the top of the eighth and held Fond du Lac hitless for the rest of the ballgame, striking out five and allowing one walk.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, third baseman Jake Topolski started a rally as he singled into left field. The Duke Blue Devil later came around to score on a Jacob Hoover single, which brought the score to 5-4 in favor of the Dock Spiders. Kalamazoo second baseman Mike Sears (Sinclair CC) then struck out against Nathan Thomas (NIU) to end game. Thomas was also given credit for the save.

Jonathan Cowles (U of Colorado, Colorado Springs) was declared the winning pitcher after throwing seven innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs. Cowles allowed one walk, while striking out six. David Toth (Hillsdale) of the Growlers was given the loss after giving up one run in the top of the seventh, walking two and striking out three.