Growlers swept by Bombers in day-night doubleheader
Battle Creek, Mich. — The Kalamazoo Growlers pulled into southwest Michigan at around 6 a.m. after an all-night bus ride home from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and the lack of rest showed as they dropped two games on Wednesday to the rival Battle Creek Bombers by margins of 7-6 and 8-4. However, the Growlers sealed the win in the season series by a margin of five games to three.
Game one: After being no-hit by Battle Creek starter Andrew Mitchell (Louisiana State) for the first six innings of Wednesday's afternoon matinee game, the Kalamazoo Growlers found themselves trailing 6-1. The Growlers finally reached through with a run in the eight inning and a big four run ninth to tie the ballgame.
However relief pitcher John Schreiber (Northwestern Ohio) hit Bombers batter Laz Rivera (Miami) with a pitch, after loading the bases and the Bombers escaped with a 7-6 victory in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at C.O.Brown.
Key hits by Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) Jalen Phillips (Duke) and Taylor Hunter (Kalamazoo Valley CC) provided ninth inning runs as the Growlers biggest comeback in their inaugural season fell just a bit short. Schreiber absorbed the loss for Kalamazoo (0-1) and Mitchell improved to 2-2 on the year for Battle Creek.
Game two: The day's second game looked to be heading towards a pitcher's duel between Kalamazoo's Danny Mokrzycki (St. Cloud State) and Battle Creek's Collin Orellana (San Diego State), but the Bombers cracked it open with a six-run sixth inning and handed the Growlers their second loss of the day, 8-4.
The teams exchanged runs in the first inning, both on sacrifice flies, with the Growlers' coming from Jesse Puscheck (Canisius). Battle Creek made the score 2-1 with a solo shot from Laz Rivera (Miami) in the fourth inning.
The Bombers then loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth inning, and while Mokrzycki induced a groundout to get one out at home, a sharp grounder to third baseman John Brodner (Wright State) ricocheted off his glove and let a run come home. A combination of clutch hitting from Battle Creek and defensive miscues by the Growlers led to five more runs before the inning ended and made the score 8-1.
Kalamazoo bounced back for a run in the eighth from an RBI groundout by Grant Van Putten (Calvin College), then two in the ninth from an RBI single from Brodner and another by Alex Maloney (Ball State), but Battle Creek couldn't be denied.
The Growlers return to action on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. against the Green Bay Bullfrogs. It's Ladies Night, presented by Women's Lifestyle Magazine and Lawton Ridge Winery, featuring a selection of wines and an appearance by Bob Guiney, formerly of ABC's The Bachelor.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit http://www.growlersbaseball.com.