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Published On: July 25th, 2019


Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, MI. — In a wild day of baseball, the Kalamazoo Growlers (29-25, 13-9) swept their I-94 rivals the Battle Creek Bombers (20-36, 7-14) by final scores of 11-8 at Homer Stryker Field and 10-8 at C.O. Brown Stadium in the day-night doubleheader Wednesday. The Growlers now lead the series 6-4 and are one win away from securing the I-94 Crosstown Cup for the second straight season.

Game 1

A wild back-and-forth affair in the first contest began with the Bombers drawing first blood in the opening frame on a RBI single from Josh Sears to make it 1-0. Kalamazoo then tied the score at 1-1 on a RBI single by Shea Kramer (Utah) in the bottom frame. 

Battle Creek quickly regained the lead in the second with four runs on three hits to make it 5-1 in favor of the Bombers. A RBI single, two-run double and RBI double extended the margin to four runs all with two outs.

The Growlers answered once again in the bottom of the second with back-to-back RBI singles by Jake Topolski (Duke) and Austin Knight (Tennessee) to cut the deficit to 5-3. After a scoreless third, Battle Creek added two more in the fourth with a run-scoring double and single to stretch the advantage to 7-3.

Kalamazoo then opened the offensive floodgates in the fourth, tallying seven runs on eight hits to grab its first lead of the game at 10-7. The rally commenced with a two-run blast from Rudy Maxwell (Duke) to make it 7-5 followed by the game-tying base-knock courtesy of Knight to pull the score even at 7-7. Zack Gelof (Virginia) followed with a RBI single to give the Growlers a one-run advantage. Miko Rodriguez (Texas A&M) made it 9-7 on a sacrifice fly followed by a Jimmy Sullivan (Virginia) RBI single to cap-off the wild inning.

The Growlers scratched across another insurance run with a Topolski solo shot to increase the lead to 11-8. Battle Creek plated its final run in the seventh on a RBI groundout.

Kalamazoo relief pitcher JT Rogoszewski (Central Michigan) earned his first win of the season, improving to 1-0. Rogoszewski allowed just one run on three hits with a season-high five strikeouts through three frames. 

Game 2

The Growlers struck first in the opening frame on a Nick Neville (South Carolina) RBI groundout to give the visitors an early 1-0 advantage. Battle Creek answered in the ensuing frame with a RBI single to even the score at 1-1. 

The Bombers extended their lead in the third on a RBI base-knock by Caleb Balgaard to make it 2-1 followed by a sacrifice fly from Kolby Johnson in the fourth inning to stretch the margin to 3-1. 

Kalamazoo responded with another massive crooked number in the fifth, compiling seven runs on five hits to take an 8-3 advantage. The rally began with Knight driving in a run on a single to make it 3-2 followed by Rodriguez and Topolski scoring on wild pitches to put the Growlers in front 4-3. Kalamazoo then plated three additional run with a Neville RBI single and a two-run single courtesy of Hunter Thorn (Purdue Northwest) to push the advantage to five runs.

Battle Creek stormed back with two outs in the seventh, scoring five runs on just two hits to tie the contest at 8-8. Anthony Catalano drills a three-run double to make it 8-7 and then Michael Morrissette pokes a RBI single down the right field line to even the score. 

The Growlers once again battled back in the eighth as Gelof laid down a RBI bunt single to score one and then Knight scored on an error to put KZoo back in front 10-8. Kalamazoo relief pitcher Eamon Horwedel (Ohio Univ.) earned the win, improving to 5-1.

Up Next

The Kalamazoo Growlers return to action tomorrow evening for the opener of a two-game series against the league-leading Traverse City Pit Spitters. First pitch is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start. 


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