Growlers Strand 14 Base Runners in Loss to Rockford
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers were unable to cash in on the many opportunities they had to score during this afternoon's 10-8 loss against the Rockford Rivets. Kalamazoo stranded 14 runners on base in this one and this included leaving the bases loaded in three different innings. Both teams were able to muster up 11 hits each, but Rockford was able to take advantage of their base runners more frequently than the Growlers.
Kalamazoo got out to an early 4-0 lead after three innings during Star Wars Night presented by WKZO/Z96.5. Jordan Verdon (San Diego State) drove in the first run of the game in the very fist inning as Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois) scored on the fielder's choice. Nick Hutchins (Southern Illinois) kept it going in the third with a two-RBI double that plated Brandon Gomez (Nova Southeastern) and Verdon. Hutchins scored from third later in the inning when the Rivets' catcher attempted to throw Camden Duzenack (Dallas Baptist) out at second base.
Rockford got one run back on a Ryan Long double in the top half of the fourth, but the Growlers answered with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Kopach drove in Tre Gantt (Ohio State) on a base hit to begin the half inning. Verdon brought Kopach home to finish the inning on a sacrifice fly to right field.
The big inning for the Rivets came in the fifth when they were able to get six runners across home plate. Cory Wright and Gavin Johnson each scored to begin the inning. Those two runs were followed up by a grand slam off of the bat of Hunter Hargrove to give Rockford their first lead of the game.
The lead was quickly shifted over to Kalamazoo's favor in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an RBI triple by Gantt that brought Dan Robinson (Central Michigan) home. Kopach picked up his second RBI shortly after to give the Growlers an 8-7 advantage.
Johnson got the Rivets back on top for good in the sixth inning when he sent a full count pitch into the Miller Lite Party Zone for a two-run home run. Rockford added an extra insurance run in the ninth and held on to defeat the Growlers, 10-8.
Kopach and Verdon led the Growlers at the plate this afternoon as they combined for four hits, four RBIs, and three runs scored. Kevin Marnon (Ball State) looked great at the start of this one, but unfortunately had his high pitch count affect him in the fifth inning. Marnon left the game after four and 1/3 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits and striking out eight hitters.
The Growlers will now be off until July 21st due to the Northwoods League All-Star Game. BJ Butler (Ball State), Nick Hutchins (Southern Illinois), Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois), Devin Pellien (Nova Southeastern), and Dan Robinson (Central Michigan) will all represent the Growlers in Kenosha, Wisconsin during Tuesday's All-Star contest. Kalamazoo will then be on the road for four games before finally returning to Homer Stryker Field for a July 26th matchup with the Kenosha Kingfish.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd 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 150 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Growlers as your favorite team.