Growlers bats struggle in a 5-1 loss to the Mallards
Kalamazoo, Mich. – On a quick, fast-paced game on Saturday night at Homer Stryker Field, the Kalamazoo Growlers were only able to muster up five hits and one run against the defending champion Madison Mallards and dropped the first game of their final two game series, 5-1.
The Growlers would get to the Mallards early in the bottom of the second as Karl Sorensen (St. Cloud State) and L.K. Thompson (Florida International) were on the corners with one out when Grant Van Putten (Calvin) popped a soft single right in front of the diving right fielder that scored Sorensen,
From there the Growlers were not able to get anything going in the bottom half of the second but the Growlers had the 1-0 lead.
However, the lead would not last for long after a two out walk, Mallards right fielder Connor Marabell blasted a two run home run over the left field wall to give Madison a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Growlers would try to rally when Sorensen rocketed a ball to the gap in left center field which gave Kalamazoo runners on second and third with two outs. Lidge would swing on a breaking ball that grounded out to the second baseman for the final out.
Jesse Puscheck (Cansisus) provided a spark in the bottom of the fifth when he blasted a two out ground rule double that was near inches of clearing the 400 feet sign in center field at Homer Stryker Field. Unfortunately, nothing could become of it as Sorensen was sat down to end the inning.
A run in the sixth and a run in the eighth would give the Mallards the 4-1 advantage that would last throughout the game. The Mallards would also add one more in the top of the ninth to extend their lead to 5-1. Madison was able to keep the Growlers bats off balance, as Kalamazoo registered just three hits since their run in the bottom of the second.
Ryan Colegate had his longest outing of the season in the loss, going 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out five. The relief effort of Josh Long (Northwood), Jacob Trejo (USC-Sumter) and Tyler Gentz (St. Cloud State) was impressive going 2.2 innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits.
Sorensen and Puscheck did exactly what they needed to do for the Growlers in the three and four spot in the line-up going 4-for-8. Van Putten registered the Growlers only RBI on the night.
Tomorrow is the season finale for the Growlers in their inaugural season, playing in game two of their series against the Madison Mallards, with a Sunday matinee beginning at 5:05 p.m.
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