Kalamazoo, MI. — The Kalamazoo Growlers (34-34, 18-18) dropped a pair of tough decisions to the visiting Kokomo Jackrabbits (27-40, 12-22) in the doubleheader by final scores of 7-6 and 8-3 at Homer Stryker Field Thursday evening.
In a continuation of the suspended game from July 6th, the contest picked-up in the top of the third inning with Kokomo leading 6-5. The Jackrabbits added a run in the third as Hagan Severance scored on a passed ball to stretch the lead to 7-5.
Neither team would score until the bottom of the seventh as the Growlers tried to mount a rally. Shea Kramer (Utah) delivered a RBI single to center scoring Joe Stewart (Michigan State) to trim the deficit to 7-6. With the tying run at third base and two outs, Emilio Rosas (USC) attempted to come home from third on a wild pitch, but he was tagged out to end the game.
The Growlers managed just two hits and four base runners from the third inning until the seventh. Kokomo relief pitcher Aaron Husson earned the win, improving to 6-1. Kalamazoo starter Michael Dunkelberger (Indiana) took the loss since he was the starter in the July 6 contest. Growlers reliever Adam Wheaton (Trine Univ.) tossed a gem, allowing no runs on one hit through 4 ⅓ innings with six strikeouts.
Kalamazoo struck first in the opening frame as Trent Quartermaine (Kalamazoo Valley CC) knocked a RBI single to put the Growlers in front 1-0 early. Kokomo answered in the second with a Brantley Johnson RBI single to even the score at 1-1.
The Jackrabbits broke it open in the third with three runs to grab a 4-1 lead on a sacrifice fly and a two-run double. Kalamazoo attempted another rally with a pair of runs in the fifth as Nick Neville (South Carolina) scored on a wild pitch followed by Brooks Coetzee (Notre Dame) laying down a bunt scoring Jake Topolski (Duke) to trim the margin to 4-3.
Kokomo responded with four unanswered tallies in the sixth and seventh to stretch the lead to 8-3. Austin Elder drew a RBI walk in the sixth to make it 5-3. The Jackrabbits then compiled three straight RBI hits in the seventh to extend the margin to a five-run game.
Kokomo starter Chris Mott earned the win, improving to 1-1. Growlers starter Spencer Juergens (Missouri) took the loss, falling to 3-4.
The Kalamazoo Growlers remain at Homer Stryker Field tomorrow evening for a doubleheader, First pitch for game one is slated for a 5:05 p.m. start.
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