KENOSHA, WI — The Kalamazoo Growlers fought hard in both games against the Kenosha Kingfish, but were unable to pull out either contest. Although Kzoo put up a big fifth inning, the afternoon conclusion of the two-game series ended in a 9-6 Kingfish win.
The Growlers quickly got into a hole. Stanford starter Nate Fleischli walked two batters in the bottom of the first then gave up two singles, and the Kingfish jumped ahead 2-0. Kenosha added three more in the third on back-to-back-to-back singles to begin the inning, and an error with two outs.
However, just like yesterday, Kalamazoo’s offense was ready to respond. The Growlers put up six runs in the fifth inning, sending Kenosha starter Mitch Waletzki to an early shower. Don Goodes singled, two more Growlers walked, and Luke Leto ripped an RBI single up the middle to score two. After the pitching change, Henry Gargus walked, and Alex Tappen cranked an RBI triple into deep left field to clear the bases. Devin Burkes hit a triple of his own to bring in Tappen, and the Growlers had the lead 6-5.
It would be short-lived. The Kingfish came back with three in the bottom of the fifth. Northwoods League batting average leader Justin Janas walked, one of four times he’d reach base in the contest, former Growler Luke Stephenson hit the third of his three singles, and they came in thanks to a sac fly and a single. One more run scored on an error (one of six in the ballgame) and Kenosha led 8-6 after five. Duke lefty Kyle Salley replaced Fleischli and pitched extremely well, making it through three and a third and striking out four batters, but the Kingfish did tack on an extra run in the ninth thanks to a Janas RBI double.
The Growlers are two-thirds of the way through a six-game road trip. Tomorrow’s contest begins at 7:35 ET against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.