Kalamazoo, MI — The Kalamazoo Growlers (5-3) trailed 3-1 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but rallied back with three straight runs to take the lead in a 5-3 comeback victory over the Rockford Rivets (3-5) from Homer Stryker Field. The Growlers earn their fourth straight win and secure the doubleheader sweep over Rockford.
The Rivets struck first in the opening frame with a RBI double to grab the early 1-0 advantage. Kalamazoo responded with a RBI single by Mike Sears (Sinclair CC) in the second inning to knot the score at 1-1.
Rockford quickly regained the lead in the visiting half of the fourth with a lead-off home run by Jake Vander Wal and RBI double from Tom Josten to make it a 3-1 game. Kalamazoo commenced the comeback trail in the sixth frame, starting with a RBI hit-by- pitch from Jimmy Sullivan (Virginia) followed with a clutch two-out, two-run single from Shea Kramer (Utah) to give the Growlers their first lead of the contest at 4-3.
Kalamazoo would never let go of the advantage for the remainder of the contest. The Growlers add an insurance run in the eighth on Kramer’s sacrifice fly to stretch the lead to 5-3.
Kramer topped the Kalamazoo offensive charts, going 1-for-3 with three RBIs. Growlers relief pitcher Alex McCutcheon (Huntington University) earned the win, improving to 1-0 and allowed just one hit through two shutout frames with two strikeouts. Eamon Horwedel (Ohio University) earned the save in his Growlers debut. Horwedel retired all nine batters he faced in order through three scoreless innings, tallying six strikeouts with just 26 pitches thrown.
The Kalamazoo Growlers will attempt to keep their hot streak alive tomorrow evening, hosting the Battle Creek Bombers from Homer Stryker Field. Both teams will meet for the first time this summer as the Growlers look to defend the 1-94 Rivalry Cup. First pitch is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Currently in its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.