KALAMAZOO, MI. – A six run fourth inning propelled the Kalamazoo Growlers to a 9-4 win over the Battle Creek Bombers in the first game of the 2018 I-94 rivalry.
Five Growlers drew walks in the fifth inning which was capped by a Zach Daniels grand slam to centerfield. It was Daniels first home run as a Growler, as well as his first extra base hit.
There was a total of 19 walks between the two teams, with the Growlers able to capitalize more often than the Bombers. Battle Creek left eleven runners on base on the day.
Donavan Clark led the charge offensively for Kalamazoo when he led off the top of the first inning with an infield single. He then stole both second and third base before scoring on a Donald Ring sacrifice fly.
After the Bombers tied the score at one following the third inning Kalamazoo erupted in the top of the fourth. The inning started with three straight walks but then two Growlers were retired. Parker Murdie and Clark both drew walks to force in two runs before Daniels came to the plate and sent a home run over the center field wall.
Derek Carr started for the Growlers and went four innings while only allowing 2 hits but walked five. He gave up one earned run in his opening outing for the Growlers.
Jack Nelson got the win in relief for the Growlers with two innings while giving up four hits and three earned runs.
Dakota Roberts got his first save for Kalamazoo working three innings to close the game finishing with one hit while walking three and striking out two.
The Growlers finished the scoring after Murdie scored once in the sixth, and Austin Krzeminiski scored the final tally on a safety squeeze from Donavon Clark.
Battle Creek and Kalamazoo will face off again tomorrow at 7:05 (E.T.) at Homer Stryker Field.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, 190 former 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 (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com or download