Kalamazoo, MI- On the first weekend of tripleheaders in the Southwest Michigan pod, the Kalamazoo Growlers won the day’s series against the Battle Creek Bombers with victories in games one and two, with Battle Creek preventing the sweep and winning game three.
Prior to game one, the day was kicked off by Garrett Schultz (Xavier University) winning the home run derby by a score of 1-0 over Josh Swinehart (Western Michigan University).
The scoring in game one didn’t start until the top of the 4th, when Peter Hutzal (Marshall University) knocked a ground ball that brought Joe Mason (University of Mount Olive) around to score.
The Growlers finally generated some offense in the bottom of the 5th, when Cade Sammons (University of Mississippi) got the rally started with a lead off double. He came around to score on a throwing error, and then Blake Dunn (Western Michigan University) got the Growlers back on the basepaths with a single. Carson Greene (Stanford University) capped off his 3-3 performance in game one by delivering the walk-off RBI single, giving the Growlers a 2-1 victory.
Prior to game two, the Battle Creek Bombers won the home run derby when Mason knocked three out of the park for the Bombers, while Ben Chosid (Kalamazoo College) hit one out for the Growlers.
The teams wasted no time trading runs in game two, when a Mason double scored Justin VanDeBrake (Washington State University). The Growlers responded in the bottom half of the first with Ryan Marra (Brown University) coming around to score courtesy of a fielding error.
The Growlers took the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second when Marra was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing Max Huntley (Western Michigan University) home.
The Bombers drew even in the top of the 4th, when Jax Wardwell (Eastern Kentucky University) came around to score while pinch running for John Malcom (University of Tampa).
The Growlers wasted no time retaking the lead in the bottom of the 4th, when Dunn launched a double off his bat, scoring Chosid from second base. The Growlers then carried their 3-2 lead into the 5th, where Andre Orselli (Ball State University) pitched a clean inning and secured a Growlers victory.
Prior to game three, Mitchell Lee (Lamar University) launched 9 home runs over the left field fence for the Bombers, securing the win for Battle Creek in the day’s third and final home run derby.
Then in game three, the Bombers jumped out to the early 1-0 lead thanks to a Tyler Wardwell (Miami University (OH)) rocket down the right field line that scored VanDeBrake. The Bombers increased their lead to 2-0 in the top of the third, when Tyler Wardwell again delivered an RBI double, this time scoring Joe Mason.
The Growlers were shutout and held to just one hit in game three, thanks to some brilliant pitching by Christian Grigsby (Lamar University).
The Growlers are back in action tomorrow against the Kalamazoo MacDaddies, with home run derbys preceding each game beginning at 2:30, 5:15, and 8 PM.