KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers beat the Madison Mallards 8-7 Wednesday at Homer Stryker Field in Kalamazoo. It took a team effort for the Growlers to get the win in the first game of the season’s second half.
The Growlers came out of the gate with a 4-run first inning. With runners on first and second, shortstop Connor Hollis came to the plate, laying down a bunt that couldn’t be picked up by the Mallards’ third baseman. Catcher Charlie Carpenter then doubled to left center, clearing the bases and giving the Growlers a 3-0 lead. Later in the inning Carpenter came around to score after a Drew Huff groundout.
Madison responded immediately, with Sam Armstrong doubling off of Growlers starter JR Holloway to start the second inning. With one out Thomas Smart grounded out to short, scoring Armstrong.
Later that inning, with the bases loaded, Cole Daily hit a ball to the right of Connor Hollis, who tried to get the runner at third but instead threw the ball away, allowing two runs to score on the play, making it 4-3 Growlers. In the fourth inning the Growlers added 2 more runs. With two outs and runners on second and third, Jeff Riedel doubled to make the score 6-3.
Madison responded in the following inning again. A leadoff walk turned into a runner on third with no one out, after a throwing error on a pickoff attempt by JR Holloway. Cole Daily singled to bring in that run. A passed ball allowed another run to score, making it a 6-5 game.
Blaine Fisher came on in relief of Holloway. When Fisher and the Growlers defense picked off the runner at first, the runner at third was able to score to tie the game.
In the eighth, the Growlers’ offense came up big by taking the lead back. With Michael Diffley at second base Connor Hollis doubled to make it 7-6. Then, Charlie Carpenter doubled to make it an 8-6 game. Growlers’ closer Beau Ridgeway came on in the ninth and the Mallards made it interesting after Ridgeway got the first two outs. 3 straight singles brought in a run to make it an 8-7 game. Ridgeway then got Cade Bunnell to fly out to left to end the game.
The Growlers and Mallards will be back at it Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 P.M. at Homer Stryker Field.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate 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, more than 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Growlers as your favorite team.