KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers split their doubleheader against Rochester at Homer Stryker Field to earn their first win of the season in the first game, but also added a loss in the latter game.
Kalamazoo (1-5) showcased aggressive baserunning in the first game as they stole five bases in the first four innings, which helped set-up runners in scoring position throughout the entire contest.
The aggressive baserunning helped Kalamazoo get on the board first in the bottom of the second as Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh) stole second after getting on base with a walk. The next batter, Max Schuman (Utah) slapped a base-hit to right field, which scored Yarnall.
After three innings of play, the Growlers led 2-0, but Rochester (3-1) would answer with several runs of its own in the fourth.
With runners on the corners and one out, Jayson Yano (Stevens Institute) would hit into a fielder’s choice, which would score Alex Schultz (Nebraska-Omaha) from third. The next batter, William Paschal (Georgia Gwinnet) would get hit by a pitch from Growlers’ starting pitcher Sean Isaac (Vanguard) to load the bases. Trey Kamachi (Arizona State) and Connor Schaefbauer (Minnesota) would follow that hit-by-pitch would back-to-back singles to take a Honkers’ 3-2 lead.
Rochester’s lead would only last that half inning, though, as the Growlers would answer back with a run of their own in the bottom of fourth with Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) single.
The score would stay 3-3 until the bottom of the sixth. Rochester reliever, Ryan Boelter (St.Paul), pitched himself into a bases-loaded, one out jam. On the next three batters, Boelter pitched three balls past the catcher to give Kalamazoo a 6-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Growlers’ closer Matt Frawley (Purdue) pitched a flawless 1-2-3 inning to give Kalamazoo its first win of the young season.
Boelter picked up the loss for Rochester with his three earned runs that gave Kalamazoo the 6-3 lead.
Aaron Tadian (Kent State) got the win, and first win for Kalamazoo, in his one inning of work during the sixth.
The second game did not go in the favor of Kalamazoo as the Growlers fell to the Honkers 11-2.
Kalamazoo held its own, leading 2-1 until the top of the fifth when the Honkers scored four runs to take a 5-2 lead. Rochester would tack on another run in the sixth to make the score 6-2.
Kalamazoo’s hope for a comeback was muted when costly errors by shortstop Charles Leblanc (Pittsburgh) helped the Honkers to a massive five run inning to secure a Rochester 11-2 victory.
CJ Santayo got the win for Rochester, pitching four innings and allowing two earned runs.
Ryan May got the loss for the Growlers, allowing four earned runs in his 4.1 innings of work.
Kalamazoo hopes to rebound from an overall slow start to the 2015 season against Kenosha on Monday at 7:05 p.m. at Homer Stryker Field
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