KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers were able to end their lengthy losing streak with a 13-1 win over their in-state rival Battle Creek. Kalamazoo was bolstered by a huge first inning which saw them scoring 6 runs, and sending 11 men to the plate. Battle Creek’s starting pitcher, Jared Middleton, gave up 6 earned runs and was taken out of the game after the first. Kalamazoo got a myriad of new players added to their roster today, 4 of those players started and made a big impact in the game this morning. Connor Hollis, Charlie Carpenter, Jack Duffy, and Christian Moya all started for the Growlers and went a combined 7 for 20 with 4 RBIs. Kalamazoo had a lot of trouble scoring on the homestand, only scoring 15 runs in 6 games; today, the Growlers were able to put up 13 runs against the Bombers who are currently tied for 3rd place in the Northwoods League South Division.
Ryan Johnson was the starting pitcher for the Growlers in this early morning game. Johnson threw 7 strong innings, only giving up 4 hits and 1 earned run, he was so effective that the Bombers did not receive their first hit until the 6th inning. Johnson mixed speeds and locations to keep the opposing Bombers’ hitters off balance. Walter Talcott came in for relief of Johnson after the Bombers scored their only run of the ballgame. Talcott also had a nice day on the bump pitching 2 innings and only giving up 1 hit, a good sign for Kalamazoo whose bullpen has been scuffling of late.
Kalamazoo’s offense was on fire against the Bomber’s pitching staff this morning. Every starter got at least one hit, and the entire team finished the game with 18. The biggest contributor for the Growlers was Ivan Estrella, who went 5-6 finishing just a triple away from the cycle. Estrella drove in 4 RBIs and scored 2 runs by himself. Connor Hollis also had an impressive showing as he started his first game for the Growlers today. He went 3-6 with a RBI and 2 runs scored. On the Battle Creek side there was not a lot of offense going around as they only acquired 5 hits in the entire game. Cale Henneman had the best game for the Bombers’ offense as he went 1 for 4 with a double, and he plated the only run of the ballgame for Battle Creek, not to mention, he dealt the final blow to Ryan Johnson as he was pulled from the game in the 8th after surrendering a double to Henneman.
7:35 PM KALAMAZOO MI – Kalamazoo dropped the second game of the doubleheader today 4-1 against the Battle Creek Bombers. The night game was a stark contrast of the first game as the offense just couldn’t seem to get it going against Bombers’ pitching. The Growlers’ offense could only muster up 4 hits total, although, the Bombers did not do any better only obtaining 5. The defining inning of the ballgame came in the bottom of the 7th as Kalamazoo loaded the bases with zero outs. The inning started with a Charlie Carpenter single, next came a line drive single by Jack Duffy, and then Drew Huff hit a slow roller that was perfectly placed for him to reach base. Kalamazoo had a perfect opportunity to cut into the Bombers’ lead, however, Battle Creek was not going to let that happen. Connor Hollis, and Jason Sullivan were struck out back to back, and even though Jeff Riedel was walked and a run scored, Matt Koehler grounded out the next pitch and Battle Creek got out of the inning with minimal damage.
Daniel Ritcheson was the starting pitcher for Kalamazoo tonight. He threw 5.0 innings giving up 5 hits with 3 earned runs. Ritcheson had great movement on his pitches, and he also had great velocity which contributed to his 8 strikeouts.
Pitching was the highlight of the game today. The starting pitcher for Battle Creek, Trent Johnson, pitched 6.2 innings only giving up 4 hits, and 1 earned run. He was relieved by Mark Quinby and the two pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts while only allowing 4 hits. Bryce Welborn came out of the bullpen for the Growlers and he was dealing. At one point in the ballgame he got 11 out of the 11 batters he faced which included 5 strikeouts. Welborn had great control in today’s ballgame, and paired with the great stuff Bryce has he was able to get a lot of batters out.
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.