KZoo cruises past the Jackrabbits in doubleheader sweep
Kalamazoo, MI — After dropping a tight contest last night, the Kalamazoo Growlers (18-17, 2-1) responded in a massive way with a pair of 13-1 and 12-7 victories over the rival Battle Creek Bombers (14-24, 1-2) at Homer Stryker Field Thursday evening. The Growlers now even the 2019 I-94 Rivalry series at 4-4.
The Growlers once again trailed early as the Jackrabbits knocked a RBI groundout in the opening frame to grab an early 1-0 advantage. Kalamazoo quickly answered in the ensuing frame on a two-run single from Austin Knight (Tennessee) to put the hosts in front 2-1.
Kokomo soon tied the score in the top of the second on a RBI double to make it 2-2. Kalamazoo went back ahead in the fourth as Dakota Kotowski laid down an infield bunt single to push the Growlers in front 3-2.
The Jackrabbits would not go away in the fifth as Chase Keng cranks a two-run blast to put the visitors ahead 4-3. Kalamazoo opened the offensive floodgates with a five-run sixth inning to take a commanding 8-4 edge. The Growlers tied the game as Zack Gelof (Virginia) scored on an error followed by the go-ahead RBI single provided by Jake Topolski (Duke) to make it 5-4.
Kalamazoo scratched across a pair of key insurance runs courtesy of a Drew Blakely (Virginia) two-run single and a RBI groundout from Shea Kramer (Utah) to stretch the margin to 8-4.
Growlers relief pitcher Dion Henderson (TCU) earns the win, improving to 1-2. Henderson tossed one scoreless frame of relief with one hit allowed and two strikeouts. Kokomo starter Creede Jeffers took the loss, falling to 0-3.
Kalamazoo struck first in the opening frame on a Gelof RBI groundout to make it 1-0. In the second inning, Gabe Rivera (Univ. of Miami) drilled a lead-off triple and scored on an error to extend the advantage to 2-0.
The Growlers exploded again in the fifth inning with four runs on three hits to extend the advantage to 6-0. The frame began with a two-run single from Gelof followed by a sacrifice fly by Clay Owens (USC). Jimmy Sullivan (Virginia) capped the inning with a RBI single of his own.
Kalamazoo’s pitching staff combined for a stellar effort, allowing only one Kokomo run on two hits. Growlers starter David Toth (Hillsdale College) earned the win, improving to 1-1. Toth tossed four shutout frames with two hits allowed and four strikeouts. Jackrabbits starter Lucas Folmer took the loss, falling to 1-3.
The Kalamazoo Growlers play their final doubleheader of the weekend tomorrow evening, facing the Kokomo Jackrabbits. First pitch is slated for a 5:05 p.m. start.
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