Madison, WI – In front of a sellout crowd at Warner Park in south central Wisconsin, the Kalamazoo Growlers dropped game one of their Great Lakes West series against the Madison Mallards, falling by a score of 3-1.
The Growlers had a chance in the bottom of the ninth with Lawson Knight at third and the tying run at the plate in Casen Taggart. With over 6,500 fans on their feet, Taggart drove an 0-1 fastball deep down the right field line with a chance in the corner. Disappointingly enough for the K-Zoo faithful, Warner Park would hold it in, allowing Mallards right fielder Korbyn Dickerson to close out the ballgame, catching it right in front of the warning track.
Situational hitting once again was the doom for the Growl, leaving at least one runner on in all but two innings, stranding a total of 11 out on the basepaths. This mark makes it the 12th time this season the Growlers have stranded nine or more runners on, dropping their average with runners in scoring position to .249.
Kalamazoo’s pitching would keep the Growlers at least in the ball game. In his best start of the season, freshman left-handed starter Tanner Ware went five innings of work, giving up two earned runs and striking out three while not giving up a free pass. Jake Paymaster would add 2.2 innings or quality relief work getting out of a two on, one out jam in the sixth and not giving up a run in the final three innings.
The loss drops the Growlers back down to .500 at 9-9. K-Zoo will look for redemption tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 p.m. ET. The final game of the road stint for Kalamazoo can be watched live on ESPN.