KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers fell short against the Rockford Rivets this evening as Rockford was able to get 13 runs on the board on just nine hits. The story of Saturday's Mascot Olympics game, presented by West Hills Athletics,was the nine baserunners the Growlers allowed via the walk. This game ended in a 13-5 advantage for the Rivets.
Tonight's first runs were scored on a grand slam by Rockford's Ryan Long in the fourth inning. All three runners that were on base at the time were there thanks to walks by Kalamazoo pitchers. The Rivets were able to get three more runs in the inning on two RBI base hits and a bases loaded walk and got out to a quick 7-0 lead.
Kalamazoo was able to get their first runner across home plate in the bottom half of the sixth frame thanks to Nick Hutchins' (Southern Illinois) hot bat. Tre Gantt (Ohio State) scored on the single to cut the lead down to 7-1.
Both teams were able to put together great eighth innings at the plate this evening. David Cronin extended the Rivets' lead to 10-1 on a three-run home run in the top of the inning that scored Michael Smith and Jordan Hovey. Camden Duzenack (Dallas Baptist) responded for the Growlers with a triple in the bottom of the inning that brought Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois) and Gantt across the plate. Jordan Verdon (San Diego State) followed up the triple with a two-run home run that brought Duzenack home.
It was too little, too late for Kalamazoo as Rockford added three more runs in the ninth from a bases loaded double by Neal Tyrell that brought all three runners home. These three runs would end up being the final three of the game as Rockford ended up beating the Growlers 13-5.
Austin Rodesky (Findlay), the usual closer for the Growlers, got the start on the mound tonight and pitched three and 1/3 innings while giving up six runs on just one hit and walking six batters. Outfielder David Hensley (San Diego State) and catcher TJ Marik (Austin Peay) saw their first action on the mound this season for Kalamazoo. They combined to throw the final two innings and allowed five runs on six hits and struck out two batters.
Kalamazoo and Rockford will be back in action tomorrow afternoon for Star Wars Night presented by Celebration Cinema. The Growlers will be wearing limited edition Storm Troopers jerseys that will be auctioned off following the game. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. EDT.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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 150 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). 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 and set the Growlers as your favorite team.