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Kalamazoo Steals 5-3 Victory

Kalamazoo Steals 5-3 Victory

Growlers score three in the ninth to escape with the win

Madison, Wis. –  The Kalamazoo Growlers (12-10, 36-21) came back to defeat the Madison Mallards (11-10. 39-18), 5-3 at Warner Park on Saturday night. The Mallards held a 3-2 lead going into the ninth inning after a Tyler Plantier (Richmond) go-ahead solo shot but the Kalamazoo offense rallied in the ninth, tallying three runs to grab the victory from the Mallards.

 

Mallards starter Cole O’Connorwas fooling Kalamazoo hitters all evening, striking out five over 5.0 innings while allowing four hits and zero runs. O’Connor received run support in the second inning on an Andrew Baker (Florida) RBI double and a Kalamazoo fielding error. With the Mallards leading 2-0, reliever Jonah Smith (Creighton) relieved O’Connor to start the sixth inning and worked a pair of efficient innings. Smith faced the minimum, tossing 2.0 frames while allowing zero hits and striking out one. The duo did not allow a single Kalamazoo batter to reach second base during the game’s first seven frames.

 

Turning Point

After Kalamazoo tied the game at two with a two-run bomb in the top of the eighth inning, Madison responded with some power of its own in the bottom half of the frame. Tyler Plantier demolished a solo shot over the leftfield fence to give the Mallards a 3-2 lead. The homer was Plantier’s 13thof the season.

With the Mallards leading by a run and closer Trace Norkus (North Florida) entering the ballgame, the Mallards needed three outs to seal the win. Norkus struck out leadoff man Sam Hall but the breaking ball in the dirt got to the backstop, allowing Hall to reach on the wild pitch. Kalamazoo continued the rally with a double and a two-run single that gave the Growlers a 4-3 advantage. Kalamazoo tacked on another run on a sac fly to extend their lead to 5-3.

The Mallards threatened in the bottom of the ninth as Garrett Kueber (Austin Peay) ripped a one-out single but Kalamazoo reliever Mason Shinabery sealed the Kalamazoo victory with a strikeout.

Top Mallards

  • Starting pitcher Cole O’Connor tossed a gem, hurling 5.0 innings of shutout ball while striking out five and not issuing a single walk. The outing was O’Connor’s second scoreless start of the summer.
  • Third baseman Tyler Plantier deposited the go-ahead home run over the leftfield fence in the eighth inning, bumping his Division-leading total
  • Outfielder Jake Randa (NW Florida State) roped his league-leading 22nddouble in the seventh inning and finished the evening 2-for-3 at the plate.

 

Next Up

The Mallards take on the Growlers again tomorrow at Warner Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 and the game will feature Harry Potter Night with the Hermillone bobblehead giveaway, presented by Zimbrick Honda. Gates open at 2:30 PM. For tickets and more information visit mallardsbaseball.com. Make sure to catch every Mallards game on The Zone, 1670 AM and 96.7 FM.

 

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The Madison Mallards 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 170 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 theNorthwoods League portal. For more information, visitwww.mallardsbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Mallards as your favorite team.