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Growlers belt 4-homers, sweep Rivets in doubleheader

By Larry Larson

After a close contest in the first game of the doubleheader, Kalamazoo crushed the Rivets 11-1 in the nightcap on Thursday night at Homer Stryker Field. The loss is Rockford’s fifth in the last six games. 

While it took the bats a while to warm up in game one, that was far from the case in game two for the Growlers. Rivets starter Ryan Green (Jr, Concordia-Wisconsin) started the bottom of the 1st by issuing back-to-back walks before recording the first out. After an error on a double-play ball to load the bases, Henry Gargus (So, Stanford) made the Rivets pay, hitting a grand slam to open a 4-0 lead.

The longball was a sign of things to come, as K-Zoo crushed 4 homers on the evening. 

After Green didn’t make it to the 2nd inning, Brendan Lawry (So, Waubonsee Valley CC) allowed 6 earned runs in 3.2 innings – including a 2-run homer in the 2nd to Jake Gelof (Fr, Virginia) and a 3-run bomb from Brooks Coetzee (Jr, Notre Dame) in the 5th. 

Trailing 10-0, the Rivets picked up their first run on a bases-loaded infield single by Wade Elliott (So, Louisiana Tech) in the top of the 8th inning. 

The truncated deficit didn’t last long, though, as Damon Lux (R-So, Duke) hit a solo home run in the bottom of the inning – his third of the summer, all against Rockford. 

The blast was the lone blemish on Jake Armstong’s (R-So, UW-Milwaukee) bullpen outing, as the righty tossed 3.1 innings, allowing just two hits while striking out six. 

Rockford and Kalamazoo will wrap up their 3-day, 4-game series tomorrow at 6:35 ET.