Growlers Drop Season Opener at Madison
Madison, WI - The Kalamazoo Growlers opened their second season on a sour note on Tuesday night, falling to the Madison Mallards 9-4 on Opening Night at Warner Park in Madison.
With the Growlers up 2-1 in the bottom of the third, the Mallards (1-0) got back-to-back one-out singles off Ben Spieldenner (St. Joe's). After a walk and a flyout, Cameron Frost (Washington State) drove in Scott Tyler (Ball State) on a single to tie the game. Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary's) then gave Madison a 4-2 lead with a two-run single.
The Growlers (0-1) sent Ryan May (LSU) to the mound for the bottom of the fifth inning, and Madison greeted him with four more runs. Jonathan Quintana (Barry) led off by reaching on an error, and J.J. Gould (Jacksonville) and Frost managed singles to load the bases. Gonsolin brought them all home with a double to the right center gap, later scoring on a Chris Tschida (Western Illinois) groundout to make it 8-2.
Kalamazoo got one back in the top of the seventh when Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh) jumped on a Dalton D'Spain (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) fastball and sent a rocket to the right field stands. The Mallards cancelled out that run in the next half inning on a sac fly by Tschida, but Yarnall responded again in the ninth with a double off the right center wall to plate Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois).
D'Spain (1-0) picked up the win for Madison after pitching four innings of one-run, three-hit ball, walking three and striking out four. Spieldenner (0-1) was pegged with the loss for the Growlers after giving up four runs on six hits in four innings, walking seven and striking out two.
Ryan May gave up five runs (three earned) in his three innings of work. Justin Schander (Phoenix College) came in for mop-up duty in the eighth and struck out two. Mallards starter Justin Hill (Southeastern CC) did not factor into the decision after lasting just three innings, allowing two runs on two hits and seven walks. Fred Manke (Minnesota) finished off the last two frames for the victors, allowing one run on three hits.
The game began in wild fashion for both teams as they combined for seven walks in the first inning. Hill walked the bases loaded and issued a free pass to Ryan Slaughter (Kalamazoo Valley CC) to force in the game's first run. Spieldenner then gave up three walks in the bottom of the first but forced Jed Sprague (Pacific) to ground out to end the threat.
The Mallards tied it in the bottom of the second when Quintana scored on a fielder's choice. Kalamazoo retook the lead in the third as Fletcher came home on a double play. Yarnall led the Growlers at the plate by going 3-for-4 with the double, home run, and two RBIs. Fletcher picked up a pair of hits and a pair of runs. Gonsolin plated four Madison runs and scored two more by going 2-for-5 with a double.
Kalamazoo completes its opening series in Madison tomorrow night. First pitch from Warner Park is set for 7:35 p.m. EDT.
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