The Kalamazoo Valley Cougars defeated the Kellogg Bruins Tuesday night in four sets (25-17, 18-25, 25-21, 25-19), snapping Kellogg’s seven-game opening win streak. Unofficially, Gobles alum Haley Rock topped the Cougars with nine kills, followed by eight from Sara Egly and seven by Gabriella Iagnocco. Three Rivers grad Hannah Landis topped Kellogg and led all players with 10 kills.
Kellogg was the first to lead by multiple points and led much of the first set. Kalamazoo Valley finished strong, ending on a 7-1 run en route to their first home set win of the season. In the second, the Bruins used an 8-0 run off the service of Kimberly Kusler to pull away and even the match at 1-1.
The third set was tied at 16-16, then a 9-5 finish pushed the Cougars back ahead. In the fourth, Kalamazoo Valley jumped out to an 8-4 start and although Kellogg briefly tied it, the Cougars never surrendered the lead.
The win puts Kalamazoo Valley at 2-6 overall and 1-3 in the MCCAA Western Conference. Kellogg suffers its first defeat at 7-1 and 3-1 in the West. Both squads return to action Thursday with the Cougars at Ancilla, while Kellogg hosts Glen Oaks.
Listen back to Tuesday’s broadcast below:
Listen live online Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to college volleyball with the Kalamazoo Valley Cougars hosting the Kellogg Bruins. These teams had very tight matches in their two meetings last season, as the Cougars won at home in five sets and won in Battle Creek on four sets.
Kellogg has started 2017 with a 7-0 record, already topping their four total victories in 2016. They haven’t had eight wins in a season since 2021. The Bruins are 3-0 in the MCCAA Western Conference, opening August with wins over Lake Michigan, Jackson, and Lansing. Over the weekend, Kellogg added four more victories in the Owens Express Classic, including a sweep of Division III 10th-ranked Columbus State.
Kalamazoo Valley has started 1-6, although they’ve had incredibly stiff competition as they’ve faced five Division II top-25 ranked teams. Their lone victory came in the Owens Express Classic Saturday against 14th-ranked Schoolcraft in five sets. The Cougars are 0-3 in the MCCAA Western Conference, falling to 13th-ranked Grand Rapids, 19th-ranked Muskegon, and Glen Oaks.
After 15 consecutive losses to Kellogg, including the first three of four games this weekend, Kalamazoo Valley finally knocked off the Bruins and handed them their first MCCAA Western Conference defeat of the year Saturday. The Cougars ended the four game series with a 8-7 walkoff home run victory in the rain from Alex Dreier. In the first game of the afternoon, Kellogg won 12-5.
The doubleheader started two hours early in attempt to avoid a rainy weather forecast. Although the first game stayed dry, almost the entire second game was played in a consistent rain. Kalamazoo Valley scored once in the first inning, then added two more in the fourth for a 3-0 lead. The powerful Kellogg offense broke the shutout in the top of the fifth on a Tanner Gross two run homer, but the Cougars used a three-run Ryan Anderson dinger and a solo bomb from Andrew Szalkowski in the bottom of the fifth for a 7-2 lead.
After an excellent first six innings, the Bruins finally got to starting pitcher Brock Emery in the seventh. The Cougars got the first two outs, but two hits, a walk, and hit batsmen chased Emery from the game. Joey Knapp got the final out, but surrendered a double and walk with a fielding error, allowing Kellogg to plate five in the seventh and tie the game at 7-7. The fourth Kellogg reliever, Travis Snyder, entered in the bottom of the seventh and only threw one pitch, which Alex Dreier sent over the right field wall for the victory. Listen to the homer below:
The win was Kalamazoo Valley’s first over Kellogg in baseball since April 9, 2011. Dreier had two hits, two runs, and the winning RBI. Anderson finished with three RBI on two hits and a run. Kellogg’s Raphe Gross had three hits and a walk drown, scoring twice. Cougar starter Brock Emery pitched 6.2 innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs. Bruin starter Max Swan went 4.2 innings, allowing five runs and seven hits.
In the first game of the afternoon, the Cougars struck first with two runs in the first inning. Like Friday’s two defeats, the lead didn’t hold, with Kellogg scoring thrice in the second, twice in the third and once in the fourth. The Cougars plated one in the third, but a six-run sixth inning removed any doubt for the Bruins. Kalamazoo Valley scored twice more in the seventh for the 12-5 defeat.
Bruin starter Joey Nate went six innings, allowing four hits and three runs, two earned, with eight strikeouts. Cougar starter Austin Laurencig pitched 5.2 innings, allowing ten hits and ten runs. Offensively, Kellogg saw two doubles, two runs, and two RBI by Bailey Peterson.
Kellogg wins three of four over the weekend to improve to 30-12-2 overall and 19-1 in MCCAA Western Conference play. At the time of posting, it was unknown if they had clinched the conference crown, with game two between Grand Rapids and Muskegon in progress. Second place Grand Rapids needed to win to stay four games behind the Bruins with them meeting Kellogg for their final four games. The Bruins host Grand Rapids Friday at 2 p.m., then travel Saturday at 1 p.m.
Kalamazoo Valley is 18-17 overall and 13-7 in the West, good for third. Likewise, the result of the second Grand Rapids/Muskegon games plays into the Cougars fate, as they could secure a top three finish and a trip to the Region XII tournament if fourth place Muskegon (13-10) were to lose to Grand Rapids. Muskegon has no more remaining Western Conference games, while the Cougars have a four-game weekend series with Glen Oaks. Friday’s games are at Kalamazoo Valley starting at 2 p.m. and can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network. Saturday’s doubleheader at Glen Oaks begins at 1 p.m. Before that, the Cougars travel to Lansing for two starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Listen back to Saturday’s games below:
The Kellogg Community College baseball team moved to 18-0 in the MCCAA Western Conference thanks to home wins Friday over Kalamazoo Valley, 11-4 and 9-6. The Bruins jump to 29-11-2 overall with the wins while the Cougars drop to 17-16 overall and 12-6 in the Western Conference.
In game one, Kalamazoo Valley built up a 4-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning. However, the Bruins offense awoke from hibernation with seven runs on five hits and two home runs. They added three more in the sixth to secure the 11-4 win off a six-inning start from Cole Sanderson, who allowed all four runs and seven hits. Dakota Roberts pitched four-and-two-thirds for the Cougars, allowing five runs and six hits.
Offensively for Kellogg, Mitch Weber twice hit a two-run homer. Raphe Gross had three hits and two runs. Cooper Marshall scored twice with three hits and three RBI, plus Korey Knowles had three RBI and a run with a solo bomb. For Kalamazoo Valley, Alex Dreier had three hits, one run and one RBI.
In the second game, the Cougars again built an early lead, getting two runs in the second and two more in the third, with both third inning runs on solo homers (Andrew Szalkowski & Dreier). The Bruins added solo runs in the third and fourth, then used a four-run fifth to take a 6-4 lead. Kalamazoo Valley tied it in the top of the sixth, but surrendered three in the bottom of the frame for a 9-6 final. Bruin starter Alec Justin pitched four-and-a-third with five hits, four runs, and five walks. Joey Knapp went five innings for the Cougars, allowing six runs, four earned, seven hits, and four walks with five stirkeouts.
Szalkowski had two runs, two hits and two RBI for the Cougars. Kellogg’s Joey Nate did the same, with Bailey Peterson adding two hits, two runs, and one RBI.
The win extends Kellogg’s winning streak against Kalamazoo Valley to 14 games. They meet again Saturday, this time at Kalamazoo Valley. Originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. start, the doubleheader has been pushed ahead to 11 a.m. with the hopes of avoiding possible rain. You can listen to Saturday’s games live on the Slocum Sports Network.
Listen back to Friday’s games below:
Listen live Friday and Saturday on the Slocum Sports Network to college baseball between the Kalamazoo Valley Cougars and the Kellogg Bruins. Friday’s doubleheader is set for a 1:30 p.m. start at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek. Saturday’s doubleheader is at Kalamazoo Valley starting at 1 p.m.
Both squads are fighting for the MCCAA Western Conference championship and positioning for the Region XII tournament. Kellogg leads the West at 16-0, followed by Grand Rapids (13-3) and Kalamazoo Valley (12-4). Each team has eight conference games remaining, with Kellogg and Grand Rapids still to meet next week in four games. All three teams still could take the top spot and this series, along with Grand Rapids facing fourth-place Muskegon (11-9) could shake up the standings. A best-case scenario for the Bruins locks up the title this weekend, with a best-case for the Cougars
tying Kellogg for the lead entering the final week.
Additionally, the top three teams in the conference move to the Region XII tournament and are seeded based on their finishing position. Kellogg is already on to the tournament, as they can’t finish worse than third, but Kalamazoo Valley still has to contend with Grand Rapids and Muskegon.
Overall, the Bruins sit at 27-11-2, while the Cougars are 17-14. Recent history has favored Kellogg with 12 consecutive Bruin wins over the Cougars, including a four-game sweep last year. Their most recent meeting went 12 innings, ending in a 6-5 Bruin victory. The last Kalamazoo Valley win over Kellogg came on April 9, 2011.
Listen live to all four games this weekend on the Slocum Sports Network. Friday’s doubleheader starts at 1:30 p.m. from Battle Creek, with action Saturday from Kalamazoo beginning at 1 p.m.