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Growlers bats go silent late, drop series opener in Kenosha 5-3

Kenosha, WI– The Growlers drop the first game of their weekend series at historic Simmons Field 5-3 to the Kenosha Kingfish.

The Growlers struck first in the top of the second inning as Ryan Mergener (Wayne State) hitting out of the eight spot drove in Nick Hutchins (Southern Illinois) from third who reached on a two base error by Kingfish right fielder Von Watson (Lipscomb) then stole third on the first pitch of Mergener’s at bat. The Growlers nine hitter Kyle Ziegler (Northwood) would keep things going in the top of the second driving in newly added Growler Brynn Martinez (Quincy) who had three stolen bases on the night on a sharp single to center field, Growlers lead 2-0.

Fast forward to the top of the third and the Growlers extend their lead to 3-0 as Nick Hutchins hit a shot off the leg of Kingfish starter George Faue (Northern Illinois) that ended up in short left field scoring Jason Sullivan (Central Michigan), who doubled to lead off the frame. Faue would leave the game and be replaced by Seth Rosenberg (Northern Kentucky). The Kingfish would fight back in the bottom of the fourth scoring one on a sac fly by third baseman Anthony Warenke (San Diego City), and the other on a laser of a double to left field by center fielder Connor Doyle (University of San Diego) to make the score 3-2 Growlers.

Rosenberg in relief of Faue did not allow a Growler to reach base as he retired all 15 batters he faced. Fast forward to the bottom of the sixth and that is where things unraveled for the Growlers.  After starter Zack Vitkuske (Muskegon CC) was lifted for Bryce Welborn (Eastern New Mexico) the Kingfish tied it up with the bases loaded after Welborn walked the first batter he faced then hit Connor Doyle on full count to force across the tying run. The Kingfish would then take the lead via a wild pitch by Welborn, and  add on with a sac fly by catcher Brett Helmbrecht (Coppin State). The Kingfish would exit the sixth with a 5-3 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.

The Growlers registred only one hit in the game after starter George Faue exited in the third inning. Zack Vitkuske takes the loss, Seth Rosenberg gets the win, and Alex Manasa (Jackson CC) closed the door on the Growlers in the ninth recording the save.

The Growlers will look to split the series as they battle the Kingfish tomorrow with first pitch set for 1:05 central time  in Kenosha at Simmons Field. Listen to Growlers baseball live when the team is on the road at mixlr.com/kzoo-growlers, Parker Brighton and Griffin Sassano the voices of the 2017 Kalamazoo Growlers have the call.

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The Kalamazoo Growlers 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 the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Growlers as your favorite team.​