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Growlers get ruffed up by Rafters, 11-4

Wisconsin Rapids, WI– The Growlers came into Witter Field looking to break a two game skid, but they ran into a scorching hot Rafters team coming into this game on a seven game win streak and looking to extend it to eight.

The Rafter would strike early and often against starter Zack Vitkuske (Muskegon CC). Dustin Woodcock (SIU- Edwardsville) hit a solo shot in the bottom of the first. Then in the second Nic Motley (McClennan CC) hit a two run bomb to make it 3-0 Rafters. Wisconsin Rapids would tack on four more runs in the bottom of the third to give the Rafters a commanding 7-0 lead after three.

The Growlers would fight back in the top of the fifth scoring 4 runs. The highlights of the top of the fifth feature a two RBI double by Drew Huff (MTSU) and Ryan Mergener (Wayne State) hit his second solo shot in as many games to pull the growlers within three, 7-4 Rafters.

Simon Andersson (Sweden) pitched in relief of Vitkuske and saved some bulpen arms for the rest of the road trip allowing four earned runs over four and two thirds innings before being lifted for Drew Huff who closed out the night for the Growlers on the bump. In total the Growlers only notched one less hit than the Rafters 13-12, but the Rafters launched two solo shots, and two of the two run variety to pave the way for their 11-4 victory.

The Growlers are back in action tonight at 7:05 ET against these Rafters at Witter Field. Tune into mixlr.com/kzoo-growlers for pregame at 6:55 ET as the Growlers look to split the series against the Rafters and end this three game skid, Parker Brighton and Griffin Sassano 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.​