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Published On: June 29th, 2022

FOND DU LAC, WI – The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (15-13) continue their five-game home stand with a series opener against the Kalamazoo Growlers (18-12). Tonight is Girls Night Out at Herr-Baker Field. In addition to ‘Bang For Your Buck’ specials that include hot dogs, Brew Pub Pizza slices, 16 oz. Pepsi products, and 16 oz. domestic beers for $2 each, ladies can plan on a ticket offer and drink specials at the ballpark courtesy of Quest Interiors. Local music fans will hear from D. Willy and The Souvenirs before and after the game! Coverage of tonight’s game is on ESPN+, with coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. before first pitch at 6:35.

TODAY’S STORYLINES

HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR: The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders meet the Kalamazoo Growlers at Herr-Baker Field for a two-game series that starts today. The Growlers and Dock Spiders met last week in Kalamazoo, where the two teams split the series. The Dock Spiders scored seven of the final nine runs to win 11-8. The Growlers come into today in first place in the Great Lakes East Division, three games ahead of the Battle Creek Battle Jacks and Rockford Rivets with six games to go in the first half. If the Growlers win the division, it would be their fourth playoff appearance since 2018. The Growlers have also won four of their last five, and are fresh off a sweep of the Kokomo Jackrabbits. The Dock Spiders, meanwhile, have won four of their last five.

A LATE SURGE: The Green Bay Rockers used a three-run eighth inning to come back from down 2-0 and defeat the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders 3-2 on Tuesday night at Herr-Baker Field. Dock Spiders starter Davis Rokose turned in his best performance of the season, throwing a season-high three scoreless innings. Right-handed reliever Luke Vaks followed it up with his best performance of the year as well, as he retired nine straight batters after a walk to the first batter he faced. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Dock Spiders.

RETURN TO NORMALCY: On Tuesday night, five different balls were hit over 90 MPH off the bat and traveled at least 330 feet, but all five ended up as outs. For the first time this year, the wind was blowing in from center-field, instead of out to right or left. Herr-Baker Field is known as one of the hardest places to hit a home run in the Northwoods League, but prior to Tuesday, had seen eight home runs this year in 11 home games, compared to 16 all of last year,. At Herr-Baker Field, the right field wall is the furthest out of any ballpark in the Great Lakes West Division at 330 feet. Center field, at 400 feet, and left field, at 330, are the second furthest distances in the division, behind Lakeshore’s Kapco Park (409 ft to CF) and Green Bay’s Capital Credit Union Park (338 ft to LF).

RUNS? NOT ON MY WATCH: Over the last four games, the Dock Spiders pitching staff has allowed 11 runs, an average of 2.8 per game. Over that span, the staff has a 2.50 ERA, which has seen the team ERA drop by more than half a run to 5.23. Dock Spiders pitchers have struck out 35 batters over the last four while issuing just 13 walks in 34 innings.

IT’S ALL EXTRA: With a double last night, each of Cole Messina’s last six hits have gone for extra bases. Over that span, he’s tallied three doubles, a triple and two home runs. He’s currently tied with Grant Hussey for the team lead with 10 extra-base hits on the year.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHING MATCH-UP

RHP DAVID HAGAMAN (FDL): Hagaman is set to make his first start at Herr-Baker Field this year, after his only home start came in the inaugural I-41 Showdown in Appleton, Wisconsin. The West Virginia righty has allowed just two runs in nine innings at home this year, including a career-high eight strikeouts on June 9 in Appleton.

RHP TANNER KNAPP (KZO): Knapp faces the Dock Spiders for the second straight start after he allowed three runs in 2.2 innings last Friday in Kalamazoo. Both of his road starts this year have come against the Battle Creek Battle Jacks.