Growlers top Chucks 6-1, sweep weekend series
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers beat the Wisconsin Woodchucks 6-1 Sunday at Homer Stryker Field in front of a crowd of 3229 after a strong performance from starting pitcher Zane Gonzalez. Gonzalez went 7.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits and striking out five. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth.
The Growlers’ offense got things going in the fourth. Ryan Orr doubled and came around to score after Stephen Dubb laced a double over the center fielder’s head the following at bat.
In the fifth inning the Growlers added to their lead, partly thanks to an error by Wisconsin. After back-to-back singles by LA Woodard and Connor Hollis, Jeff Riedel laid down a sacrifice bunt to third. The throw was wide of the first baseman, allowing Woodard and Hollis to score. Riedel would then steal third and score on a sacrifice fly by Jason Sullivan, making it 4-0 Growlers.
Wisconsin would respond in the sixth inning after two errors by Michael Diffley at shortstop. The first error allowed Michael Ferri to advance to second after hitting a single. Then, Logan Foster reached base after an error by Diffley. Ferri would then score from third after a Hunter Coleman single.
The Growlers put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth. Drew Spaeth relieved Wisconsin starter Zach Siggelkow and the Growlers were able to push across two runs. Connor Hollis singled, and an error by the catcher allowed LA Woodard and Matt Schwarz to score, making it 6-1.
Walter Talcott relieved Gonzalez in the eighth and got the last four outs of the game. The victory puts Kalamazoo at 13-17 (22-42 overall) going into the last week of the season. Kalamazoo will return to Homer Stryker Field for the final three games of the season Saturday and Sunday against Rockford.
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 180 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.