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Growlers Split Doubleheader in Wisconsin Rapids

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wi- The Growlers managed a split of a day/night doubleheader in Wisconsin Rapids on Wednesday, winning the first game 12-8, and losing the second 14-11

The two games had separate results and a lot of offense between the two teams. The Growlers and Rafters combined for 45 runs, and 54 hits in the day/night doubleheader.

In game one the Growlers hopped on the Rafters with 6 runs in the top of the second inning, bruising the Wisconsin Rapids starter Jake Cook, who went 4.0 IP, of 12 hit, 10 run baseball. The early runs gave Growlers starter Luke Boyd plenty of breathing room in the victory. Boyd in a spot start went 6.0 IP surrendering 5 hits and 5 runs.

The Growlers had plenty of big days to go around in the victory, with Matt Mervis having the biggest of them all. Mervis went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI, and a homerun. The homer for Mervis was his first of the year. Jonathan Foster also hit a homerun, going a strong 2 for 6 in the win.

In game number two the hits still came for Kalamazoo, but more hits came for Wisconsin Rapids, who ended a six game losing streak in the win. After a rough outing for Kalamazoo starter Kyle Virbitsky (4.0 IP, 11H, 7R, 1BB, 7K) and a bullpen dealing with injuries, the Growlers were forced to go to position players on the mound to finish the doubleheader.

Jason Sullivan, Jared Miller, and Cayman Richardson, were allowed to pitch from the fifth inning on. The trio of infielders combined for 4.0IP, 7H, 7R, 5ER, 2BB, and 3K.

The Growlers made a valiant comeback in the ninth, batting nine, and scoring four. A line drive off the bat of Sam Crail with runners on second and third and one out with the Growlers down just three was caught, essentially ending any hopes of a massive ninth inning comeback.

The Growlers did pick up some great offensive performances in game two, Niko Kavadas had a great day at the plate, going 3 for 4, including a double and a homerun, Ivan Johnson launched his first homer of the year, and Sam Crail extended his hitting streak to nine games.

After the split the Growlers are now 21-9 on the season, the 21 wins setting the mark for most wins in a half by the Kalamazoo Growlers franchise, breaking the mark set in the first half of 2016.

Kalamazoo will now head to Lovespark, Illinois to battle the Rockford Rivets in a two-game series to conclude a five day, six game road trip.

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The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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, 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.comor download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Growlers as your favorite team.