Growlers Win Wild Comeback Against Mallards
The loss was the first time this season the Mallards had lost when leading after eight innings.
Zach Daniels hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning off of All Star set-up man Carson Ragsdale to tie the game at two. It was Daniels seventh home run of the season to give him sole possession of the team lead. It also ties Daniels for the all-time Growlers record with seven long balls.
After Tyler Plantier hit his 13th home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth to give the Mallards the lead back, the Growlers were faced with a one run deficit against All-Star Closer Trace Norkus. The inning began with a Sam Hall strikeout, however when the ball bounced away from catcher Jesse Forestell on strike three, Hall was able to reach first base. Matt Mervis followed for the Growlers with a line drive double down the right field line.
With runners on second and third Jonathan Foster lined a single up the middle to score both Hall and Donovan Clark who was pinch running for Mervis to give the Growlers a 4-3 lead. After Ivan Johnson drew a walk a wild pitch moved both runners again to second and third. Daniels would then hit a fly ball to the warning track in center deep enough to score Foster to finish the scoring at 5-3. It was just the second time this season that Norkus has allowed multiple hits in an outing, both coming against the Growlers.
Kyle Virbitsky started for the Growlers going six strong innings, allowing two runs with only one run being earned against the powerful Mallards offense.
Mason Shinabery entered in the ninth for the Growlers, allowing just one hit and notching his eighth save of the season.
The Growlers will return to Warner Park tomorrow to take on the Mallards to complete the two game series.
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.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.