Growlers Win Extra-Inning Thriller
WAUSAU, WI – The Kalamazoo Growlers won an extra inning thriller 8-5 on Sunday afternoon against the Wisconsin Woodchucks.
Kalamazoo took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth with All-Star Mason Shinabery on the mound. But the Woodchucks didn’t let that bother them, as Reese Alexiades lifted the game-tying home run over the right field wall with one out in the inning. Shinabery, the all-time Growlers leader in saves, hadn’t allowed a run since June 14 and had gone 19 straight scoreless innings until the home run.
The Woodchucks then immediately threatened to win the game in the tenth. With just one out Nick Loftin stole second and then advanced to third on a throwing error from Jon Foster. With the winning run just 90 feet away Shinabery was able to strikeout Tommy Duddleston. The Isaac Quinones hit a ball that looked destined to be the game-winner until the Growlers second baseman Jason Sullivan dove and tossed to first for a game-saving play.
The Growlers wasted no time capitalizing on the momentum by scoring three runs in the top of the 11th on just one hit. The go-ahead run scored on an error from Brandt Broussard off the bat of Ivan Johnson, then a passed ball and a Matt Mervis Sac Fly extended the lead to three.
The Growlers got big days at the plate from Ivan Johnson, Sam Crail, and Jonathan Foster. Johnson smacked a home run in his 2 for 6 day, Crail managed to go 3 for 5, and Foster smacked 2 hits and picked up 2 RBI.
Jason Sullivan, along with his game-saving defense, was able to reach base four times and pick up an RBI.
The win puts Kalamazoo just one win (or Battle Creek loss) away from clinching the first playoff appearance in franchise history with six games remaining.
It also marks the first 40 win season in Growlers history, adding another record to a historic season for Cody Piechocki and the Kalamazoo Growlers.
The Growlers will travel to Madison to battle the first-place Mallards as they try to secure a playoff spot and finish off a six-game, seven-day road trip.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in 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, 200 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.kalamazoogrowlers.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.