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Berg’s Seven Scoreless and Offensive Fireworks Power Growlers to Sweep

KALAMAZOO, MI — There was plenty of pressure on the Kalamazoo Growlers Saturday night. Manager Cody Piechocki proposed to his fiancé pregame, in front of 3,310 fans, the largest crowd of the season. There were fireworks postgame. The onus was on Kalamazoo to get the sweep of the Rockford Rivets, who gave Kzoo the brooms earlier at Rivets Stadium. However, no one was fazed. The Growlers were excellent in all facets of the game, and swept the Rivets out of Homer Stryker with a 3-1 victory.

It started on the mound, where starter Hayden Berg was dealing. The Western Michigan righty threw seven scoreless innings, and only allowed one hit. Berg’s fastball was electric, jamming multiple Rockford hitters, and tickling the outside corner when needed. He struck out six Rivets and retired all but one leadoff batter. Collin Witzke came in and worked a scoreless eighth. Trey Nordmann was called upon to close the game, and made things interesting, walking the bases loaded then hitting a batter, but got a groundout from the top of the Rivets’ order to close the door for his first save of the season.

KZoo’s offense had eight total hits, and had action on the bases of seven of eight innings; however, the long ball was the Growlers’ key to victory. Damon Lux hit a 364-foot solo shot in the first off of Rockford starter Payton Hutchings. In the fourth, Devin Burkes singled, and his Kentucky teammate Nolan McCarthy hit a tank into left center, complete with his signature Bang® Energy shotgun. McCarthy tied T.J. Williams for the team lead in home runs.

The Growlers improve to 14-20 on the season, and face the Traverse City Pit Spitters tomorrow at 1:35.