WAUSAU, WI – The Wisconsin Woodchucks overpowered the Kalamazoo Growlers, winning 20-1 on Friday night at Athletic Park.
The Woodchucks (10-9, 22-32) jumped all over Growler starter Alec Byrd (Florida State) in the second inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Taylor Kohlway lifted a pitch to left for a two-run double. Ty Black (Ohio) brought a pair more home on a single, and Albee Weiss (Cal State Northridge) capped the scoring with a base hit to make it 5-0.
The romp spilled over into the third inning as Kohlway plated another on a sac fly. Three batters later following an error by John Soteropulos, Yusuke Akitoshi (Cal State Northridge) cleared the bases and the wall with a grand slam, his second home run of the season, to make it 10-0 for the home side.
Wisconsin continued scoring in increments of five in the fifth, capped by a three-run home run by Fishback. Weiss kept the fireworks show alive in the seventh with a two-run shot to left, capping a three-run inning to make it 18-0.
Simon Matthews (Georgetown, 5-2) cruised to victory with five scoreless, four-hit innings. He walked none and struck out two on 48 pitches. Jake McMahon (St. Norbert College), Tim McElroy (Purdue), Kyle Dohy (Cal State Northridge), and Trevor Dudar (Midland) finished off the final four innings.
The Growlers (5-18, 13-43) broke up the shutout in the eighth inning as Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) singled home Marquise Gill (Eastern Michigan) with two outs. The run was Kalamazoo’s first in 31 complete innings.
Byrd (0-4) took the loss Kalamazoo by allowing five runs on five hits in an inning and two-thirds. Tarrin Beachy (Huntington) allowed six runs in 2.1 innings in his Growler debut, while John Soteropulos (California) moved from third base to the pitcher’s mound for the final five outs.
Fletcher led the way for the Kalamazoo offense, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Kory Brown (Bowling Green) and Max Schuman (Utah) each singled and walked.
Akitoshi finished the day 3-for-6 with the grand slam and six RBIs, while Black and Kohlway each plated three.
Wisconsin won the season series by taking six of eight from Kalamazoo, including the final four. The Woodchucks outscored the Growlers 38-2 in the last four games.
The Growlers now head an hour south for a weekend series with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. First pitch on Saturday from Witter Field is set for 7:05 p.m. EDT.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit http://www.northwoodsleague.com.