KALAMAZOO, MI – Growlers’ broadcaster Will DeBoer called it “the most complete game for the Growlers all season.”
And that it was.
The Kalamazoo Growlers (7-18) were clicking on both sides of the ball as they cruised over the La Crosse Loggers (12-12) 7-3. Even as the early run, and error, epidemic hit Kalamazoo again, leading to two first inning La Crosse Runs, the entire Growler squad stepped up its game to bring its seventh victory in front of a crowd of over 3,000 at Homer Stryker Field.
The largest amount of runs scored for Kalamazoo were the four scored in the bottom of the second. The way these runs were scored, would only be scored in a way a team that scores 11 runs in the ninth would score them.
Max Schuman (Utah) led off the inning with a single. After a fly out and a ground out, Jordan Stading (Houston) walked and Kory Young (Michigan State) singled, which loaded the bases.
In a season of oddities for Kalamazoo, what happens next probably didn’t surprise anyone on this team.
New, but not completely new, Growler Corey Dempster (USC) lined a single to the outfield. The packed stands of Homer Stryker field cheered as this surely would score the two runs needed to tie the game. But, an erratic throw by the La Crosse third basemen allowed Young to score to give Kalamazoo a 3-2 lead. Then, as Dempster attempted to stretch his single into a triple, another throwing error was made and Dempster raced home for a “little league” grand slam.
“I was rounding first base, saw the ball kick away on a throw to third so I took second and when I got to second there was nobody on third, so I was heading for it, beat the shortstop there,” said Dempster. “And when they were trying to get me at third they threw it away again.
“Around the horn, here we go.”
Growler pitching had a field day as well. Starter Matt Frawley (Purdue), went a solid six innings, allowed three runs but only one was earned. Frawley only walked a single batter as well.
Once Frawley left the mound, the troublesome bullpen decided to drop that “troublesome” from its name and was just the bullpen.
Nick Wernke (West Virginia) and Bryan Saucedo (River City College) combined to pitch a scoreless three innings while only walking one batter between the two.
Tomorrow the Growlers look to have their first winning streak of the season as La Crosse finishes its two game set against Kalamazoo at 7:05 p.m.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21-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.