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Published On: June 25th, 2017

KALAMAZOO, MI – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters beat the Kalamazoo Growlers 7-4 Sunday at Homer Stryker Field in the first game of a two game series. 

The game got off to a hectic start for the Growlers defense. A grounder to third that looked like a sure double play ball turned into two runs for Wisconsin Rapids. Third baseman Michael Diffley threw the ball into right field allowing one run to score from third. Then, right fielder Jack Duffy overthrew catcher Charlie Carpenter allowing a second run to score. 

In the second inning, the Rapids had runners on first and second with two outs. Bryson Stott looped a weak fly ball into left that got away from Jeff Riedel, resulting in an error and a run scored, making it a 3-0 game. 

The Rafters were able to extend their lead in the fifth inning. After Growlers starter Blaine Fisher hit a batter, Wisconsin Rapids catcher Scott Kapers hit a high fly ball that was just out of the reach of Jeff Riedel at the short porch in left for a two-run home run. 

The Growlers would answer and get on the board in their half of the fifth. Designated hitter Ivan Estrella doubled sharply down the third baseline bringing in shortstop Connor Hollis. Newly added Growlers first baseman Stephen Dubb brought in Jeff Riedel on a sacrifice fly, making the score 5-2. In the next at bat, a passed ball scored Estrella to make it a 5-3 game. 

In the top of the sixth the Rapids added another run. Chet Joslyn came in for Fisher and was chased after two batters. Bryson Stott doubled, and after a wild pitch stood at third. Then, Dustin Woodcock singled to make it 6-3. Field manager Cody Piechocki brought in Walter Talcott, who pitched the next 3 innings.

After the Rapids added another run in the eighth, the Growlers came up in the ninth down 7-3. After a leadoff walk, the Growlers had runners on first and second. Connor Hollis singled to score one run and the Growlers looked like they had something going. Jack Duffy was on second and started to take off for third when he was picked off. That ended the Growlers rally, and effectively the game. 

The Growlers and Rafters will play again Monday at 7:05 p.m. in their series finale before the next Growlers hit the road for another road trip.


The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate 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, more than 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit 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.