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Fish Fry: Kingfish Sweep Doubleheader from Growlers

KENOSHA, WI – Playing in their second doubleheader in three days, the Kalamazoo Growlers (6-16) dropped both ends of a doubleheader to the Kenosha Kingfish (17-5), losing 5-4 in 10 innings in game one and falling 10-2 in game two at Simmons Field.

With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 10th inning of game one, Kenosha’s Nick Sergakis (Ohio State) led off with a single. Two batters later, Hunter Alexander (St. Johns River State College) laced a double down the left field line. After Eric Filia (UCLA) was walked intentionally, pinch-hitter Zach Ratcliff (Ohio State) brought home his Buckeye teammate with a sac fly to center, setting off the celebration in Kenosha.

JR Holloway (San Jacinto CC, 2-0) picked up the win for the Kingfish after pitching a scoreless 10th. Alex Kuisel (Academy of Art, 0-1) was tagged with the loss after surrendering the final run.

Cole Schaefer (Coastal Carolina) did not factor into the decision for Kalamazoo, despite allowing just three runs (one earned) on six hits in six innings. Aaron Tadian (Kent State) surrendered the Ratcliff sac fly to end it in the 10th.

The Growlers jumped out to an early lead in the first game. After a single and a walk to lead off the top of the second, Jordan Stading (Houston) drove in his first Kalamazoo run on a single. Kory Brown (Bowling Green) laid down a squeeze bunt two batters later to make it 2-0.

Kalamazoo picked up another two-spot in the third. Kory Young (Michigan State) walked and stole second, later scoring on Nick Yarnall’s (Pittsburgh) single. Yarnall in turn scored on a Brendan Allen (UConn) wild pitch as the Growlers went up 4-4.

The Kingfish began their rally in the bottom of the third. Zach Jones (Northwestern) reached on a two-base error by Schaefer. After a Jack Sundberg (UConn) single two batters later, Zach Weigel (Seton Hall) singled home one run and Alex Borglin (Central Michigan) singled home another to make it 4-2.

Kenosha inched closer with an RBI groundout by Filia in the sixth. Then in the seventh, Nick Wernke (West Virginia) walked Sergakis with the bases loaded to tie the game and set up Ratcliff’s heroics.

Soteropulos_AtBatIn game two, the Kingfish jumped all over Growlers starter Derek Schneider (Western Michigan). Borglin singled on a drag bunt, then after a walk and an infield fly, Mitch Gasborro (Eastern Illinois) singled home Borglin. Brody Westmoreland (San Diego State) then tripled home two runs and scored on Weigel’s single. The final two runs came home on an Alexander single and an error.

Kenosha added four more runs in the fifth, punctuated by a long two-run home run by Ratcliff. The Growlers broke the shutout in the sixth when Yarnall and John Soteropulos (California) each doubled in runs.

Ryne Blanton (Madison College, 3-0) earned the win with five innings of one-hit, shutout ball. Schneider (0-4) took the loss after allowing six runs in two innings.

Soteropulos went 3-for-7 with a double, two runs, and an RBI in the doubleheader. Weigel led the way for Kenosha with three hits, a run, and two RBIs.

The Growlers now return home for a four-game homestand, starting with the Madison Mallards on Wednesday night. First pitch from Homer Stryker Field is set for 7:05 p.m.

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