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Growlers Add Two With Summer Collegiate Experience

Two right-handed pitchers, one from Eastern Kentucky and another from Notre Dame will join the Growlers for their upcoming inaugural 2014 season.

chris-cervantes-smallkyle-rubbinaccio-smallChris Cervantes (Left): 6’1” – 170lb, RHP, Bats/R, Throws/R, Eastern Kentucky (So.), Shelbyville, KY

Kyle Rubbinaccio (Right): 6’3” – 200lb, RHP, Bats/R, Throws/R, Notre Dame (Jr.), Manalapan, NJ

The Eastern Kentucky Colonels’ Chris Cervantes is no stranger to the Northwoods League as 2014 will mark his second year of experience. Cervantes was a member of the Northwoods League North Division champion Duluth Huskies last year. Cervantes posted solid numbers, compiled a 2-2 won-lost record and a nice 3.40 ERA in 13 appearances, including four of those as a starter. Chris pitched 37 innings overall and brings invaluable experience to the 2014 Growlers pitching staff.

 A sophomore with Eastern Kentucky baseball, Chris’ appearances in the 2014 season have mostly been in relief with 11.1 innings on the mound through the halfway point of their season. Cervantes comes off freshman campaign in last year, throwing 31 innings with four starts in his 21 appearances overall. Cervantes also excelled as a scholar athlete, earning academic honors in 2013. High school baseball accolades include both all-region and all-state honors and also acting as the team captain during his senior year at Martha Lane Collins High School in Shelbyville, KY.

Notre Dame right-hander Kyle Rubbinaccio also brings summer collegiate experience to the Growlers this year. In 2012 playing in the New England Collegiate Baseball League Kyle pitched in five games and held a fine 3.00 ERA with the Holyoke Blue Sox. Kyle had a stellar high school baseball career (Manalapan, NJ), winning 19 and only losing twice in three varsity seasons, earning all-state honors. As a member of his high school basketball team he earned all-district as well in 2011.

 Kyle enjoyed his first year with Notre Dame, getting into seven games and starting two for the Irish, pitching 11.0 innings overall. Rubbinaccio sat out the entire 2013 Notre Dame baseball season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm, but is currently back in form this 2014 baseball year, appearing in four games through the early part of the season. The additions of both Cervantes and Rubbinaccio bring the total pitchers on the Growlers roster to ten for 2014.

The Growlers begin their inaugural 2014 season the road as they take on the defending Northwoods League champions, the Madison Mallards on May 27th. The first home game of the year is on Friday, May 30th at Homer Stryker Stadium, when the Battle Creek Bombers come to Kalamazoo in the first of a five game home stand for the Growlers.

The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods 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, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit http://www.growlersbaseball.com