Kalamazoo, Mich. — The Kalamazoo Growlers' Thursday night matchup against the Green Bay Bullfrogs zipped by quicker than a David Price fastball, and they had the Bullfrogs down to their last strike and last out in the ninth inning scarcely two hours after the game's start.
But a flaired RBI single to left off the bat of Brian Celsi (California) tied the game kept the fans at Homer Stryker Field. The Bullfrogs proceeded to put up three runs in the tenth inning to seal a 5-2 win.
Dillon Haviland (Duke) turned into an extremely effective outing for Kalamazoo. The lefty allowed just four hits in eight innings of work, only allowing a run in the first inning on an RBI single.
Bullfrogs starter Roberto Baroniel (Nova Southeastern) was similarly effective, though, never allowing the Growlers to give their starter a significant cushion to work with.
Baroniel made one big mistake, though, and it was enough to give the Growlers the lead. With one out in the sixth inning, Jesse Puscheck singled to right off Baroniel, and after roping a foul ball down the left field line and taking a ball, Karl Sorensen (St. Cloud State) muscled up and sent a ball off the metal roof of the Miller Lite Party Zone in left field to make the score 2-1.
The Growlers bullpen could not make that score hold, though. John Schreiber (Northwestern Ohio) couldn't complete the save in the ninth, and Kalamazoo ended up losing their third straight game after Green Bay's tenth-inning rally.
The Growlers and Bullfrogs will finish up their two-game series Friday at 7:05 p.m. back at Homer Stryker Field. It's Derek Jeter Appreciation Night, presented by Ron Jackson Insurance (Auto-Owners) and WWMT, and the first 500 fans will receive a patch commemorating Kalamazoo's most famous son. There will also be postgame fireworks, presented by Walmart-Sam's Club.
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 via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit http://www.growlersbaseball.com.