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Growlers Cede Early Lead Again, Drop Opener in Rochester

ROCHESTER, MN – The Kalamazoo Growlers fell 8-3 to the Rochester Honkers on Tuesday night at Mayo Field.

Greg Jakusik (Stevens Institute, 2-2) picked up the win by allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out three on 85 pitches. Aaron Tadian (Kent State, 1-1) took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits, a walk, and a hit batsman without retiring a man in the fifth inning.

Down 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Honkers (16-11) scrapped back-to-back singles off Tadian. Alex Schultz (Nebraska-Omaha) then drew a walk and Matt Fiedler (Minnesota) was hit by a pitch to plate the tying run. Keegan Baar (Michigan State) then came on in relief of Tadian and walked Joe DeRoche-Duffin (UConn) to force in the go-ahead run to make it 4-3.

Rochester plated another in the seventh when Connor Schaefbauer (Minnesota) hit a two-out double to the gap off Nick Wernke (West Virginia) to score Adam Walton (Illinois). The Honkers got three more on the board in the eighth, highlighted by a Fiedler run-scoring double and a two-run single by Slade Heggen (Oregon).

The Growlers (7-22) opened the scoring with three runs in the top of the second. After two walks to start the frame, John Soteropulos (California) doubled to right-center to score Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh). Max Schuman (Utah) then hit an RBI groundout to bring in Angelo Armenta (USC), when Kory Brown reached on a two-base error that plated Soteropulos to give Kalamazoo an early 3-0 lead.

Rochester began its rally in the bottom of the fourth by scoring two off Growler starter Alec Byrd (Florida State). Byrd was perfect in the first three innings of his Kalamazoo debut, leaving after the fourth after allowing two runs on two hits. He walked one and struck out five on 67 pitches.

Matt Walker (UCLA), Ryan Boelter (Gardner-Webb), and Patrick Duester (Tulane) combined to keep Kalamazoo off the board in the final three innings.

The Growlers complete their four-game North Division road trip against the Honkers on Wednesday night. First pitch from Mayo Field is set for 8:05 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