KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers earned tonight's win over the Mankato MoonDogs in a very unconventional fashion. The Growlers ended the game with seven runs but only recorded four hits. Heads up baserunning and capitalizing on Mankato's mistakes allowed Kalamazoo to pick up the win by a score of 7-3.
Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) got the Growlers started tonight in the second inning on a base hit that drove in Nick Hutchins (Southern Illinois). Matt Lloyd (Iowa Western) scored the second run of the game on a sacrifice fly off of the bat of Camden Duzenack (Dallas Baptist). Griggs was able to take advantage of a throwing error by the MoonDogs' right fielder and scored the third and final run of the inning.
Mankato cut the Growlers' lead down to one run in the top of the third on a hard hit double into centerfield by Jake Shepski. David Metzgar and Drew Fearing scored on the play.
The MoonDogs tied up the game at three in the top of the fifth on a bases loaded walk that was drawn by John Fallon. Fearing scored his second run of the game on the walk.
Kalamazoo was able to bust this game open in the sixth thanks to timely hitting and a few Mankato errors. Hutchins drove in Jordan Verdon (San Diego State) on an RBI triple for the first run of the frame. Lloyd followed up the triple with a base hit of his own to bring Hutchins home. Lloyd was the third Growler to cross the plate in the inning on a balk by Dalton Lehnen. Connor Smith (Western Michigan) scored the final run of the inning and game on a dropped third strike that bounced to the backstop to make it a 7-3 game.
Jacob Piechota (Western Michigan) delevered a quality start for Kalamazoo tonight. His night ended after five innings while allowing three runs on just four hits and struck out three.
The Growlers will now hit the road for a two game series with the Kenosha Kingfish. Friday evening's contest at Simmons Field is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd 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 150 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 (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Growlers as your favorite team.