KALAMAZOO, MI – The hot bats that the Kalamazoo Growlers showed off at the start of the 2016 season were on full display tonight in their 7-2 win over the Lakeshore Chinooks.
The excitement began right away in tonight's contest as the Growlers were able to erase the run that Royce Ando scored in the top of the first inning with three runs of their own in the bottom half. Matt Lloyd (Iowa Western) got the scoring started with an RBI double that reached the wall in left field. Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois) was able to score with ease on the play. Nick Hutchins (Southern Illinois) and Michael Crowley (Huntington) each added RBIs of their own in the inning and it was quickly a 3-1 advantage for Kalamazoo.
Lloyd decided that one RBI double was not enough for him in the second inning and he sent another ball to the wall that plated Kopach again. Jordan Verdon (San Diego State) was then able to put the ball in play and drove in Dan Robinson (Central Michigan) on a fielder's choice for the Growlers' second run of the inning. Hutchins capped off the inning with his second RBI base hit of the game to stretch Kalamazoo's lead to 6-1.
Ando picked up his 11th RBI of the season for the Chinooks in the top half of the fifth inning to cut the Growlers lead down to 6-2.
Tre Gantt (Ohio State) took advantage of Lakeshore's deep infield alignment in the bottom half of the fifth with a perfect bunt just beyond the pitcher's mound to drive in Camden Duzenack (Dallas Baptist) and give the Growlers their seventh and final run of this evening's contest.
Grant Wolfram (Central Michigan) was stellar on the mound tonight against Lakeshore. His night was over following five innings as he only allowed three hits, two runs (0 ER), and struckout four. Wolfram also picked up his second win of the summer in this one.
Kalamazoo will begin their final series of the current six game homestand tomorrow night against the Mankato MoonDogs. Tomorrow's starter for the Growlers will be Austin Woodby (Ohio State) and the game is scheduled to begin at 7:05p.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.