KALAMAZOO, MI – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters beat the Kalamazoo Growlers 7-0 on Friday, moving the Rafters to 16-1 on the year and extending the Growlers' losing streak to 9 games. The Rafters got on the board quickly in the first inning. Center fielder Nick Anderson walked to reach base. A single by right fielder Dustin Woodcock moved Anderson to second and a single by first baseman Ryan Stekl in the next at bat scored him.
The Growlers threatened to score in the bottom of the fourth inning. After two strikeouts, first baseman Kaleb Murphy advanced to first and then second base after an error by the Rapids’ third baseman Charlie McConnell. Catcher Javier Martinez then also reached base after an error by the Rapids’ shortstop Bryson Stott, putting runners at the corners. However, the Growlers stranded both runners, leaving the score 1-0.
Wisconsin Rapids replied with more offense, using the long ball to extend their lead. Thursday’s Northwoods League Player of the Night Nick Anderson picked up where he left off when he hit a 2-run shot in the 5th inning off of Growlers’ starting pitcher Luke Schaefer. Then, designated hitter Josh Rehwaldt hit a 2-run home run off Schaefer to make the Rapids lead 5-0.
Walter Talcott entered the game for the Growlers in the sixth inning. After getting the first two outs, a passed ball allowed the Rapids' Charlie McConnell to advance to second and left fielder Jake Guenther to advance to third. Nick Anderson then picked up two more RBIs to make the score 7-0.
The Growlers offense couldn’t get much of anything going with only 3 hits on the night. Wisconsin Rapids pitcher Jake Stevenson went 8 innings, giving up 3 hits and a walk. The Growlers look to snap their losing streak Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against the Kenosha Kingfish (11-6) at Homer Stryker Field. The evening's game is sponsored by Pure Green and will feature an appearance by the Chicago Boyz acrobatic team.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). 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 or on Google Play and set the Growlers as your favorite team.