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Growlers Drop Series Opener to Rafters

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wi. – The Kalamazoo Growlers bullpen surrendered 12 runs over the final 5 innings in a 13-3 loss against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.

The scoring opened in the second inning when Kalamazoo starter Tyler Drabick walked the bases loaded before hitting Ethan Stringer with a pitch to plate a run.

Jason Sullivan stayed hot at the plate picking up a hit in his 14th straight game with an RBI single in the fifth scoring Zach Daniels from second.

The Growlers took a lead for a brief time in the sixth inning when Jordan Bowersox launched a two-run home run to left field. It was Bowersox’ first home run as a Growler.

The bottom of the sixth was when disaster struck for Kalamazoo. Bryce Welborn started the inning by giving up a hit and a walk. Jeff Burch entered from there and gave up one of the inherited base runners and five more runs in the inning. Austin Laurencig came in to finish the inning on the mound. The big hit of the inning came on a bases clearing triple from Stringer.

Both teams were quiet until the Rafters struck again in the eighth inning off of Laurencig scoring six more runs. This time the big hit came off of the bat of Brody Wofford clearing the bases with a double.

Drabick went four innings as a starter for the Growlers, allowing one run on three hits and five walks while striking out two. Wellborn went an inning in relief, giving up two hits, one run with a walk. Burch only lasted .2 innings giving up three hits and five earned runs. Laurencig lasted two innings giving up six runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three.

The Growlers look to split the series tomorrow and will send Sam Weatherly to the mound against the Rafters.


The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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, 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit 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.