Growlers early offensive spark burns Loggers, 7-4
Kalamazoo, Mich. – In a series that was filled with offensive fireworks, the Growlers surely did not disappoint on Friday night as they defeated the Loggers, 7-4. All-star RHP Ryan Smoyer (Notre Dame) earned his Northwoods League leading eighth win of the season.
The Growlers would ride the momentum wave that they received the night before by scoring five runs in the first three innings. In the first, after the Loggers grabbed a run in the top half, Jesse Puscheck (Cansisus) lined an RBI single over the head of the shortstop to tie the game.
With the bases loaded, Karl Sorensen (St. Cloud State) would ground into the 6-4-3 double play, but scored the runner from third to give the Growlers the lead they would not give up for the rest of the game.
Growlers were back at it again in the bottom of the second after scoring one run, Alex Maloney (Ball State) slapped a ball past the Logger second baseman to give the Growlers a convincing 4-1 lead. John Brodner (Wright State) made it a 5-1 lead when he singled through the left side. All together the Growlers would collect five runs on ten hits in the first three innings.
La Crosse would start to inch closer in the fourth and fifth innings scoring three runs and closing the Growler lead to 5-4. However, after that the Loggers would be shut down, thanks in part to Ryan Smoyer (Notre Dame) who seemed to settle down and return to his all-star form.
The back and forth game would continue the trend as in the bottom of the sixth, Maloney would be back at it again lacing a ball right back up the middle giving the Growlers a 7-4 lead. The Growlers would get a run earlier in the inning after Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) hit a towering ball down the left field line scoring Kory Brown (Bowling Green State)
Smoyer in his shortest outing of the year, still ended up receiving the win going five innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits and striking out two. Smoyer, who is the league’s leader in ERA, also notched his eighth win of the season to lead the Northwoods League.
Relievers Devon Bronson (Eastern Michigan) and Eric Hall (Chicago State) shut down the Loggers going a total three innings giving up just three hits and no runs and striking out one.
Maloney would have another hot day at the plate going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI’s. Fletcher, Puscheck and Brodner all collected RBI’s on the night.
The Growlers will be back in action tomorrow for their final home series of their inaugural season against the Madison Mallards. RHP Shane Bryant is the projected starter for game one of the series.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st 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 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit http://www.growlersbaseball.com.