KALAMAZOO, MI – The story of the night for the Kalamazoo Growlers was the lack of arms available bullpen during their 9-7 loss to the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Many of the pitchers that Kalamazoo has used out of the bullpen so far this season have either been used too frequently recently, or have had to leave the team due innings restrictions. The lack of pitching was very evident tonight as David Hensley (San Diego State), who is usually a position player, was forced to come on and pitch for just the second time this season.
Wisconsin was able to get out to a quick start in this one by scoring three runs in the first two frames. Steele Walker and Connor Heady collected the early RBIs as the Growlers were left searching for an answer.
Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) delivered in the bottom half of the second with a two-RBI double down the left field line that brought Camden Duzenack (Dallas Baptist) and Dan Robinson (Central Michigan) home. Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois) and Matt Lloyd (Iowa Western) both continued to stay at the plate for Kalamazoo later in the inning and each collected RBIs of their own to give the Growlers a 4-3 advantage.
George Janca tied the game up in the top of the third inning when he bounced into a double play that brought Jared Oliva across the plate.
Lloyd answered quicky for Kalamazoo once again in the fourth. He delivered a double to left that plated Kopach and Connor Smith (Western Michigan) to regain the lead at 6-4.
The final four frames were not kind to the Growlers as they were out scored at a five to one clip by the Woodchucks. The lone Kalamazoo run was driven in by TJ Marik (Austin Peay) on a sharply hit base hit to center. Duzenack scampered home for Kalamazoo's final run of the game.
Jacob Piechota (Western Michigan) got the start on the bump for Kalamazoo this evening. He was able to complete 5 and 2/3 innings while giving up seven runs on 10 Woodchuck hits.
Wisconsin and Kalamazoo will be playing again tomorrow night at Homer Stryker Field for Row the Boat Night presented by PNC Bank. Western Michigan University head football coach PJ Fleck will be in attendance. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT with fireworks following the game.
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.