Growlers hope to jam the Loggers
Kalamazoo, Mich. – The Kalamazoo Growlers are set to face off with the La Crosse Loggers for a two-game series. The teams have a bit of a history, as their first matchupincluded a benches-clearing brawl that was sparked by an altercation that ensued after Growlers first baseman Jalen Phillips slugged a long home run and missed home plate.
Who: Kalamazoo Growlers (4-10) vs. La Crosse Loggers (7-7)
When: Thursday, July 17 at 7:05 p.m. and Friday, July 18 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Homer Stryker Field
Watch on kalamzoogrowlers.com under the Watch games live section
Twitter: Follow @kzoogrowlers for updates
Facebook: Updates throughout the game for the ultimate fan experience.
Thursday, July 10: LHP Dillon Haviland (2-5, 5.83 ERA) vs. RHP Steven Piette (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Haviland got hit very hard in his last start, against the Waterloo Bucks, but the finesse-based lefty from Duke has also been near-dominant, as evidenced by his 6 1/3 innings against Lakeshore where he allowed just three hits. The rising senior will certainly aim for the latter against the Loggers, who he has yet to face this season.
Friday, July 11: RHP Ryan Smoyer (2-2, 2.85 ERA) vs. RHP Scott Burke (1-2, 6.50 ERA)
Smoyer allowed ten hits to the Rochester Honkers in his last outing, but he worked around contact well enough to allow just three runs. The South Division all-star selection will look to continue his streak of starts without a loss.
LAST TIME THEY MET
All-time series: 1-3
June 20: La Crosse 13, Kalamazoo 5
June 21: La Crosse 3, Kalamazoo 0
NORTHWOODS LEAGUE RANKINGS
• Batting average: .271 (3rd)
• Runs scored: 252 (t-7th)
• Hits: 461 (2nd)
• Triples: 15 (1st)
• Home Runs: 25 (7th)
• RBIs: 225 (4th)
• ERA: 5.64 (18th)
• Hits: 467 (15th)
• Walks: 283 (18th)
• Strikeouts: 283 (15th)
• Innings Pitched: 431 (10th)
• Jalen Phillips (Duke) has had an inconsistent season at the plate, but he broke out on Tuesday for four hits, including a double to the right-center gap that was likely the hardest-hit ball of the series. The rising sophomore "looks the part," in the words of one scout, and has a smooth lefthanded swing that. He is prone to being handcuffed by inside pitches, but the torque and bat speed he generates is easily the best on the team.
• Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) had an excellent series against the Woodchucks, racking up four hits in the two games and providing solid defense at shortstop. The rising junior also scored two runs and had a double in Wednesday's game.
• Brett Sunde (Western Michigan) had a two hits, including a home run to left, in Tuesday's game against the Woodchucks. The rising junior has struggled at the plate this year, but his recent performance — he has hit safely in his last five games — suggests he could be turning it around. Sunde cocks the head of his bat out towards the pitcher and lets the ball travel very deep, utilizing a hitting approach that favors the middle of the field.
NORTHWOODS LEAGUE HONORS
–Player of the Night
• June 1- Nick Yarnall (3-4, HR, 3 R, BB)
• June 15- Jared Kujawa (3-4, RBI, R)
Pitcher of the Night
• July 7 – Ryan Smoyer (8 IP, 2 H, R, 5 K)
The Growlers end pre-all-star break action with an away matchup with the Battle Creek Bombers on Saturday and a home game on Sunday. After the break, Kalamazoo is back in action at home against the Woodchucks on July 24.
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.