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Growlers Kick Off 2016 with Win Over Lakeshore

KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers began their third season of play with a bang as they beat the Lakeshore Chinooks by a score of 4-2 at Homer Stryker Field. 

The Chinooks struck first in the top half of the second inning, but the Growlers quickly followed that up with two runs of their own in the botton of the inning. Daniel Leckie got the scoring started with a single that drove in Michael Crowley. The base hit was followed up with heads up base running by Nick Hutchins, who was able to score on a passed ball. 

Kalamazoo pushed another run across in the third inning on a base knock by Crowley that drove in Dalton Combs to make it a 3-1 Growlers lead. 

Lakeshore was able to get one run back in the 4th inning on a solo home run by Hayden Senger, but this was not enough to get them on top. The Growlers added an insurance run in the sixth inning from a double by Leckie that Hutchins was able to score from second base on. 

The Growlers were led a the plate by the top of the order punch of Kopach and Leckie who were both able to get on base three times. Three other Growlers also contributed with hits of their own and the team drew 5 walks at the plate. 

Kalamazoo's pitching staff was also key in the win. Tate Brawley did not disappoint in earning the Opening Day spot on the mound. Brawley went 6.1 innings while only allowing two runs on six hits. The Growlers bulpen followed up Brawley's gem with 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball which preserved the win.

The Growlers will complete their opening series against the Chinooks tomorrow morning with Stem Education Day presented by Stryker. First pitch from Homer Stryker Field will be at 11:05 a.m. EDT. 

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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, 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.