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Published On: August 9th, 2018

MADISON, WI- The Kalamazoo Growlers dropped another heartbreaker to the Madison Mallards 5-4 on Wednesday night.

Garrett Kueber smacked the walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth after an RBI groundout by Cam Cratic tied the game. The Mallards put the tying run on third after a throwing error by Kalamazoo catcher Jason Sullivan.

The Growlers never trailed in the game until the final play of the game as Madison won on a walk-off for a second straight game over Kalamazoo. The Growlers were 33-0 when leading after the eighth in 2018 before the two losses to the Mallards.

The loss spoiled what was another great start for Kalamazoo’s Kyle Virbitsky. Virbitsky delivered his fifth consecutive quality start, going 6.0 innings of 2-run, 5-hit baseball. Two of Virbitsky’s last five quality starts happened in Madison at Warner Park.

The Growlers also had some fantastic offensive performances. Niko Kavadas ripped his first home-run since July 1st in a dominant 3 for 4 performance and Jarett Smetana, who was listed as a pitcher, hit a home run on his first swing as a Kalamazoo Growler.

Despite the loss Kalamazoo received good news hours before first pitch. The Growlers had assumed they needed a win or Battle Creek loss to secure a spot in the playoffs. However, a pitching violation by the Battle Creek Bombers on June 29th took a win away from Kalamazoo’s rivals, giving Kalamazoo all the cushion they needed to clinch the first playoff appearance in franchise history.

The Growlers finish the season just 2-6 against the division-leading Madison Mallards, the Growlers won the season series versus Madison 5-3 in 2017.

Kalamazoo will return home tomorrow after a 7-day, 6-game road trip. The Growlers managed a .500 record on the trip, and will look to gain some momentum for the playoffs in the final homestand of the season.


The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in 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, 200 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.