Wisconsin Rapids, WI – In a fast-paced two-hour, sixteen-minute game, the Kalamazoo Growlers snap a three-game losing streak, taking down the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 5-1.
Both starting pitchers cruised through the first three innings. Left-handed junior from Cal-State Fullerton Josh Howitt for Wisconsin Rapids started the game off with three no-hit innings for the Rafters, striking out four while the Zoo’s Mason Meeks gave up three singles, working around all of them in the first three frames.
The right-handed redshirt junior from Drury University, Meeks once again had a magnificent outing on the bump. After retiring six of the first seven batters he faced, Meeks worked around multiple runners on in the third. After giving up an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to Jorge De Goti, Meeks shut the door through the next four innings. Following a leadoff single in the fifth, Meeks then retired 12 of his final 13 batters finishing off the eighth inning with a one-run outing.
With a final line of 8.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 0 BB, and 8 K, Meeks is now tied for first in the NWL with 26 strikeouts and snatched his team-best third win of the season.
Offensively, the Growlers used the home run friendly Witter Field to their advantage. The first run of the ball game came in the top of the fourth inning off the bat of Will Furniss. In his first home run of the season, Furniss skied a 1-1 fastball deep into right field and clanged off the bottom of the scoreboard for a solo shot. Following an RBI ground out in the sixth, Furniss would make his power known again in the top of the eighth, demolishing a ball over the right field wall that left the ballpark in under two seconds. Furniss would end his day 2-5 with the two bombs and three RBI. In five games, four of the five hits for the Ole Miss Rebel are extra-base hits. He now has a .478 on-base percentage and a team-best .476 slugging percentage with two home runs, two doubles and five walks.
Gabe Springer would seemingly want to join in on the hit parade, going back-to-back with Furniss just five pitches later on another clobbered ball that left the yard in a hurry.
Jerad Berkenpas would make his team-leading fifth appearance to shut it down in the ninth, facing four batters and getting Logan Hugo to pop out to end the ballgame.
Kalamazoo (8-8) is back in Wisconsin Rapids, Friday night for game two of the series at Witter Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. ET.