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Growlers Plate a Dozen as Second Half Begins with Bang

MADISON, WI – With a revamped roster and a clean slate for the final 39 games, the Kalamazoo Growlers began the second half by putting up a 12-spot in Madison, defeating the Mallards 12-8 on Wednesday night at Warner Park.

Down 2-1 in the top of the second inning, the Growlers (1-0, 9-25) tied it when Corey Dempster (USC) beat out a fielder’s choice to plate Marquise Gill (Eastern Michigan) with two outs. After Kory Brown (Bowling Green) singled, Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) laced a two-run double into the left field corner, making it 4-2.

Kalamazoo plated three more in the third as Alex Gosser (Arkansas) punched an RBI single, followed by a Gill sac fly. The third run came in when Fletcher took a pitch in the side with the bases loaded. Gosser and Gill again contributed in the fourth with a single and sac fly, respectively, to make it 9-3.

The Mallards (0-1, 20-16) kept it close by putting up a three-spot in the fourth. Cameron Frost (Washington State) crushed a two-run home run to left center, while Charlie Cody (Virginia) scored on a two-out error by Kalamazoo second baseman Johnny Ruiz (Miami). The teams traded runs in the fifth before Anthony Gonsolin, who had already homered in the first inning, smacked a solo homer to lead off the sixth, getting Madison within a pair at 10-8.

From there, the Growlers held the line. Nathan Coakley (St. Francis, IN) tossed three lockdown innings of scoreless, hitless ball, walking one and striking out three. Kalamazoo added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth, while Nick Wernke (West Virginia) shut down the Mallards in the ninth for the victory.

Every Kalamazoo hitter reached base multiple times on the day. Fletcher led the way by going 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh) scored twice and drove in a pair of runs. Gosser and Gill also picked up two RBIs, while Brown scored three times. Ruiz doubled in his Growlers debut, and Dylan Busby (Florida State) scored twice and singled in the fourth for his first Kalamazoo hit.

Alex Kuisel (Academy of Art, 2-2) picked up the win by getting the Growlers out of a fifth-inning jam. Westin Wuethrich (Madison College, 1-2) took the loss after Kalamazoo shelled him for six runs (five earned) on four hits in two-plus innings.

Matt Frawley (Purdue) reached his school-mandated innings limit in his outing. Frawley allowed seven runs (five earned) on five hits in 4.2 innings, walking five and striking out five in his final outing with the Growlers.

The Growlers wrap up their series with the Mallards on Thursday evening. First pitch from Warner Park is set for 8:05 p.m.

The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22-year old summer collegiate 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, 120 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 (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit