KALAMAZOO, MI – The Wisconsin Woodchucks beat the Kalamazoo Growlers 6-5 in an exciting Red, White and BOOM! Night at Homer Stryker Field. The Woodchucks got on the board first, as Growlers' starter Blake Therrian struggled with his command in a season low 2 innings.
After getting the first two outs Therrian walked Wisconsin second baseman Ivan Nunez. A single and another walk loaded the bases for the Woodchucks and a wild pitch by Therrian scored Nunez and advanced the runners.
With the count 3-1, shortstop Trey Dawson hit a deep home run to left field to make it 4-0 Woodchucks. A deep double by center fielder Tristan Clarke was followed by a bloop single off the bat of third baseman Brylie Ware, making the score 5-0 and chasing Therrian.
The Growlers responded in their half of the inning. Left fielder Michael Diffley singled to start the inning and right fielder Jack Duffy singled to put runners at the corners. Third baseman Ivan Estrella grounded into a double play that plated Diffley to score the Growlers' first run.
The game stayed 5-1 until the 7th, when the Woodchucks added another run. Drew Huff, who came in to relieve Blaine Fisher, threw a wild pitch that allowed Tristan Clarke to score. The Growlers would make it interesting in their half of the inning. Catcher Ryan Orr was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Next, shortstop Connor Hollis singled, advancing Orr to second. After a wild pitch, the runners stood at 2nd and 3rd. Second baseman Jason Sullivan plated one run with a sacrifice fly, making the score 6-2.
New Growlers' first baseman Mitch Bigras (Boston College) walked, bringing designated hitter Charlie Carpenter to the plate. Carpenter proceeded to hit a sac fly to center, scoring Hollis and making it a 6-3 game. After a hit batter and pitching change, Jack Duffy came to the plate and roped a triple just over the center fielder's head, scoring two more runs, leaving the Woodchucks' lead 6-5. Wisconsin's closer Orsen Josephona came on in the 9th to shut the door, downing the Growlers 1, 2, 3.
Both teams will meet again Sunday at 3:05 p.m. in the second game of a 6-game holiday homestand. The Growlers will look to snap a 4 game losing streak in front of a family day crowd.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate 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, more than 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com 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.