KALAMAZOO, MI – It took a full team effort for the Growlers this afternoon, but they were able to complete the comeback and sweep the defending Northwoods League Champions, the Kenosha Kingfish, by a score of 6-3.
The Growlers got off to a rough start in this one as they gave up two runs in the top half of the first inning. Gunnar McNeil got the scoring going with a groundball that was thrown away by the Growlers infield and JD Hearn was able to score. Kenosha followed this run up when Mason Fishback drove in Kian O'Brien on a base hit to extend the Kingfish lead to 2-0.
Kalamazoo was able to answer with their own run in the bottom of the second as Alex Holley drove a sacrifice fly into left field which plated Eli Lovell.
Kenosha added another run off of the bat of Pete Schuler. His base hit allowed Hearn to score again and extended their lead to 3-1.
The Growler bats caught fire once the sixth inning came around. The scoring started when Dan Leckie knocked in Connor Kopach on a base hit. This was followed up with another run when Sam Griggs hustled out a dropped third strike and Leckie hustled home on the throw to tie the ballgame at three.
The seventh inning contained more hits and runs for the Growlers. Leckie added another RBI to his stat sheet on a bases loaded walk that Lovell scored his second run of the game on. Dan Robinson extended his hitting streak to six games, and also extended the Growlers' lead to 6-3, when he ripped a base hit the other way and drove in Michael Crowley and Dalton Combs.
Kalamazoo starting pitcher, Kevin Marnon, pitched a solid five innings, only allowing three runs on four hits while striking out six hitters. The Growlers bulpen threw a close to perfect four innings on the mound as they held on to the lead and struck out four batters.
The Kalamazoo Growlers will now head to Green Bay for a two game series with the Bullfrogs before coming back to Homer Stryker Field for a three game series against the Wisconsin Woodchucks at home. Friday's home game will be WWE Night at the ballpark presented by Printmill Printing and Graphics. This game will begin at 7:05 p.m. EDT and will include an appearance from WWE star Matt Hardy and post game fireworks.
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, more than 140 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 via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.