Kenosha, WI — After last night’s game was postponed due to unplayable field conditions, the Kalamazoo Growlers (3-3) snapped a two-game skid with consecutive victories over the host Kenosha Kingfish (1-5) by final scores of 4-3 and 7-4 from Simmons Field in a pair of seven inning games. The Growlers took care of business in their first road trip of the 2019 campaign.
The Growlers jumped on the board early in the opening frame with a RBI walk from Anthony Cocco (Grand Valley State) and two-run single by Hunter Thorn (Purdue Northwest) to take an early 3-0 advantage.
Kenosha answered quickly with a two-spot in the bottom of the first inning to cut the deficit down to 3-2. A hit by pitch with the bases loaded and a RBI walk made it a one-run contest. The Kingfish loaded the bases with nobody out in the second inning; however, Kalamazoo starter Ralph Gambino (Penn State) retired the next three batters in order to keep the Kingfish off the board.
Neither team scored again until the Growlers broke through in the top half of the sixth on a Jimmy Sullivan (Virginia) RBI double to extend the lead to 4-2. The Kingfish would not go quietly in the seventh inning as a two-out RBI single trimmed the margin to 4-3, but Growlers reliever Max Bain (Northwood) tallied the game-ending strikeout with runners on the corners to seal the narrow win.
Kalamazoo relief pitcher Will Mullen (Western Michigan) earned the win, improving to 1-0. Mullen tossed two perfect frames with three strikeouts. Bain collected his first save of the season, while Kenosha starting pitcher Caleb Larson was the losing pitcher.
Starter Alexander Nolan (Brock University) allowed only two runs on seven hits in 5.0 innings pitched. He also struck out four and walked one in a 7-4 victory for the Growlers.
The first inning was quiet, but the offense came alive in the second for Kalamazoo, as they scored six runs on just three hits.
Miko Rodriguez (Texas A&M) walked and in the following at bat, Anthony Cocco was hit by a pitch, and Brooks Coetzee (Notre Dame) also walked to score Shea Kramer (Utah). Mike Sears (Sinclair CC) gained his first hit of the summer on an two-RBI single, scoring Rodriguez and Cocco.
Later in the inning, Sullivan singled, which scored Coetzee. The Growlers batted around as Kramer, who led of the inning, singled and scored Sullivan.
Both offenses laid stale until the fourth inning when Kenosha got on the board with an RBI single by Ryan Knernschield, scoring Nate Thomas. Thomas then singled in the following inning, scoring the second run for the KingFish.
The Growlers added their final run in the sixth, on an RBI single by Cocco, scoring Miko Rodriguez. Kenosha responded with two runs in the bottom half on a throwing error, scoring Joey Scaffidi and Ethan Owens.
Michael Dunkelberger (Indiana) pitched the final two frames, giving up two runs, neither of them earned, one walk and three strikeouts.
The Kalamazoo Growlers return home tomorrow night, opening up a two-game series against the Rockford Rivets. First pitcher is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start from Homer Stryker Field.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Currently in its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 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 (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.