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Published On: April 13th, 2020

The Kalamazoo Growlers add three pitchers to their roster, including the return of 2019 Growler Eamon Horwedel.

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RHP Eamon Horwedel, 6’0”, (R/R) Sophomore, Ohio University

Horwedel is returning for his second summer with the Growlers, after working primarily as the Growlers closer during the 2019 campaign. Horwedel was a strikeout machine in Kalamazoo, tallying 60 strikeouts across 33.1 innings of work. He also notched seven wins and tallied five saves for the Growlers in 2019, and posted an ERA of 3.24 with just 11 walks. On August 9th of the 2019 season, Horwedel was tasked with closing out the Kokomo Jackrabbits with a Growlers playoff berth on the line. Horwedel struck out back-to-back batters to end the game and leave three men on base to secure a 3-2 victory that landed the Growlers in the Northwoods League Playoffs.

Prior to the cancellation of spring college athletics, Horwedel was in a starting role for the Ohio University Bobcats. He made four starts, earning a winning decision in one, and struck out no fewer than five batters each time he took the mound. On February 28th against Southeast Missouri State, he struck out eight batters while walking none, and gave up only one earned run.

Horwedel is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and played his high school ball for Ann Arbor Skyline. While at Skyline, Horwedel set several school records for: strikeouts in a single game (13), fewest walks in a season (5), highest strikeout-to-walk ratio in a season (13.8), lowest ERA for a season (0.64), and opponent batting average in a single season (.155). While serving as team captain for his senior year, Horwedel earned all-conference and all-district honors for posting a 6-2 record and striking out 69 batters while recording a 0.64 ERA.


LHP Taylor Clifton, 6’3”, (L/L) Sophomore, Kalamazoo Valley Community College


Having previously played for the Parkland College Cobras in Illinois, Clifton now plays for Coach Piechocki under the banner of the Kalamazoo Community College Cougars. Clifton did not get the opportunity to make an appearance on the mound for the Cougars prior to the cancellation of spring college athletics.


Clifton played his high school ball at Homestead High School, on the outskirts of Fort Wayne, Indiana. With a fastball topping out at 92 MPH, so far, Clifton will be the lone player Coach Piechocki brings with him from KVCC to the Growlers.


RHP Billy Blair, 6’2”, (R/R) Junior, Concordia University Ann Arbor


Having previously played college ball at Northwood, Blair was dominant on the mound this season for the Concordia University Cardinals. In five starts, Blair recorded four wins and surrendered no more than two earned runs in a start. He closed out this college season with his strongest performance, going six innings allowing only two hits, and surrendering no runs off three walks while striking out seven batters.


Blair hails from St. Charles, Michigan, where he was a standout at St. Charles High School. Having defeated childhood leukemia en route to becoming a college pitcher, Blair will add his impressive pitching skills to an already stacked Growlers bullpen.