MEQUON, WI- After falling behind 5-0 after the first inning the Kalamazoo Growlers rallied to defeat the Lakeshore Chinooks 11-6 on Sunday afternoon, setting the Growlers franchise record for wins in a season.
The Chinooks looked like they would end the Growlers three game winning streak after scoring five runs on two Growlers errors in the first inning. Kalamazoo starter Tyler Drabick couldn’t catch a break allowing five runs with only two of them earned, but Lakeshores advantage was short-lived.
In the very next inning Kalamazoo responded with five runs on six hits, with five straight hits to begin the inning against Lakeshore starter Nate Odahl, Odahl was forced to leave the game after the second inning outburst. Odahl has struggled mightily against the Growlers this season, having allowed 12 runs in three starts, with only 8.2 innings pitched.
Kalamazoo would take the lead for good in the top of the fifth with another five run inning, the Growlers were helped by two Chinook errors in the inning, and Kalamazoo would be on top for good as Tyler Drabick would only allow a single run over the next six innings, finishing with the win and a quality start.
Kalamazoo’s offense was clicking on Sunday afternoon, with big performances from Jared Miller (3 for 4, 3 RBI), Sam Crail (3 for 5, RBI) and Baron Radcliff (2 for 5, RBI). Those big days helped Kalamazoo score double-digit runs or the ninth time this season, they are 8-1 in those games.
Kalamazoo reliever Joe Boyle opened eyes again with his velocity on the mound. Boyle threw a 101MPH pitch in two scoreless innings on Sunday and the 6’7’ right-hander from Notre Dame should be a welcome addition to the Growlers bullpen.
Kalamazoo’s Jason Sullivan was unable to extend his 17-game hitting streak on Sunday and will remain tied with Justin Fletcher for the Growlers franchise record.
The win was the 34th of the year for Kalamazoo besting the franchise-high of 33 wins set in 2016, with still 18 games remaining on the Growlers schedule.
The Northwoods League and the Growlers will now take a three-day break for the All-Star Game in Kalamazoo on Tuesday, the Growlers will have three players participating. Niko Kavadas, Zach Daniels, and Mason Shinabery will all compete for the South division in the All-Star game at Homer Stryker Field. While Jon Foster will participate in the Home Run Derby along with Daniels and Kavadas.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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, 190 former 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 (TOR). 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.