Kalamazoo, Mich. — The Kalamazoo Growlers will look for their first win of the season's second half as the Madison Mallards visit Homer Stryker Field for a two-game set beginning Sunday.
Who: Madison Mallards (4-1) vs. Kalamazoo Growlers (0-4)
When: Sunday, July 6 at 5:05 p.m. and Monday, July 7 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Homer Stryker Field
Live Stream: Northwoods League YouTube Channel
Gameday: Follow the game on Pointstreak
Twitter: Follow @kzoogrowlers for updates
Facebook: Updates throughout the game
PROBABLE STARTERS (Growlers starter in italics)
Game 1: A.J. Bogucki (2-0, 3.25 ERA) vs. Ryan Smoyer (4-0, 2.62 ERA)
Smoyer (Notre Dame) started the year in the bullpen, but he has wound up being the Growlers' most consistent starter so far in 2014. His last start, against the Battle Creek Bombers on June 30, was another solid effort, as he went seven innings and allowed six hits and two earned runs. Smoyer leads the team in ERA, among qualifying starters.
Game 2: Kirby Snead (2-0, 2.17 ERA) vs. Ryan Colegate (1-2, 5.19 ERA)
Colegate's last start, against the Battle Creek Bombers on June 30, was a slightly encouraging sign for a pitcher who is long on talent but short on consistency. The lanky right-hander from Ohio Dominican threw 4 1/3 innings, and while he allowed seven hits and walked three, he worked around them and only allowed two runs.
Lineups will be posted to Facebook and Twitter prior to first pitch.
LAST TIME THEY MET
All-time series: 1-3
Wednesday, July 2: Madison 8, Kalamazoo 1
Thursday, July 3: Madison 6, Kalamazoo 3
NORTHWOODS LEAGUE RANKINGS
Batting (League ranking in parentheses)
Batting average: .271 (2nd)
Runs scored: 200 (T-5th)
Hits: 363 (T-1st)
Triples: 12 (1st)
Home Runs: 20 (7th)
RBIs: 178 (2nd)
Total Bases: 506 (3rd)
Slugging percentage: .377 (3rd)
Pitching (League ranking in parentheses)
ERA: 5.45 (Last)
Hits: 361 (15th)
Walks: 216 (Last)
Strikeouts: 242 (14th)
Karl Sorensen (St. Cloud State) was recently picked up by the Growlers after injuries to a couple of key infielders, and he has hit very well since the acquisition. The strongly built third baseman has 10 hits in 25 at-bats with two doubles and a triple. Sorensen has settled into the middle of the lineup and given the Growlers a nice boost after losing Austin Cangelosi (Indiana) to a broken wrist.
Jared Kujawa (Western Michigan) is currently on a seven-game hitting streak and has boosted his batting average to .300. In a 10-3 win against the Bombers on June 30, Kujawa went off, going 3-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and five RBI. Kujawa received Northwoods League Player of the Night honors for his performance against the Growlers' rival. Kujawa went 2-for-5 in the Growlers' most recent game against the Mallards.
Ryan Smoyer (Notre Dame) has been one of the few bright spots on the Growlers' pitching staff, sporting an ERA of 2.62 over 37 2/3 innings. The freshman's past two starts have been great for a depleted Growlers bullpen, as he pitched into the eighth inning in both starts. He allowed two earned runs off just six hits in each of his past two starts.
NORTHWOODS LEAGUE HONORS
Player of the Night
June 1: Nick Yarnall (3-4, HR, 3 R, BB)
June 15: Jared Kujawa (3-4, RBI, R)
June 30: Jared Kujawa (3-5, HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI)
After their series against the Mallards, the Growlers hit the road for six games, against the Green Bay Bullfrogs, Waterloo Bucks and Rochester Honkers. They have an off day on July 14, then play two games against the Wisconsin Woodchucks, starting on July 15. That game is Tuesday Brewsday, so fans get half off all Bell's Brewery products.