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Published On: June 22nd, 2023

Kalamazoo, Mich. – Kalamazoo and Traverse City split the two games of their Thursday doubleheader in front of two packed crowds at Homer Stryker Field.

Game 1: Camp day began the doubleheader was over 2,000 local kids from the Kalamazoo area came to the ballpark to cheer on the Growlers at Homer Stryker Field. In comeback fashion, K-Zoo squeezed their way with a 4-3 win over the Pit Spitters. Bouncing back after a 7-1 loss on Wednesday, the Growlers’ offense didn’t quite wake up early on. Traverse City for a second consecutive day would strike first, scoring three in the third innings on two walks, two singles, and a sac fly from Colin Summerhill. 

K-Zoo would answer back in the second inning on an RBI single from Gabe Springer. The ground ball back up the middle to score Gavin Lewis Jr. makes it now eight of ten games that Springer has recorded an RBI. 

After two scoreless innings, the Growlers finally broke through in the sixth with a three-spot of their own. With bases loaded, a wild pitch on the first pitch from new reliever Anthony Ramirez would bring the ball game back within one before Banks Tolley poked a two-RBI single to left center to give the Growlers their first lead of the series. 

The K-Zoo bullpen which has been superb this season shut it down with six scoreless innings from Sam Leck, Jake O’Connell, and Jerad Berkenpas. Berkenpas in his seventh appearance of the season would secure his first save, giving up just one hit in the final two frames.

Game 2: In a Thursday night pitchers dual, the Traverse City Pit Spitters shut out the Growlers, taking game three of the doubleheader 3-0. 

It was a back-and-forth battle between the two starters in K-Zoo’s Eamon Horwedel and the Pit Spitters’ Nick Powers. The two Big Ten arms made efficient work of their opposing lineups, forcing weak contact while striking out just three a piece. Powers would get the best of Horwedel tying a season-high 7 innings of work after starting off with five no-hit innings. The Growlers would find just two base hits against Powers, both of them weak opposite-field singles from Myles Beale and Jeter Ybarra.

The Pit Spitters would squeak through with their first run of the game on Parker Brosius’ sixth hit of the series. A pulled single off the left field wall in the third scored Jack Crighton as the Pit Spitters for the third straight game struck first. Brosius’ 2-4 game gave the freshman from Georgia Tech his Northwoods League-best 34th and 35th hits of the year.

Horwedel would settle in for the next three innings, stranding two runners in the fifth sandwiched behind two 1-2-3 innings. Camden Traficante would add on another with his first home run of the season and just the third of the year for the Pit Spitters. A sky-high fastball inched its way and went over the wall in right-center as Horwedel would give up just his second true mistake of the day.

An insurance run on an RBI sac fly from Tyler Minnick in the 9th would chase Horwedel out of the ball game. In his longest outing as a Growler, Horwedel went 8.2 innings, giving up eight hits, and two earned runs while striking out three and not walking a single batter. 

Mitch White would shut it down with a two-inning save, his third close of the season as the Growlers could find no answers offensively. K-Zoo and Traverse City close out their four-game series tomorrow night at Homer Stryker Field with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. ET.