KALAMAZOO, MI — The Growlers haven’t had the most successful of seasons, but are relishing their role of spoiler. Kalamazoo has taken the first two games against the Kenosha Kingfish, who are still vying for the Northwoods League postseason. Friday’s contest wasn’t the most exciting of games, with a consistent sheet of rain forcing one pause in the bottom of the third, a couple of errors and walk after walk, but Cody Piechocki’s team got the job done, pushing the Kingfish four games out of a playoff spot.
The contest started with clear skies, but the rain began to pour in the bottom of the second and things got hairy for Kenosha starter Ethan Peters. After just nine pitches in the first, the lefty from Loras College threw 42 in the second. Kalamazoo scored three runs in the frame on a dropped third strike, an error, three walks, and an RBI groundout. It was piecemeal, but it worked, with a heavy assist from the elements.
Those were all the runs Kalamazoo would need. The pitching staff was excellent, beginning with Kyle Salley, who in his first start since high school, tossed three hitless frames and struck out six Kingfish. After the rain delay disrupted the rhythm of the Duke lefty, Jaidyn Morris made his Kzoo debut and didn’t miss a beat. The IU-South Bend southpaw threw five scoreless, allowing only two hits and keeping Kenosha’s hitters off balance with a looping curve. Cooper Doughman did add insurance for the Growlers, doubling in Jake Gelof and TJ Williams in the bottom of the eighth. Finally, Nolan Lepkoske finished the game with his ninth straight scoreless appearance, striking out the side to send the Kingfish home soggy and miserable.
Kalamazoo and Kenosha have two more contests left in this set of four. Tomorrow’s game begins at 6:35 at Homer Stryker Field.