KENOSHA, Wi. – In the first playoff game in franchise history, the Kalamazoo Growlers beat the Kenosha Kingfish 5-3.
With the win the Growlers will host their first ever home playoff game tomorrow against Fond du Lac in the South Division Championship. Fans can find tickets for the game at the link below.
The Kingfish loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Joe Boyle worked through the frame to pick up the save.
Kyle Virbitsky started on the mound for the Growlers, going six innings allowing three runs. He exited the game when it was tied 3-3.
Kenosha scored first in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly from Marty Bechina.
Kalamazoo responded in the second inning with a three run home run from Dylan Shockley. It was Shockley’s first home run as a Growler, driving home Niko Kavadas and Jarett Smetana.
The Kingfish scored one run in the third and the sixth off of Virbitsky and the game remained tied until the eighth inning.
With one out Jonathan Foster doubled to the left-center gap which was followed by a Niko Kavadas walk. After Smetana popped out, Jared Miller came to the plate a drove a line drive to left-center to score Foster and give the Growlers the lead. Shockley hit a soft infield single down the third base line to score Kavadas from third to give the Growlers a 5-3 lead.
Brayden Nelson got the win for the Growlers pitching both the seventh and eighth inning scattering three hits without allowing a run.
This set the table for the ninth inning where the Kingfish rallied against Boyle with all 1,426 fans in attendance on their feet. Boyle walked one batter and gave up a single to another before striking out consecutive hitters. After another walk he forced a fly out to shallow center field from Jack Weiller to end the game.
The Growlers will play in the South Division Championship game tomorrow at Homer Stryker Field against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders. Tickets are available at http://kalamazoo-growlers.nwltickets.com/SingleGame/Tickets/SelectSeats/4677
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, over 200 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.