KALAMAZOO, MI – For a season that is in its second half, you’d think that “firsts” would be over with. Not for the Kalamazoo Growlers. With the Northwoods League past the first half, the Growlers achieved their first winning streak. Kalamazoo edged the Green Bay Bullfrogs 7-6, for its second consecutive win.
It was a team effort for Kalamazoo (3-4, 11-29), as no one player out played the other. Two Growlers had two RBI, Nick Yarnall (Pitt) and Alex Gosser (Arkansas). Two Growlers had one RBI, Kory Brown (BGSU) and Corey Dempster (USC).
Growler pitching, except for a blemish by reliever Aaron Tadian (Kent State), did it’s job to keep its team ahead.
Starting pitcher Ryan May (LSU) went 4.2 innings, allowing two runs, but struck out five and only walked two. May was relieved with one out in the fifth by Derek Schneider (Western Michigan) after getting himself in a runner of the corners jam.
Schneider was able to escape the jam by striking out the first batter he faced, and final batter of that inning. The newly converted reliever pitched two more innings and finished the game with a stellar four strikeouts.
Tadian’s blemish was in his mere 0.2 innings of work where he allowed three runs to make the game close at 7-5.
Nathan Coakley came on for a five out save and only allowed one more run to secure a Kalamazoo win.
The win, though, would not have come, at least without the bottom of the ninth, if it were not for two clutch plays.
With runners on second and third, Mikey Duarte (UC-Irvine) hit an RBI single scoring the runner on third, but a strong throw from Marquise Gill (Eastern Michigan) threw out Matthew De La Rosa (Lenoir-Rhyne) to keep the tying run from scoring.
The right fielder, Kory Brown, saved the game as his throw prevented Duarte from scoring off another single for the third and final out.
Kalamazoo’s scoring was spread out throughout the game, rather than just in one inning. Four runs in the first, two in the fourth and one in the fifth.
The Bullfrogs (2-3, 24-16) return to Homer Stryker Field tomorrow and the Growlers look to extend their winning streak to three games.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit http://www.northwoodsleague.com.