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Published On: March 12th, 2018

Even though the weather continues to chill the Midwest, collegiate baseball is well under way. Some future Kalamazoo Growlers have been in action across the country trying to make an impact this spring before they arrive to Homer Stryker field this summer.

History was made by a future Kalamazoo Growler, Tennessee product Zach Daniels hit a grand slam for his first ever collegiate hit, becoming the first freshman from Tennessee to hit a Grand Slam since Nick Senzel in 2014. Senzel is currently the number one prospect for the Cincinnati Reds. Daniels has already hit three home runs for the Volunteers.

Duke Blue Devil Joey Loperfido has had a dream start to his collegiate career. Loperfido started at first base in the first game for the Blue Devils and has been on a tear. Loperfido has batted .362 in 15 starts with 12 RBI and 5 extra base hits. A dazzling start for this Freshman should excite Growlers fans.

Another Duke Blue Devil, Matt Mervis has had a solid start to his 2018 season. Mervis has posted a 3.00 ERA in 8 relief appearances. Mervis was drafted in the 39th round of the 2016 draft but chose to play collegiately instead, a good thing for Growlers fans.

Connor Sechler (RHP-Fr.) from Missouri State has made an immediate impact. He has started the season with a 4.40 ERA in 6 appearances. However, if you take away Sechler’s one bad outing against Oklahoma State, he has been dominant, only allowing 2 earned runs in 12.2 innings pitched. Sechler has also found a knack for striking batters out, recording 16 strikeouts in 14.1 innings pitched.

Jamison Hill has delighted fans of strikeouts at Fresno State, the Freshman has struck out 16 batters in only 11.2 innings pitched, and has had four scoreless outings.

Meanwhile, fellow Freshman and teammate of Jamison Hill, Nikoh Mitchell, has been extremely tough to hit. Mitchell has gone four straight appearances and over nine consecutive innings without surrendering an earned run. In 17.2 innings pitched Mitchell has compiled a 3-0 record and a 2.04 ERA.

Future Growler Derek Carr (LHP-So.) has made an impact for the Ohio Bobcats, who are on a three-game winning streak. The hard-throwing lefty Carr hasn’t surrendered a run in two consecutive relief appearances.

These future Growlers have had big impacts for their universities and will look to bring the same to Homer Stryker field as Kalamazoo searches for a Northwoods League championship.


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, more than 185 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 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.