KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers, after losing five in a row, were able to snap that streak after they beat the Wisconsin Rapids River Rafters 3-2 in front of a sizable Saturday night crowd at Homer Stryker Field.
Quality starting pitching from Keegan Baar (Michigan State) and timely hitting from John Soteropulos (Cal) helped propel Kalamazoo to its 12th win of the year.
Baar, who didn’t get the win because he left the game with a 2-2 tie, only allowed three hits through his 4.1 innings of work. Walks were a problem for Baar, though, as he walked four.
The two runs Baar allowed came off a homerun from Brock Carpenter (Seattle) in the second and an RBI single from Dustin Woodcock (SIU-Edwardsville) in the third.
Not only would Baar not allow any more runs, neither would the bullpen for the Growlers (4-9, 12-34). Nathan Coakley (St.Francis), Derek Schneider (Western Michigan) and Nick Wernke (West Virginia) only walked two batters between the four and allowed a single hit.
The offensive highlight for the Growlers came in the form of a home run from Soteropulos, his first of the year, in the fourth inning.
His solo shot, over the short left field fence by the Miller Lite Party Deck, gave Kalamazoo a 3-2 lead and proved to be the final difference.
Rafters’ (5-5, 20-22) pitching did its job as well, only starter Jack Riley (UCONN) allowed any runs, but the offensive did not provide enough support for a win.
Kalamazoo will again match-up with the Rafters on Sunday night with a 5:05 p.m. start time.
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.