KALAMAZOO, MI –With one swing of the bat, Kalamazoo was within one run of tying the Madison Mallards in the bottom of the ninth. With the next swing of the bat, the fate was sealed for a 3-2 Growlers loss.
Jordan Stading (Houston) got the offense going in the ninth with a one-out double off Mallards shutdown reliever Mike Kaelin (Buffalo). Alex Gosser (Arkansas) was next up to the plate. Gosser swung and missed at the first pitch, the second, though, Gosser didn’t miss. A loud crack of the bat was followed by the baseball soaring over the right-center field fence for a two-run home run to cut the Mallards’ lead to 3-2.
With two outs already on the board, the Growlers would need some magic for the rest of the lineup to pull out a win.
The magic was not there. Marquise Gill (Eastern Michigan), the next batter, swung at the first pitch and grounded out to end the game.
Overall, Kalamazoo (14-45, 6-20) did not play horribly. Starter Josh Alberius (Arkansas) had his longest outing of the season, going 6.2 innings with two earned runs and three strikeouts. The three other Kalamazoo pitchers only allowed one run between them, that run being a solo home run off Shane Bryant in the ninth.
Madison (34-25, 14-10) got its first two runs in the first two innings.
Anthony Gonsolin (St. Marys College), who reached first off a dropped third strike and later stole second, scored on a Jean Ramirez (Illinois State) single.
The Mallards led off the second with two consecutive singles and both runners advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt. With one out and runners on second and third, J.J. Gould (Jacksonville) hit a groundout to the shortstop which scored the runner from third.
Madison will return to Kalamazoo tomorrow for the second and final game of the series.
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.