“Open the cages, the Zoo is loose!”
The Growlers are headed to the Northwoods League Playoffs
Kalamazoo, Mich., — The Kalamazoo Growlers swept the Kokomo Jackrabbits 10-2 and 3-2, to reach the Northwoods League Playoffs for the second straight year and the second time in franchise history.
The Growlers led 2-0 after two on a wild pitch and pass ball to score Clay Owens (Southern California) and Jake Topolski (Duke).
Shea Kramer (Utah) then grounded out in the third to score Miko Rodriguez (Texas A&M).
Kokomo scored both their runs in the fourth, on three straight singles to lead off the inning. The Jackrabbits only got one hit the rest of the game off DJ Moore (Huntington).
Kalamazoo put up four runs in the fifth and three in the six to cap off the ballgame. Kramer had two base hits during the two frames with three RBIs. Jake Topolski (Duke) added a two-run, ground-rule double in the fifth.
In the sixth, Rodriguez, Kramer and Owens all had RBI singles to slam the door on Kokomo.
Alex McCutcheon (Huntington) earned his fourth win of the summer in his first start for the Growlers. McCutcheon went 4.0 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits. The junior also added four strikeouts. Moore notched his second save after a three inning, one hit and three strikeout performance.
Jacob Moskowitz (Palomar) was credited with his first loss after allowing seven runs, three earned, on six hits.
Kalamazoo led 2-1 after three on an RBI groundout by Kramer and a Nick Neville (South Carolina) single. Jack Kraus (UW-Milwaukee) had a sacrifice fly to score Brendan Chinea (Nova Southeastern) in the top half of the inning.
The Jackrabbits score their only other run in the fourth, on an RBI single by Hagan Severance (Belmont) to score Eric Callahan (Millersville).
Kalamazoo scored the game winning run in the bottom of the sixth on a single by Joel Brewer (South Carolina) to score his South Carolina teammate, Nick Neville.
The Growlers were back by an unbelievable performance from Eamon Horwedel (6, Ohio), recorded eight of his nine outs via a strikeout. Horwedel notched his sixth save of the summer.
Ralph Gambino (1-3, Penn State) recorded his first win, while going four innings, allowing just one earned run and one strikeout.
David Reckers (CSU-Bakersfield) got his second loss of the summer, despite a complete game, four strikeout outing.
The Kalamazoo Growlers still have two regular season games at Homer Stryker Field against the Traverse City Pit Spitters, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.
The Growlers will also face the Traverse City Pit Spitters on Monday, August 12 in the first game of the Northwoods League Playoffs. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m.
Every ticket for the playoff game will be an all-you-can-eat and start at $15. Tickets are now available at the Kalamazoo Growlers ticket office and online on the Growlers website. Fans are encouraged to wear gold, as game one will be a “Gold Rush” in the run for the Northwoods League title. The Growlers will also be planning a big presence in Traverse City, the details of an official pre-game hangout will be out soon.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Currently in its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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 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 (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.