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Pair of southpaws join Kalamazoo Growlers roster

The Kalamazoo Growlers announced the signing of players Devon Bronson from Eastern Michigan University and Michael RoBards from San Diego State University.

devon-bronsonmichael-robardsDevon Bronson (Left): 6’2” – 205lb, B/L-T/L, LHP, Eastern Michigan (Soph.), Southgate, MI                         

Michael RoBards (Right): 5’10”-165lb, B/L-T/L, LHP, San Diego State (Jr.), Oceanside, CA

Devon Bronson joins the Growlers for his second season in organized baseball. As a 2013 member of the Neptune Beach Pearl, a summer collegiate team from the Far West League, Bronson amassed a fine 2.33 ERA in 11 outings, spanning 34.2 innings pitched, and earned a league All-Star game appearance.  A sophomore at Eastern Michigan, the southpaw had a 1-1 record in 18.1 innings in his first season with the Eagles, including not allowing an earned run in eight of his 15 appearances.

“Devon is an extremely competitive and effective left handed pitcher with a very good arm, who will prove invaluable either as a starter or a reliever for the Growlers this season,” said Growlers field manager Joe Carbone. Devon hails from Southgate, MI, and participated in three varsity sports, where he twice earned All–League and All-District honors, as well as being a nominee for the All-Regional team in baseball. Bronson also played on the football team and earned All-State honors as a member of the wrestling team.

The 2014 Growlers season will mark the third year in summer collegiate ball for San Diego State Junior Michael RoBards. In 2012 with the Pittsfield (Mass.) Suns in the Futures Collegiate Summer League, RoBards struck out 55 batters in 61.1 innings of work and posted a 4-4 won-lost record. By allowing only four walks all year, RoBards lead the league in fewest walks per innings pitched by any starter. With the Alaska League’s Anchorage Glacier Pilots in 2013, RoBards lead the league with 46 strikeouts in 50 innings, with an ERA of 2.65 and a 4-3 record.

“Michael is one of the top starters with San Diego State,” said Carbone, “His pitching control is very good and he throws a variety of pitches.” The left-hander has two seasons under his belt with his college team, the Aztecs and comes off an impressive 4-1 season, with 7 of his 19 appearances coming as a starter. As a four year varsity baseball player from Oceanside High School in California, RoBards tied the school record for career wins and set the record for most pitching appearances.

The Growlers begin their inaugural 2014 season the road as they take on the defending Northwoods League champions, the Madison Mallards on May 27th. The first home game of the year is on Friday, May 30th at Homer Stryker Stadium, when the Battle Creek Bombers come to Kalamazoo in the first of a five-game home stand for the Growlers.