Wisconsin Rapids, WI– The Growlers came into game two versus Wisconsin Rapids having dropped 7 of the last 8 games, and sporting a second half record of 9-15. Blaine Fisher (Pittsburg State) got the start versus this high powered Rafters offense, here is how it went down.
The Growlers would start the scoring in the top of the third as Ryan Orr (SDSU) got a first pitch fastball right down broadway from Rafters starter Nick Avila (San Joaquin Delta), and promptly mashed it over the wall in left center for his first homerun of the year, 1-0 Kzoo. Still in the top of the third now with two outs Connor Hollis (Houston) ripped a double down the left field line to give Jeff Riedel (Ball State) a two RBI chance. Riedel drilled a single to center field scoring Hollis from second to make it 2-0 Growlers.
However, Rapids would fight back in their half of the third inning. Rafters lead off hitter Charlie McConnell (Northeastern) would lead off the Rafters half of the inning with a single to center and come around to score on a throwing error after stealing second and third, 2-1 Kzoo. Ryan Stekl (Canisius) would tie the game at two on a sac fly to right. Dustin Woodcock (SIU Edwardsville) would deliver the go ahead RBI single to make it 3-2 Rafters.
Top of the fifth inning now with the score still 3-2 Rafters. Connor Hollis delivered again with a two out knock this time a single to right field to extend the inning for Riedel. Jeff sent a two out RBI triple to the left center field gap off the wall allowing Hollis to score and tie the game at three.
Top six now with the score knotted at 3, and Michael Diffley (SDSU) is at bat for Kzoo with runners at second and third, and two outs. Diffley drilled a single to right center field scoring two Growlers giving Kzoo a 5-3 lead.
The Rafters would pull within one in their half of the seventh on a missile of solo homerun to left center field by their first basemen Ryan Stekl, 5-4 Growlers. Growlers starter Blaine Fisher would go seven strong innings allowing 4 runs.
Wisconsin Rapids would take the lead in the bottom of the 8th. Jake Guenther (Sacramento City CC) would tie the game at 5 with a now doubt home run to right field. The Rafters would then take the lead on back to back doubles from Will Davis (Hope), and catcher Scott Kapers (Valparaiso), 6-5 Rafters. Bryson Stott (UNLV) would add an insurance run via a single to left field to make it 7-5 Rapids, the score they would go onto win by.
Rafters closer Layne Henderson (Azusa Pacific) would record his league leading 16th save of the year as Rapids closed the door on Kzoo. The Growlers are back in action on August 3rd at Warner Park in Madison to face the mallards for a double header. Game one is scheduled for 6:05 ET.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate 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 180 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com 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.