KALAMAZOO, MI – Kalamazoo ended the first half of the season on a high note with a 7-1 victory on Independence Day. Growlers’ starter, Daniel Ritcheson, pitched a gem in today’s ballgame throwing 7.0 strong innings while not allowing any runs, and only 3 hits. Ritcheson baffled Lakeshore batters as he ended the game with 9 strikeouts; he had great stuff all night long, and Ritcheson was able to locate his fastball which led to favorable counts where he could throw his devastating off-speed pitches. What makes Daniel’s stat line even more impressive is the fact he is only a high school senior who has yet to pitch a college game. Ritcheson’s ability to fool Lakeshore batters shows he will have no problem adjusting as he shifts from high school baseball to college baseball at San Diego State.
Lakeshore’s starting pitcher, Zach Spears, had problems throwing strikes all night which led to Growler opportunities. The miscues for Spears started in in the bottom of the 1st as he gave up a single to start the game to Michael Diffley, then a double to Connor Hollis, and then another single to Jason Sullivan. With the bases loaded Spears then began to have trouble throwing strikes as he walked Charlie Carpenter and Drew Huff back to back which equaled 2 runs. A Jeff Riedel RBI single and Christian Moya RBI fielder’s choice pushed Kalamazoo’s lead to 4-0 after the first inning. Later, in the 4th inning Zach Spear’s night was ended after a Charlie Carpenter 3-run homerun which increased the lead to 7-0.
Lakeshore’s bullpen was the lone bright spot in today’s ballgame. Nick Campe, and Joe Heineman relieved Spears, and pitched a combined 4.1 innings while allowing no runs, and no hits. Kalamazoo’s bullpen pitched fairly well as Ryan Franklin threw an inning allowing 1 earned run and 2 hits with a strikeout, and Walter Talcott pitched the 9th allowing no runs.
Charlie Carpenter was the offensive standout today as he went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs, 2 runs, a big 3-run homerun which ultimately put the game out of reach. Another Growler with a great night at the plate was Jeff Riedel who went 3 for 4 with an RBI, and a double to go with it. On the Chinooks’ side Jack Dunn had a good night at the plate as he had 2 hits in 2 at bats, and one of his hits was a double.
Tomorrow Kalamazoo will take on the Madison Mallards at Homer Stryker Field. The Growlers look for revenge as the Mallards beat them in two straight games less than a week ago. First pitch is at 7:05.
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 170 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.