GREEN BAY, WI – Behind solid pitching and timely hitting, the Kalamazoo Growlers beat the Green Bay Bullfrogs 5-2 on Friday night at Joannes Stadium, the team’s second win through three games of the road trip.
Already up 1-0, the Growlers (3-8) would plate three runs in the top of the sixth inning, all started by Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) with one out. Fletcher doubled into left center field setting up another RBI opportunity for Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh), who drove Fletcher home on a single in the fourth. On a 1-1 count, Yarnall grounded a ball past the Bullfrogs first baseman Ryan Donovan (Hofstra), allowing Fletcher to come around and score from second for his second RBI of the day. After a free pass to Bryce Adams (Delgado College/LSU), Max Schuman (Utah) lined a first-pitch low fastball down the right field line for a double, scoring Yarnall and Adams to give the Growlers a 4-0 lead.
The Bullfrogs (4-6) would get within two runs as they brought two across in the bottom of the seventh. Evan Ruechel (St. Ambrose) plated Paul Jacobson (South Dakota State) on a swinging bunt, then the Growlers traded one run for a bases-loaded around-the-horn double play. Keegan Baar (Michigan State) capped his stellar debut with a strikeout of Caleb Ratzman (Illinois State) to get out of the seventh.
Kalamazoo added one more run in the top of the ninth on a Kory Young (Michigan State) sacrifice fly. Then Nick Wernke (West Virginia) came on to lock down the save, striking out back-to-back Bullfrog hitters to secure the victory.
The southpaw Baar picked up the win after allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits in seven innings, walking four and striking out five on 102 pitches. Nathan Coakley (University of St. Francis) needed just 10 pitches for a perfect eighth inning in relief, bridging the gap to Wernke in the ninth.
Nathan Disch (Jacksonville) took the loss for Green Bay as he gave up four runs on six hits in 5.2 innings.
Yarnall and Schuman led the way for the Growlers with two RBIs apiece, while Fletcher went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs. Ryan Slaughter (KVCC) scored on Young’s sac fly in the ninth.
Tyler McDowell (Washington State) had a hit and a run for the Bullfrogs, while Jacobson scored and stole a base.
Kalamazoo concludes its series in Green Bay tomorrow as the Growlers’ Sean Isaac (Vanguard) goes up against the Bullfrogs’ Ryan Radue (UConn). First pitches from Joannes Stadium is set for 8:05 p.m. EDT.
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.