Battle Creek, Mich. — The Kalamazoo Growlers benefitted from another pitching masterpiece by Ryan Smoyer (Notre Dame) and rode the big bat of Karl Sorensen (St. Cloud State) in a 3-0 shutout the Battle Creek Bombers at C.O. Brown Stadium on Saturday night. The win was the first shutout in franchise history.
Smoyer pitched 7 1/3 strong innings and earned his Northwoods League leading sixth win, only allowing three singles and baffling the Bombers all night long. Sorensen once again displayed home run power by slugging his third round tripper as a Growler, a high shot to left in the third inning that drove in all three of Kalamazoo's runs.
Josh Buchalski (Michigan State) pitched one hit baseball in the final two frames, gaining his second save of the year.The Growlers outhit Battle Creek 6-4 and now lead the season series with four victories in five attempts. All-Star Jared Kujawa (Western Michigan) chipped in with two hits in the victory, improving the Growlers' second half record to 7-10.
Kalamazoo moved up the South Division standings for the second straight night and holds seventh place going into Sunday's matinee finale with Battle Creek at Homer Stryker Field in Kalamazoo. That game is the last one before the All-Star break. The Growlers will be hosting Carnival Night, featuring carnival games, balloon animals and face painting. A team poster, presented by Educational Community Credit Union, will be given out to the first 500 fans. There will also be pregame catch on the field and postgame autographs as part of Eaton's Family Funday Sunday!
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods 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, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit http://www.growlersbaseball.com.