Kalamazoo, MI. — In a dramatic day from Homer Stryker Field, the Kalamazoo Growlers (24-19, 8-3) secured back-to-back 4-3 walk-off victories over the Kenosha Kingfish (16-29, 3-7) Thursday evening. The Growlers secure the doubleheader sweep over Kenosha.
The first contest was a continuation of the suspended game from July 2, picking things up in the bottom of the fourth with Kenosha leading 1-0. The Kingfish extended their lead to 2-0 in the sixth as Roberto Pena scored on a wild pitch.
Kalamazoo got on the board in the seventh on a Zack Gelof (Virginia) sacrifice fly to cut the deficit in half at 2-1. The Kingfish added another run in the eighth to make it 3-1. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Jimmy Sullivan (Virginia) drilled his second triple of the game scoring two runs to tie the score at 3-3.
The Growlers were down to their final out in the ninth, but Nick Neville (South Carolina) laced a double to right field to extend the frame. Neville then advanced to third on a wild pitch followed by the walk-off RBI single from Miko Rodriguez (Texas A&M) to give Kalamazoo the exciting victory.
Kalamazoo relief pitcher Eamon Horwedel (Ohio Univ.) earned the win, improving to 4-0. Kenosha reliever Matt Helwig took the loss, falling to 0-1.
In a seven inning second game, Kalamazoo jumped ahead early in the first on a solo blast from Rodriguez to make it 1-0 in favor of the Growlers. Shea Kramer followed with a two-run shot of his own in the third inning to extend the lead to 3-0.
Kenosha fought back in the sixth, knocking three runs on three hits to even the score at 3-3. The Kingfish recorded consecutive RBI hits on a double and single followed by a fielder’s choice to make it a brand-new ballgame.
With two outs in the seventh, the Growlers came through in the clutch again. Brooks Coetzee (Notre Dame) hit a sharp ground ball to shortstop, but the Kingfish shortstop commits a throwing error to score Neville from third base. The Growlers post walk-off wins for the first time in the 2019 campaign.
Growlers relief pitcher Pete Joseph (Northwood Univ.) earned the win in his Kalamazoo debut. Kingfish reliever Tanner Fallon took the loss, falling to 3-5.
The Kalamazoo Growlers remain at Homer Stryker Field tomorrow evening, facing the Kenosha Kingfish again. First pitch is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Currently in its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.