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Western Michigan Baseball Series Against Northern Illinois to Be Played at Homer Stryker Field

KALAMAZOO, Mich.- This weekend’s Mid-American Conference baseball series (April 25-27) between Western Michigan and Northern Illinois will be played at Homer Stryker Field at Mayors’ Riverfront Park, home of the Kalamazoo Growlers. Game one of the series will be Friday at 3 p.m., followed by 1 p.m. contests Saturday and Sunday.

The series had been scheduled to be held at Robert J. Bobb Stadium on Western Michigan’s campus, but a long, hard winter has delayed the use of Hyames Field. 

Homer Stryker Field has been a community staple in Kalamazoo since 1963, and the Growlers have rejuvenated the venue after the Kalamazoo Kings organization ceased operations in 2011. 

The Growlers are members of the Northwoods League, the country’s premier summer collegiate wooden bat baseball league, and are approaching their inaugural season in 2014. The Northwoods League produced 150 MLB draft picks in 2013, and boasts several MLB all-stars including Max Scherzer, Chris Sale and Curtis Granderson as league alumni.

Western Michigan has two current players that will be rostered with the Growlers this summer, junior right fielder Jared Kujawa and sophomore catcher Brett Sunde.

“I want to the thank the Growlers and the staff at Mayors’ Riverfront Park for making it possible for Western Michigan to play at Homer Stryker Field,” said Western Michigan head coach Billy Gernon. “We are thrilled about this opportunity and appreciate the fact that everyone has been so willing to work with us. 

“The Kalamazoo Growlers are going to bring an entertaining brand of baseball to our community this summer as the newest member of the prestigious Northwoods League. The fact that two of our top players in Jared Kujawa and Brett Sunde will be playing for the Growlers this summer adds even more excitement and we look forward to continuing to build on this relationship.”

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Brett Sunde

Over the weekend, Western Michigan will be hosting a reunion honoring the 1960’s MAC Championship baseball teams. The Broncos won five titles during the decade (1961-63, ’66-67), under legendary head coach Charlie Maher. Western Michigan has the second most championships in MAC history with 14, one shy of Ohio.

WMU (14-21 overall) enters the series against Northern Illinois a game behind the Huskies in the MAC West standings with a 5-10 conference record. The Huskies are 6-9 in league play and 10-28-1 overall. NIU hosts Milwaukee Wednesday before heading to Kalamazoo.