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Published On: June 21st, 2015

Photo by Kimberly Moss

KALAMAZOO, MI – Release the Kraken! The Kalamazoo Kraken that is, as for just one night, the Growlers wore Kalamazoo Kraken jerseys on “What If” night. The Kraken was the runner up mascot name before a Growler was ultimately chosen last year.

Well, a Kraken was released. But not a Kalamazoo Kraken, a La Crosse Kraken.

Jordan Zimmerman (Mesa CC) had a monster, no pun intended, night. Zimmerman went three for seven with a staggering seven RBI and two home runs.

Zimmerman’s first home run was a solo shot off Kraken starter Shane Bryant (Purdue) in the fourth. At the time, no Kraken was fretting as the solo shot still left Kalamazoo with a 2-1 lead.

The second Zimmerman home run, though, was the moment the tide shifted at Homer Stryker Field. Up 6-1, Bryant pitching a gem, until he loaded the bases. Up came Zimmerman, who shares the same name as the Washington National’s ace, and he hits a moonshot over the OnStaff sign in left field. And with a single pitch, Kalamazoo saw its lead dip to one run, and Bryant saw his quality start sink to the bottom of the ocean.

In the ninth inning, Bryan Saucedo (River City College) was just a single out away from sealing a victory for his team when he allowed a hit to Mason McCoy (Iowa) which scored two runs to give La Crosse (13-12) a 7-6 lead.

The Kraken were not done yet, though, as in the bottom of the ninth a squeeze bunt by Charles Leblanc (Pitt) scored Marquise Gill (Eastern Michigan) to tie up the game. That was the last run score of the ninth and the game went into extra innings.

The Kraken, or Growlers, again saw a win slip away from them in the top of the 14th. The man of the night, Zimmerman, hit a two RBI double to cement yet another loss for Kalamazoo.

The top performer for Kalamazoo (7-19) was Corey Dempster, who left the game in the ninth due to injury, who went two for four with an RBI.

This loss ends the homestand for Kalamazoo as it travels to Waterloo for an interleague series with the Waterloo Bucks.

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