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Published On: June 25th, 2014

Kalamazoo, Mich. – Winners in three of their last four, the Kingfish look to take complete a road sweep of the Kalamazoo Growlers tonight. The contest, slated for 7:05pm, features a matchup of top-notch starting pitchers in Rico Garcia and Ryan Smoyer.

Garcia, hailing from Kapolei, Hawaii, has been nearly unhittable during his stint in Kenosha. The 5’11”, 185 pounder has allowed just two earned runs in five starts this season. His 0.55 ERA currently ranks third in the NWL. Other impressive figures put up by Garcia this season include 33 IP (1st in NWL) and 28 K’s (T-2nd in NWL). The 20 year old’s ability to locate both fastballs as well as off-speed pitches has kept the opposition guessing all year. Garcia will look to be on top of his game tonight as he faces a Growler offense that ranks third in the NWL in hits and total bases.

Last night the Kingfish started slow but came on strong against Kalamazoo. Following first inning struggles from starter JD Nielsen, Trevor Haas and Paul Schuster came in and dismantled the Growler bats. The pair combined to pitch eight innings, allowing no runs and just two walks. Schuster’s effort to cleanly get out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth proved vital. Meanwhile, Kenosha hitters were having a field day at the plate. The lineup tallied 12 runs on 13 hits on an evening when every Kingfish batter reached base at least once. The production was consistent over the course of the night as the squad scored in six different frames. Notable performances were turned in by; 3B Spencer Gaa (2-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, SB) LF Pat Porter (3-5, 4 RBI, 2 R), RF Zach Jones (2-5, RBI, R), and CF Buddy Reed (2-5, R).

Tonight, the Kingfish offense looks to chase Smoyer early. The right-hander from Notre Dame has performed well thus far for the Growlers, though his 11-8 strikeout to walk ratio shows a chink in the armor. King Elvis’ crew is currently tied for the highest home run total in the NWL (19) and ranks fourth in runs scored per contest (5.35/g).

The Kingfish, 14-12, sit just four games back in the South Division. The squad will return to Kenosha on Saturday (6/28) against these same Growlers. They will be welcoming former MLB manager/player Ozzie Guillen to Simmons Field for a fan autograph session and ceremonial first pitch. The following day (Sun, 6/29) the Kingfish welcome former Chicago Cub and Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins to the ballpark.