Growlers Pitching Carries Them to Fifth Straight Win
Kalamazoo Sweeps Wisconsin Rapids
A night after the two teams combined for 21 runs, pitching was the story as the Growlers (5-1) swept the Rafters (2-4) by a score of 7-2. By taking the afternoon contest, Kalamazoo swept the two game series and ensured their fifth straight victory after dropping their first game of the season.
The game was scoreless through three innings as Kalamazoo’s Ryan Colgate (Ohio Dominican) and Wisconsin Rapids’ John Kravetz (Illinois) mowed through the opposing lineups. The Rafters would jump out in front in the top of the fourth when Michael Jurgella (St. Cloud State) picked up his first RBI of the season when he singled in Erik Payne (Virginia Tech).
Rafters’ returnee Kravetz was making his season debut and he had his way with the Growlers through the first four innings. Despite the 1-0 lead, it was impossible to hold down the Northwoods League’s top offense for long. Kalamazoo would rack up 3 runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth.
Kalamazoo’s pitching combination of Colgate and Ryan Smoyer (Notre Dame) stymied a Wisconsin Rapids offense that had scored 15 runs the previous two games. The two combined to strike out 9 Rafters and hold them to only four hits.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 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 www.raftersbaseball.com.