Kalamazoo Growlers Eliminate Traverse City Pit Spitters; Head To Divisional Championship
For the first time in franchise history the Kalamazoo Growlers are going to the Great Lakes Divisional Championship. Last night they shocked the Northwoods league by eliminating the clear favorite to win the championships, the Traverse City Pit Spitters, with a 9-5 victory in Traverse City. The game was neck & neck until the 6th inning where the Growlers brought in 4 to go up 8-4, which was enough to pull away with the W, as the recap explains:
The Growlers struck first with an RBI single by Alex Calarco (Northwestern University) in the top of the first inning. Calarco had two hits with two RBI. To take the lead the Growlers scored four more runs in the top of the sixth inning. Ryan Dykstra (Oakland University) and Anthony Stephan (University of Virginia) both had singles to drive in runs. Banks Tolley (University of Mississippi) ended the inning with a two run double to left field. Dykstra and Stephan both had two hits with three RBI combined.
The Growlers get a day of rest, as a game 3 tonight against the Wausau Woodchucks and Wisconsin Rapids Rafters will determine who will meet the Growlers in the 1-game Divisional Championship tomorrow, while the 1-game Great Plains Divisional Championship, potential Championship game opponents, will be played by the Duluth Huskies and Willmar Stingers tonight, to determine who the Great Plains Division Champions are.
The Growlers MAY squeeze out a Northwoods League Championship home game in Kalamazoo if they eventually play the Duluth Huskies, as home field advantage is given to the team with the best overall record, and a meeting between these two teams would mean the won exactly the same regular season games and have the same winning percentage. I'm not 100% on the tie breaker, but both Kalamazoo & Duluth clinched the playoffs placing 1st in their divisions in the first half of the season. That being said, the Growlers clinched with a % of .611, while Duluth clinched with a % of .576. We will have to hope, wait and see and cheer on the Growlers in the Divisional Title Game first.