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Rivets edge Bullfrogs, 11-8, in thrilling slugfest

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Rockford Rivets (20-18, 3-1) picked up their third straight victory with an 11-8 win over the Green Bay Bullfrogs (12-27, 0-4) at Joannes Stadium Saturday night.

The Rivets opened the scoring in the top of the second when Patrick Loeffler (Indiana) hit an RBI single to right field. Brett Whelton (McNeese State) was up next and hit an RBI double to the left-center field gap. But the Bullfrogs answered in the bottom of the second on Willie Bourbon’s (Northwestern) RBI single and Richie Tecco’s (Rider) sacrifice fly to tie the game 2-2.

In the fourth, the Rivets got their first four batters in the inning on base. The fourth was Loeffler, who walked with the bases loaded to force in a run. Whelton followed with a sacrifice fly to right, then Ryan Hutchinson (Illinois State) hit into a fielder’s choice to drive in another run, to give the Rivets a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth. Whelton went 2 for 2 with 3 RBI and two walks in the game.

The Bullfrogs got one back in the sixth on an RBI single from Bourbon, making it a 5-4 game going into the seventh. But Rockford wasted no time tacking onto their lead, sending eight men to the plate and scoring four more runs in the seventh, with the first coming on JC DeMuri’s (Quincy) RBI double high off the center field wall. Kian O’Brien (Madison) also had an RBI single in the inning.

With the Rivets were up 9-4 after seven innings, Green Bay pushed across three runs in the eighth to make it a 9-7 game, but Loeffler hit an RBI double, his third hit and third RBI in the game, and Hunter Feduccia (LSU) added an RBI single, in the ninth to make it 11-7 Rivets. The Bullfrogs scored one more run in the ninth on an Alex Pener (Scottsdale CC) solo homer and brought the tying run to the plate, but that was it, as Zack Thomas (Chicago State) struck out the final two batters to end the game.

Brandon Nowak (Oakton) started for Rockford but only lasted two innings, giving up two runs. Michael Kaska (UW-Whitewater), who got the win, Josh Petersen (Ohio), and Thomas pitched the final seven innings. All nine starters for the Rivets had at least one hit and seven had multi-hit games.

The Rivets open up a two-game series with the Kalamazoo Growlers at 4:05 p.m. Sunday. It will be the second series meeting between the two teams this season, and first series meeting in Rockford.

The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League, which will play its 24th season of summer collegiate baseball in 2017. The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, 160 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals), two-time World Champion Ben Zobrist (Chicago Cubs) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox), Jordan Zimmermann (Detroit Tigers), Curtis Granderson (New York Mets) and Lucas Duda (Mets). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website, NorthwoodsLeague.com.                                                                                                             

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