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Rivets drop close one to Woodchucks

Ryan Hutchinson takes an at-bat for the Rivets. Photo courtesy of Doug Timmermann of JK Richards Photography.

LOVES PARK, Ill. –  It looked like it might be another walk off win for the Rivets, but they were unable to overcome the Wisconsin Woodchucks’ scoring.

Brad Littleton (Indiana) faced off against Andreas Papageorge (College of San Mateo) for the Woodchucks (18-26), who scored early and often to take down the Rivets (22-21) 8-7 on Thursday night.

Rockford had a strong offensive start, with Hunter Feduccia (LSU) hitting his sixth home run in as many games for the early 1-0 Rockford lead after the 1st inning.

Littleton struggled with control early on, and Wisconsin quickly tied the game. Ivan Nunez (Hillsborough CC) knocked in Aaron Soucy (Boston College) with an RBI single to tie the game in the 2nd inning.

It would not take long for the Woodchucks to break the tie. Wisconsin managed four runs in the 3rd inning, taking advantage of two walks allowed by Littleton and a Rockford fielding error. Tristan Clarke (New Orleans) drove in another run in the 4th for Wisconsin to give them a 6-1 lead.

The Rivets showed signs of life in the bottom of 4th, with Patrick Loeffler (Indiana) taking Papageorge deep to right field for a three-run home run and bringing Rockford within two runs.

The scoring continued in the 6th. James Davison (Miami) and Nunez scored off reliever George Manikas (Lewis) of Rockford. But Rockford continued to claw back. Zach Rheams (Texas Tech) got an RBI of his own in the bottom half of the inning, although Rockford still trailed 8-5.

Feduccia came in clutch again in the 7th, bringing Ryan Hutchinson (Illinois State) home with an RBI triple and cutting Wisconsin’s lead to 8-6.

In the 9th, Loeffler singled and Trevor Paradoski (Texas Tech) doubled to start the inning. After Feduccia walked, Zach Watson (LSU) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring Rockford within one run. Rockford was unable to complete the comeback, though, as Brian Klein (Texas Tech) struck out to end the game.

Tomorrow, Rockford is back for another game at home against the Woodchucks at 6:35 p.m. It’s Scout Night! After the game, scouts can sleep over on the field for just $5 per tent, and there will be postgame fireworks and a laser light show. On Saturday and Sunday, Rockford travels to Wisconsin Rapids for a two-game series before the All-Star Break Monday through Wednesday. You can order your Rivets tickets today by calling the Rockford Rivets ticket office at 815.240.4159.

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, 180 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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