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Rivets bury Rafters with home runs

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wi. – Zach Watson (LSU) had yet to hit a home run for Rockford since joining the Rivets last week.

Watson hit his first long ball of the summer in the top of the 9th against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (33-13), and Brian Klein (Texas Tech) and Bren Spillane (Illinois) added homers of their own, giving Rockford (24-21) the 9-6 victory against the Rafters on Saturday night.

The Rivets found themselves in a hole early. Rivets starter Cole Bellair (Illinois) gave up four hits in the first inning, and Charlie McConnell (Northeastern) and Nick Anderson (Texas A&M CC) came around to score for the Rafters to take an early 2-0 lead.

Brian Klein (Texas Tech) cut the lead in half for Rockford in the 2nd with a deep shot to right field off Rafters starter Josh Aguilar (Citrus CC). Aguilar then walked in a run in the 3rd to tie the game 2-2.

Wisconsin Rapids showed their power as they continued to hit Bellair in the 3rd. Anderson scored his second run of the night as Dustin Woodcock (SIU-Edwardsville) drove him in with an RBI double. Jacson McGowan (Purdue) added a two-run home run in the inning to put the Rafters up 5-2.

Bren Spillane (Illinois) hit his second home run of the year, a two-run shot to center field in the 4th, to bring Rockford within a run. Kian O’Brien (Madison College), Jeremy Houston (Indiana), and Trevor Paradoski (Texas Tech) all came home in the 5th for Rockford as the Rivets went up 7-5.

Cole Bellair’s night came to an end with one out in the 5th, after he gave up a run and loaded the bases. But Dylan Stutsman (Indianapolis) was able to get out of the jam, and maintain Rockford’s 7-6 lead.

Zach Watson (LSU) broke it open in the top of the 9th, hammering a drive over the left field fence and extending Rockford’s lead 9-6. From there, Matt Miller (Louisiana Tech) was able to shut the door in the ninth for Rockford’s 7th win in 10 games.

Rockford remains in Wisconsin Rapids for one more game before the All-Star Break Monday through Wednesday. The next home game for the Rivets is Thursday, July 20 for another Thirsty Thursday with $1 drafts! 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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