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Rivets defeat Bullfrogs thanks to errors, walks

Zach Rheams prepares to round third base in the 3rd inning against Green Bay on Saturday Night. Rheams' run gave Rockford the lead en route to a 10-1 victory. Photo courtesy of Doug Timmermann of JK Richards Photography.

LOVES PARK, IL – Lately, the Rockford Rivets have been finding ways to score runs.

Although the Green Bay Bullfrogs came into Rockford on a winning streak, the Rivets managed to score double-digit runs for the second night in a row. Aided by six walks and five Green Bay (21-42, 9-19) defensive errors, Rockford (37-26, 20-9) won again on Saturday night 10-1.

The Bullfrogs, who had won six of their last seven games going into Saturday night, notched an early run on Rockford starter Brad Littleton (Lewis). After reaching on a fielder’s choice, Troy Johnston (Gonzaga) scored on a lazy ground ball off the bat of Kyle Benyo (Youngstown State) to put Green Bay up 1-0.

The Rivets evened up the score in the bottom half of the 2nd. Patrick Loeffler (Indiana) was hit by a pitch as the leadoff man and eventually came home with a Brynn Martinez (Quincy) RBI single.

Rockford scored in each of the next three innings as well. Zach Rheams (Texas Tech) was also hit by a pitch, and after Kian O’Brien (Madison College) walked, scored on a single off the bat of Anthony Forte (Richmond). The inning looked like it would be over when Loeffler hit a grounder to the second baseman Ben Hart (UW-Milwaukee), but Hart made his second throwing error of the night which allowed O’Brien and Forte to score, putting Rockford up 4-1.

Rockford notched another pair of runs in the 4th, once again aided by a Hart error. This time the Bullfrogs’ second baseman could not handle a Hunter Feduccia (LSU) ground ball up the middle. Neal Tyrell (Lewis) and Rheams then each recorded an RBI before the end of the inning to give Rockford a 6-1 lead on Green Bay.

Another Green Bay error, this time by the third baseman Dan Leckie (Lafayette), increased Rockford’s lead in the 5th. Loeffler walked, reaching base for the third straight time without a hit, and then scored when Leckie made a fielding error on a sharply hit ground ball from Martinez.

Littleton ended his night with just the one run that he gave up in the first. He pitched six strong innings, and even after his night ended Rockford was not done at the plate.

In the bottom of the 8th, Zach Bailey (Madison College) drove in O’Brien with an infield single. Trevor Paradoski (Texas Tech) and Martinez also recorded RBIs in the inning to put the Rivets up 10-1.

Bullfrogs starter Connor Wollersheim (Kent State) was good in his three innings, but not good enough. He only gave up one earned run, but Rockford jumped all over the Green Bay bullpen en route to the victory. Fernando Colon (Florida SouthWestern State), Josh Petersen (Ohio), and David Brown (Kutztown) each pitched a scoreless inning of relief of Littleton (3-3), who won his third straight decision. Rockford now remains a half game ahead of Wisconsin Rapids in first place.

The season is coming to a close in the next few weeks for the Rivets. But not to worry! Rockford still has four home games remaining. Tomorrow, the Green Bay Bullfrogs play their last game in Rockford. Gates open at 3:05 p.m. for Bark in the Park! Bring your favorite furry friend to the game. There will be doggy pools, treats, and great baseball for everyone to enjoy! Call 815.240.4159 to inquire about buying your tickets today.

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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