KENOSHA, Wis. – The Kenosha Kingfish (10-15) won a pair of pitchers’ duels against the Rockford Rivets (11-12) on Thursday night at Simmons Field by a final score of 2-0 in game one and 2-1 in nine innings in game two.
Kingfish starting pitcher Gabe Bierman (Indiana) was dominant in game one, throwing a two-hit complete game shutout. The freshman needed just 84 pitches to get through seven innings, striking out six and allowing three baserunners on two hits and a walk.
The complete game was Kenosha’s first since Rigo Beltran threw a no-hitter on July 2, 2016, also against the Rivets.
Bierman gave up his first baserunner with one out in the fourth inning when Branden Comia (Illinois) lined a single into center field, but Bierman picked him off.
The Kingfish got all the offense it needed in the fourth inning when Mike Jarvis (San Diego State) raced home on a Roberto Pena (Florida) fielder’s choice. Pena stole home with two outs to make the score 2-0 after Zach Nogalski (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) attempted to steal second base and intentionally got caught in a run down between first and second base.
Bierman stranded a leadoff double at third in the seventh inning to preserve the 2-0 game on win.
Kingfish starting pitcher Ben Stephens (Eastern Illinois) delivered another gem, throwing five scoreless innings with three hits and two walks given up and five punch outs.
Kingfish reliever Colton Gordon (Hillsborough) escaped a bases-loaded no-out jam in the eighth inning with a shallow fly ball and two strike outs to keep the game deadlocked at zero.
Rockford finally broke through in the top of the ninth inning to break the scoreless tie with a Nick Juaire sacrifice fly that scored Jake VanderWal (Long Beach State), who started the inning at second base due to newly implemented international tie breaker rules, which place a runner at second base every half inning during extra innings.
Mike Jarvis (San Diego State) evened the game up in Kenosha’s final at bat with a double that scored Brendan Hueth (Saint Joseph’s). Then Ryan Knernschield (Eastern Illinois) gave Kenosha a 2-1 win and the team’s first walk-off win of 2019 on an infield single that knocked in Jarvis.
Kasey Ford (Kansas State) took the loss for the Rivets, but the junior went 8 1/3 innings and allowed just one earned run on four hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts. Harry Orth (Wisconsin-Oshkosh) got the win for the Kingfish.
The Kingfish and Rivets will play again on Friday at Rivets Stadium at 7:05 CT.