Kingfish Win Walk-Filled Game, Stay Undefeated At Home
Historic Simmons Field, WI- In a game that featured 24 combined walks and was disrupted by the elements numerous times, the Kenosha Kingfish ran onto the field after beating the Rockford Rivets 7-5 to open up the home stand.
The Kingfish struck first with an RBI single from Ian Collier in the first inning to score James McCoy. McCoy then hit an RBI double in the second inning to plate Ben Loyd and make the game 2-0.
Blake Pivaroff made his Kingfish debut on the bump, but he was pulled after 2.1 innings of work due to a pitch limit. Pivaroff allowed one hit, no runs, no walks and struck out five hitters for a no decision.
Luke Ellis came in to relieve Pivaroff, and after walking five consecutive batters due to some trouble with the surface of the mound, he struck out two batters to get out of the third inning. Rockford’s Dylan Robinson and Matthew Mebane walked Jake Bilotta and Ty Crittenberger in to make the game 2-2 after three innings.
Kingfish pitching coach Steve Andrade went out to the mound with a rake during a mound visit in the third frame to try to carve out a landing spot for Ellis.
In the top of the fourth, Crittenberger gave Rockford a 3-2 lead with an RBI single that led to Garrett Sheffield running home on a ball bobbled by Kenosha’s Brady Counsell.
The Kingfish took the lead back in the bottom half of the frame to go up 5-3 after an RBI single from McCoy (scoring Antonio Brown), a walk from Collier (scoring Parker Stinson) and a sacrifice fly from Counsell (scoring McCoy).
The Rivets pulled the game back to a 5-5 tie in the top of the fifth inning, as Luke Sefcik and Sheffield hit Matthew Mebane and Ryan Hampe home on back-to-back RBI singles.
McCoy’s bat remained hot in the bottom of the inning, as he hit a single that sent Brown home to put Kenosha up 6-5. McCoy registered his fourth hit of the night with an RBI-double to the opposite field that sent Stinson home to put the Kingfish up 7-5.
McCoy had the best night at the plate of any Kingfish player this year, as he went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, two doubles, two runs and two walks to reach base on all six plate appearances.
After doing a plethora of damage at the plate, McCoy gave credit to the Kenosha pitchers’ ability to keep Rockford honest at the plate.
“It’s a lot easier winning games and doing what we do at the plate when we’ve got pitchers putting it in the zone, getting outs and just being productive,” McCoy said.
Kingfish pitcher Reed Gannon came in during the fifth inning and pitched through the sixth to get the win with three strikeouts, one walk and no hits or runs allowed in 1.1 innings of work. Gannon (1-0) registered his first win of the season.
Rivets reliever Aaron Mishoulam (0-1) took the loss after giving up one earned run on four hits and five walks while fanning five batters in 3 innings.
The Kingfish walked a team-record 15 times throughout the game, and field manager Sean McScheffery attributed the stat to a certain mindset that hitters took to the plate.
“Our approach is just to swing at strikes and take balls,” McSheffery said. “We just try to keep it really simple.”
Kenosha closer Grayson Thurman registered his Northwoods League-leading fourth save in as many opportunities when he struck out the side in order to end the contest.
The Kingfish (6-3) will take on the Rivets (4-5) tomorrow, June 9, at 6:05 p.m. before welcoming the Battle Creek Battle Jacks to town on Friday.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 245 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.