LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford Rivets began their inaugural season with a rain delay that delayed the opener approximately an hour. Regardless of the rain, Rivets fans were ready for opening night as they came out to see starting pitcher and hometown product Drake Robison face the Wisconsin Woodchucks.
But Austin Blakely dampened the festivities with a fifth-inning grand slam to give the Woodchucks a 6-5 win on Tuesday at Rivets Stadium.
Robison took the loss, despite eight strikeouts in four innings. Wisconsin’s Scott Parker gave up two runs on three hits over two innings, but got the win in relief.
Neal Tyrell was 3-for-5 with a double and a RBI in a losing effort for Rockford.
The game, delayed 75 minutes by rain, took place on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the stadium.
The Rivets and Woodchucks will return to Rivets Stadium 6:35 p.m. Wednesday for the second game of the series. Broadcasts and live streams can be found at NorthwoodsLeague.com.
Rockford is a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League, which will play its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2016. The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, more than 140 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox), Jordan Zimmermann (Detroit Tigers), Curtis Granderson (New York Mets), Lucas Duda (Mets) and Ben Zobrist (Chicago Cubs). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website, NorthwoodsLeague.com. For more information, visit RockfordRivets.com.