Rivets take south division lead with sweep of Chinooks
The Chinooks scored in each of the first two innings against Rivets starter Zach Aring (St. Joeseph’s, IN), who lasted only two innings. In the second, Texas Tech teammates Hunter Hargrove and Ryan Long both reached to start the inning and after a walk to Neal Tyrell (Lewis), Gavin Johnson (Rice) hit a two-run single to left field that scored both Hargrove and Long to cut the deficit to 3-2. The Rivets would tie the game on a wild pitch in the third, which allowed Hunter Steinmetz (Missouri State) to score the third run for Rockford.
The game remained tied until the seventh, in large part due to the fantastic relief work of Chicago State left-hander Jake Perkins (1-0), who tossed five innings of one-hit, shutout baseball. In the seventh, Steinmetz doubled to left field and, after a passed ball, David Cronin (Illinois-Chicago) dropped down a perfect bunt for a run-scoring single off of Lakeshore reliever Nick Lackney (0-1). Cronin would score an insurance run on a wild pitch later in the inning to make it 5-3.
Rivets all-star Kacey Murphy (Arkansas) pitched the final two innings to earn his second save despite giving up a run in the eighth inning in his first outing since Sunday in Kenosha.
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 150 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.