LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford Rivets came back from not one, but two multiple-run deficits, and Ricardo Ramirez (Illinois-Chicago) hit a walk-off single in the ninth to stun the Kalamazoo Growlers 7-6 in the final home game of the season at Rivets Stadium on Wednesday night.
With Rockford trailing 4-1 in the sixth and two outs in the inning, Ryan Long (Texas Tech) singled and stole second. Ramirez was hit by a pitch, and Cory Wright (Parkland CC) scored Long with a single. Jack Wassel (Geneva HS) then singled home Ramirez and Wright to tie it at 4.
After Kalamazoo hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh, the Rivets would rally again in the eighth. Ramirez doubled and Wright was hit by a pitch. Gavin Johnson (Rice) then hit a sacrifice fly to score Ramirez, and Kian O’ Brien (Madison Tech) came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit run-scoring single to knot the game at 6-6.
After Rivets right-hander Drake Robison (Iowa) survived a threat in the ninth to go to 7-3 on the season, Hunter Hargrove (Texas Tech) reached on a throwing error and Long was hit by a pitch. That set the stage for Ramirez to line the first pitch from Darius Coldiron (0-2) into center field to score Hargrove for the win.
The Rivets will open their final regular season road trip against the Green Bay Bullfrogs at Joannes Stadium Thursday night at 7:05. 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 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.