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Published On: August 15th, 2016

KALAMAZOO, Mich – The Rockford Rivets knew that their odds of making the playoffs were slim entering Sunday, and after taking an early lead, they watched as the Kalamazoo Growlers came back for a walk-off victory in ten innings over the Rivets, 6-5.

 

After the Growlers opened the scoring in the second, Rockford responded in the third.  Braden Williams (Texas Tech) singled and Neal Tyrell (Lewis University) reached on an error.  David Cronin (Illinois-Chicago) then scored Williams and Ryan Long (Texas Tech) hit a two-run double before eventually scoring on an error for a 5-1 lead.

 

But Kalamazoo slowly chipped away.  Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois) and Kasey Cooper (Arkansas Fort-Smith) each led off innings with home runs before Nick Hutchins (Southern Illinois) tied the game with a single in the seventh.

 

Peter Ziemis (Davenport) pitched the final two innings in picking up the win and going to 1-0 for the summer for Kalamazoo after Zach Vitkuske (Muskegon CC) went the first eight.  In the tenth against Rivets reliever Matt Vanek (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) singled, and after a sacrifice bunt moved him to second, Jay Smith (Kalamazoo Valley CC) singled off Vanek (0-2) to walk off the final game of the year for both teams.

 

 

The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.rockfordrivets.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rivets as your favorite team.