FOND DU LAC, Wis. – After dropping the final two games of their recent homestand, the Rockford Rivets got back in the win column Monday night.
The Rivets (3-4) edged out the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (3-4), 9-6, at Herr Baker Field in Game 1 of a two-game series. Jack Granath (Davenport), who started the Rivets’ season opener, was back on the mound for his second start of the season, opposed by Fond du Lac’s Kyle Huckaby (Eastern Michigan).
Rockford opened the scoring with a four-run top of the second inning, which began with a John Rave (Illinois State) leadoff double and included RBI singles from Zach Rheams (Texas Tech) and Anthony Forte (LSU-Eunice), and an RBI double by Neal Tyrell (Lewis). The Rivets added one more in the third and two more in the fifth, taking a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
Granath exited the game after five shutout innings, allowing just three hits, before Brian Wichman (Indianapolis) took over. Wichman allowed six runs and didn’t record an out in the sixth, and was replaced by Dylan Stutsman (Indianapolis). Stutsman allowed two more base runners, but got out of the jam, and the Dock Spiders finished the inning with six runs on four hits and two errors, sending 12 men to the plate.
Leading 7-6 in the eighth, the Rivets got an insurance run on a Tyrell sacrifice fly. The Rivets added another run in the ninth, and Stutsman did not allow a base runner over the final three innings to close out the game. Granath (1-1) got the win and Huckaby (0-2) took the loss, while Stutsman got the four-inning save, allowing just one hit and striking out two, in the Rivets’ 9-6 win over the Dock Spiders.
The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League, which will play its 24th season of summer collegiate baseball in 2017. The Northwoods 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, 170 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals), two-time World Champion Ben Zobrist (Chicago Cubs) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox), Jordan Zimmermann (Detroit Tigers), Curtis Granderson (New York Mets) and Lucas Duda (Mets). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website, NorthwoodsLeague.com.