MADISON, Wis. – It was a rough night for the Rockford Rivets to say the least, as the Madison Mallards pounded them, 19-5, Thursday night at Warner Park.
The Rivets (5-5) got on the board early with four straight two-out singles in the top of the first, including Keith Kerrigan’s (Triton) two-RBI knock. Rockford added two more and sent 10 batters to the plate, chasing Madison starter Mitch Vogrin (Illinois State) from the game after just two-thirds of an inning.
Right-hander Jeff Barton (Illinois State) got the start for the Rivets and pitched a scoreless first inning, but things went south in the second. The Mallards (4-6) answered with five runs in the inning thanks to a few hits and sloppy defense by the Rivets. Barton allowed sevens runs (only two were earned) over five innings. Nick Drahozal (Nebraska-Omaha) pitched a clean sixth inning, but let up four runs in the seventh. Adam O’Malley (Rockford) came on to get the last out of the seventh for the Rivets.
The Rivets added a meaningless run in the top of the eighth before the Mallards tacked on eight more runs in the bottom of the inning, all off O’Malley. The big inning included a three-run home run to left field by Brady Pfaadt (Bellarmine), who went 2 for 5 on the day with five RBI.
Four Mallards relievers combined to hold the Rivets to one run over the final eight and one-third innings of the game. In the loss, Zach Rheams (Texas Tech) and Bren Spillane (Illinois) stayed hot at the plate. Rheams collected three singles and an RBI to give him seven hits in his last four games. Meanwhile, Spillane had two singles of his own to finish the series with four hits.
The Rivets open up a six-game homestand tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. against the Fond du Lac 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, 160 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.