LOVES PARK, Ill. – Defensive errors have been an issue for Rockford this season, and Wednesday night they changed the outcome of the game.
Cole Bellair (Illinois) gave a strong seven-inning start for the Rivets (13-9), but five Rockford errors allowed the Kenosha Kingfish (14-9) to take the 9-7 victory in 10 innings.
Bellair gave up two early runs in the 1st inning. Connor Doyle (San Diego) scored off a Chris Botsoe (Iowa Western) single, and Botsoe eventually came home off a Cameron Comer (Virginia) double for an early 2-0 Kingfish lead.
However, Bellair settled down and Rockford quickly went ahead. JC DeMuri (Quincy) scored the Rivets’ first run in the 2nd inning when Nate Montgomery (South Suburban) doubled off Kenosha starter George Faue (Northern Illinois). Neal Tyrell (Lewis) and Montgomery also scored in the inning to give Rockford the 3-2 lead.
The Rivets added runs in the 3rd inning. Jeremy Houston (Indiana) drove in Zach Rheams (Texas Tech) and DeMuri with an RBI single.
The Rivets led until the 6th inning, when the Kingfish came roaring back. A fielding error by Bren Spillane (Illinois) allowed Comer to get on base, and an ensuing fielding error by Ryan Hutchinson (Illinois State) let Comer and Max Widmar (Wisconsin-Parkside) come home, cutting Rockford’s lead to 5-4.
Bellair’s outing ended after the 7th, and Zack Thomas (Chicago St.) came in for him in the 8th. However, a Comer leadoff double led to an eventual run when Derek Bangert (Bradley) brought him home with an RBI double of his own to tie the game.
In the 9th, it looked as if the Kingfish had sealed the deal. Thomas walked Doyle to start off the inning, and scored when Nick Zouras (Illinois State) hit a triple deep to the left field gap. Zouras later came home off a Comer single to give Kenosha the 7-5 lead.
But the Rivets’ bats finally showed signs of life in the bottom of the 9th. Hutchinson led off the inning with a single and scored off a passed ball. Spillane then drove in Eric Cole (Arkansas) to tie the ballgame.
But the Kingfish only needed one extra frame to take care of business. Another Rockford fielding error by Brian Klein (Texas Tech) led to a two-run single by Anthony Warneke (San Diego City), which gave Kenosha a lead they would not give up. Rockford could not come back again in the 10th, and they fell by a final score of 9-7.
Thomas (3-1) took the loss for Rockford, and Zach Stromberg (Boston College, 2-1) notched the win for Kenosha.
The Rivets leave town for a game in Kenosha on Thursday, but will return to Rockford for a four-game home stand on Friday against Green Bay and Battle Creek. Friday is Mystery Envelope night! Make sure you get to the game early so you can get your hands on one of our mystery envelopes filled with special prizes! Saturday’s game is First Responder Night, followed by postgame fireworks presented by Specialty Screw and Geostar Mechanical. Don’t forget to order your Rivets tickets today by calling the Rockford Rivets ticket office at 815.240.4159.
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.