Ryan Hutchinson rounds third base. Photo courtesy of Doug Timmermann of JK Richards Photography.
LOVES PARK, Ill. – After losing four straight games on the road, Rockford was due for a win.
Rockford (18-18) defeated the Lakeshore Chinooks (19-18) 4-2 as they returned to Rivets Stadium Thursday Night. Jon Laird (Illinois-Springfield) had a solid start for the Rivets, and timely hitting gave Rockford just their third win in their last ten tries.
The game looked as if it would be a pitching duel early on. Both Laird and Alec Marsh (Arizona State) got off to strong starts for their respective clubs. Rockford took an early 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning when Brian Klein (Texas Tech) drove in Ryan Hutchinson (Illinois State) with an RBI double.
Laird continued his scoreless pitching into the 6th inning, but Lakeshore was able to manage two runs off him. Owen Miller (Illinois State) scored off a Caleb Dean (Lamar) RBI double and Dean came home later in the inning to give the Chinooks a 2-1 lead.
Patience at the plate finally led to some more Rivets runs. Four straight walks in the 6th inning brought home JC DeMuri (Quincy) to score and tie the ballgame. Patrick Loeffler (Indiana) followed with an RBI single and Trevor Paradoski (Texas Tech) hit a sac fly to center field to give Rockford a 4-2 lead.
Rockford maintained their lead with strong relief pitching out of the bullpen. Nick Drahozal (Nebraska-Omaha), Matt Miller (Louisiana Tech), and Dylan Stutsman (Indianapolis) each threw scoreless frames to give Rockford their first win of the second half of the season.
The Rivets hit the road tomorrow for two games against the Bullfrogs in Green Bay. They will return on Sunday, July 9 to start a two-game series against the Kalamazoo Growlers. It’s Latino Night! There will be live music, authentic food, and tons of fun! Gates open at 3:05 p.m. for the 4:05 p.m. first pitch. You can 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.