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Rivets’ patience pays off in win vs. Chinooks

Zach Rheams hits a 1st-inning grand slam in Sunday night's game against Lakeshore. The Rivets went on to win, 9-5. Photo courtesy of Doug Timmermann of JK Richards Photography.

LOVES PARK, IL. – Rockford loaded the bases four times in Sunday’s game against the Lakeshore Chinooks, and the Rivets made sure they took advantage of free passes.

Rockford batters walked 12 times in the game, Cole Bellair (Illinois, 4-2) pitched seven innings, and Zach Rheams (Texas Tech) hit a grand slam as the Rivets (27-22, 10-5) defeated the Lakeshore Chinooks (27-24, 9-7) 9-5 on Sunday evening.

Cyrillo Watson (Illinois) was in trouble early for the Chinooks. He walked in a run with the bases loaded in the 1st, and Zach Rheams (Texas Tech) hit a deep drive over the right center field wall with the bases still loaded to put Rockford up 5-0.

Lakeshore showed off their offensive strength, too. In the 3rd inning Joe Duncan (Eastern Illinois) singled and scored and Rylan Thomas (Central Florida) doubled and scored a run of his own to cut Rockford’s lead to 5-2.

No one else scored until the 6th, when Rockford put up three more runs. Bren Spillane (Illinois) singled and Hunter Feduccia (LSU) walked to start off the inning. Zach Watson (LSU) drove in Spillane with an RBI double and Neal Tyrell (Lewis) drove in Feduccia with a sacrifice fly. Watson also came home to extend Rockford’s lead to 8-3.

Lakeshore would not go away, though. Bellair gave up two home runs in the 7th – one to Connor Kimple (Oklahoma State) and one to Daniel DeSimone (Oklahoma State) as Lakeshore cut the Rockford lead once again, 8-5.

Rockford plated one more in the 8th to seal the victory, 9-5. Eli Baez (Lackwanna CC) pitched two innings in relief of Bellair and earned the save for Rockford.

Today’s game begins a four-game home stand for the Rivets. Tomorrow, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters come to town for a game on Monday at 6:35p.m. and another on Tuesday at 6:35p.m. Then the Rivets face off against the Madison Mallards on Wednesday for a home-and-home double header. Wednesday’s game will be an 11:00a.m. first pitch at Rivets Stadium. Fans can call the Rockford Rivets ticket office at 815.240.4159 to inquire about tickets and upcoming games and promotions.

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, 180 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. 

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