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Watson shines as Rivets win again

Zach Watson hits a 4th-inning grand slam against the Rafters on Monday night. Rockford went on to win 12-4. Photo courtesy of Doug Timmermann of JK Richards Photography.

LOVES PARK, IL. – Zach Watson is no stranger to big moments. In Monday night’s game, he showed why he was a member of the NCAA All-Tournament team for LSU this spring.

Watson hit a grand slam and drove in six runs, Brad Littleton (Indiana, 1-3) gave Rockford six strong innings, and the Rivets (28-22, 11-5) defeated the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (38-14, 11-5) on Monday night by a final score of 12-4.

The Rivets looked like they were in trouble early. Starter Brad Littleton (Indiana) gave up three runs in the 1st inning to the Rafters, but Rockford continued to score runs as they’ve been doing so well lately.

Brian Klein (Texas Tech) singled and scored, Patrick Loeffler (Indiana) walked and scored, and Brynn Martinez (Quincy) singled and scored the final run for the Rivets in the 2nd to tie the game 3-3.

In the 3rd, Rockford took the lead. Watson doubled and Ryan Hutchinson (Illinois State) drove him in with an RBI single, giving Rockford a 4-3 lead.

From there, Littleton settled down. He gave Rockford four scoreless innings and gave up just one more run as Rockford continued to give him run support.

In the 4th, Watson cleared one over the left field fence with the bases loaded. He added a two-RBI double in the 6th before Klein drove in Zach Rheams (Texas Tech) and Hutchinson drove Watson in for the 12-4 Rockford lead.

Alex Bacevicius (South Suburban CC) and Ben Folger (Ripon) combined for three scoreless innings of relief of Littleton, as Rockford moved into first place in the second half standings in the South Division.

The Rivets will take on the Rafters again tomorrow night 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. It’s Wiener Wednesday, which means $1 hot dogs all game! 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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