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Rivets’ season ends in tough loss to Bombers

BATTLE CREEK, MICH. – It was Rockford’s first playoff game in franchise history, and it certainly did not disappoint.

Although the game was knotted at 0-0 through six innings, Rockford eventually fell in a pitcher’s duel to the Battle Creek Bombers 2-0 on Monday night. Rockford finishes the season with a 39-34 record, losing their first playoff game in the team’s short existence.

Chase Kueter (Dubuque) made just his fifth appearance for the Rivets this season, but he looked as good as ever coming out of the gate. In his first six innings of work, Kueter gave up just one hit and struck out five batters.

Dakota Edwards was just as good for Battle Creek. He only gave up two hits through the first seven innings of the ballgame himself, and kept Battle Creek right in the game. Kian O’Brien (Madison College) and Anthony Forte (Richmond) were the only Rivets to make it on base before the 8th.

It was in the 7th that Kueter finally got into trouble. Alex Howard (Arkansas State) led off with a double and moved to third base off a Nick Walker (Austin Peay) single. Kueter retired the next batter with a lineout, but a sacrifice grounder to Brian Klein (Texas Tech) at third allowed Howard to score and give the Bombers a 1-0 lead. Kueter did not give up any further runs in the inning.

In the top of the 8th, Rockford showed signs of life on offense. Forte led off with a double and reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Neal Tyrell (Lewis). Unfortunately, the subsequent Rivets batters struck out and Rockford was unable to tie the game.

Battle Creek added an insurance run in the 8th. Aaron Antonini (Middle Tenneessee State) led off with a ground rule double, which ended Kueter’s night. Nick Drahozal (Nebrasa-Omaha) came in relief of Kueter and got the first out, but Antonini was able to score off a throwing error before the inning ended. Battle Creek led 2-0 as Rockford’s top of the order was up in the 9th.

From there, Rockford could not muster anything to extend the game. Although they took a first round loss, Rockford finished the regular season 12 games better than in 2016. The Rivets will certainly be looking forward to another great summer of baseball in 2018.

The Rockford Rivets would like to extend a special thank you to all the fans who made this season a success. The Rivets are offering a 5 game pack next season for $75! Be sure you get yours today – just call the 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, 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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