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Rivets Stomp Bullfrogs 9-0 in Season Opener

The Rivets won their season opener Tuesday night at Rivets Stadium when they shutout the Green Bay Bullfrogs 9-0. Rockford was led by a dominant performance from right-handed pitcher Cole Bellair.

The former University of Illinois and current Tennessee Wesleyan product pitched seven scoreless innings while allowing only one hit. He also struck out six while walking only two Green Bay batters.

Rivet’s manager Brian Smith wasn’t surprised that Bellair came out and pitched the way he did.

“Everything we expected him to do tonight, he gave to us,” Smith said. “We don’t expect anything more out of him and at the same time we don’t expect any less out of him. We hold him to a higher standard than a lot of guys because of how hard he works, his personality and the mentality he takes out onto the field.”

Relief pitchers Jackson Bronke and Garrett Goetz each pitched one inning and in the ninth, Goetz stuck out two of the three batters he faced.

The Rivets offense gave their pitchers plenty of insurance as the game went along. In the bottom of the third, second baseman Joey Butler scored on a base hit by left fielder Braden Mosely to give the Rivets their first run of the game as Mosley finished the night with two hits and three RBIs.

Shortstop Tim Lilly led the Rivets with a game-high three hits on the day and tallied two runs. Centerfielder and leadoff man Brennan Reback set the table well, getting on base four times on the night and added two RBIs.

Rockford also took advantage of the three errors committed by the Bullfrogs and stole three bases on the night with Reback accounting for two of the three steals.

Smith said that the teams’ ability to run the bases well plays a huge factor in the success they had tonight and will have throughout the season.

“We’re going to run the bases really well, that’s going to be one of our top priorities early in the year while we have guys who can do it so when we have the opportunity to run,” Smith said. “We’re going to run and that’s how we got the offense going.”

The Rivets and Bullfrogs will come back and play game two of their two game series tomorrow night with a first pitch of 6:35 CT. Gates at Rivets Stadium will open at 5:30 and tickets for the Rockford Rivets are available for purchase, including our 5-Game Pack which now costs only $60. Tickets can be purchased by calling the 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. Entering its 25th anniversary season, 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, more than 185 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.rockfordrivets.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rivets as your favorite team.