Published On: June 11th, 2018

LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford Rivets beat Kalamazoo 2-0 at Rivets stadium Sunday to win game one of a two game stint versus the Growlers.

Rockford was led by another dominant pitching performance from Cole Bellair who picked up his third straight win on the mound. He finished with eight strikeouts and one walk while giving up no runs in seven innings pitched.

Rivet’s manager Brian Smith was more than happy with Bellair’s performance, especially when the team struggled on offense.

“One of his biggest strengths is challenging guys in the zone and it’s always good to pitch on a day like today,” Smith said. Luckily our offense showed up in that first inning, they fell apart for the rest of the game but all we needed was two today and Cole put us on his back.”

Evan Snyder came in for the eighth and ninth inning for Rockford and pitched two flawless innings to close out the game. He finished with two strikeouts and gave up no hits.

The only offense of the game came in the bottom of the first inning when center fielder Brennan Reback ripped a line drive up the center to score third baseman Cade Bunnell, who made his first appearance for the Rivets tonight.

Bunnell was one of three players in the starting lineup today for the Rivets who attends the University of Indiana. Shortstop Justin Walker, who made his first appearance last night, and first baseman Pat Loeffler also play their colligate ball at Indiana

Bunnell recorded two hits and a run in his debut in a Rockford uniform, and Walker made a couple nice plays at shortstop including the final out of the game when he made a nice running throw over to fellow Hoosier Loeffler.

Smith talked about the luxury of having a shortstop like Walker on defense.

“He didn’t get that many opportunities but the ones he did get were pretty big in those last few innings,” Smith said. “His arm strength helps when the wind is howling and he made a lot of tough plays look easy.”

Rockford will look for the sweep against the Growlers tomorrow when the wrap up the series with Kalamazoo at Rivets Stadium at 6:35.

The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in 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 190 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 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.

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