Green Bay, Wis. – The Rockford Rivets (10-5) won the first game of a two-game series against the Green Bay Bullfrogs by a score of 12-7 on Tuesday night at Joannes Stadium. Good bullpen pitching and clutch hitting by Indiana Hoosier Pat Loeffler and company fueled the team to victory.
JT Baksha came on in relief with the Rivets down 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth with runners on first and second and only one out. After Rockford catcher Brock Mathis threw out Collin Luty trying to steal third, Baksha struck out Blaise Maris to end the inning and not let any more damage come home against the Rivets.
Pat Loeffler had an exceptional day at the plate with a two-run home run to deep right field in the sixth to give Rockford a 7-4 lead, and in the ninth, Loeffler brought home some more insurance for the Rivets on a two-RBI double to put the run total to twelve on the day for Rockford.
“I was just looking for a good pitch to hit,” Loeffler said of the home run ball, “I got ahead in the count and I was looking for a fastball middle in and that’s what I got. But it all starts with my teammates getting on base.”
It was Rockford that struck first in the top half of the third inning. Braden Mosley drove home Justin Walker and Brennan Reback with a double to center field, and Parker Bates got Mosley home just a few pitches later to cap the scoring at three that inning.
After Green Bay scored four unanswered runs, it was Jacob Vander Wal’s two-RBI single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth that gave the Rivets the lead and they would never look back.
“It was a battle early, we did a good job getting ahead,” Rivets’ Manager Brian Smith said, “Then we had that hiccup in the fourth inning, but our guys did a good job battling with their bullpen, getting a few walks, getting a few timely hits, and Pat came up big with that homerun.”
Luke Anderson pitched the final three innings, only allowing one hit, and striking out four batters. Justin Walker was another Rivet that had a good day at the plate, going two for five and getting an RBI under his belt.
With the win, the Rivets have now won four straight and six out of their last seven. They will take on Green Bay (5-10) again tomorrow at Joannes Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.
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