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Rivets Can’t Find Control in Ninth, Lose 8-7

Green Bay, Wis. – The Rockford Rivets (10-6) dropped a cruel decision against the Green Bay Bullfrogs (6-10) on Friday night at Joannes Stadium due to a walk-off walk. The scored was knotted at seven in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when Rivets’ reliever Tanner Propst walked Rudy Aguilar with the bases loaded to score Austin Bates and give the Bullfrogs the win, 8-7.

The Rivets were leading 7-3 going into the bottom of the ninth after Cade Bunnell and Jacob Vander Wal each brought home runs in the top half of the frame. After reliever Nolan Gazouski walked four batters and hit two with pitches, Manager Brian Smith took him out with the bases loaded and the winning run on second with only one out. Propst came in and struck out the first batter he saw before walking the next two and bring Bates home for the Bullfrogs’ win.

Rockford starting pitcher Cooper Cain continued his streak of strong outings by throwing seven innings scoreless, striking out seven, walking one, and only allowing two hits. Manager Brian Smith spoke highly of the Valdosta State righty.

“Cooper did a great job tonight,” said Smith, “You can’t ask him for anything more than he’s done his first three starts…we’re really proud of the progress he’s made.”

For his performance on the mound, Cain was awarded Pitcher of the Night by the Northwoods League. Cain has been named Pitcher of the Night on all three starts he’s made this season.

Rockford’s offense was highlighted by left fielder Jacob Vander Wal. Vander Wal got the runs started with an RBI double to drive home Cade Bunnell in the second. Vander Wal then tacked on to his day with a solo home run to deep right field in the fourth inning, and a two-RBI double in the fifth to put the Rivets up 4-0. Vander Wal finished 3-4 with five RBIs and one run, while Bunnell also was impressive at 3-3 with one RBI and two runs.

The Rockford Rivets’ win streak ends at four with the loss. The Rivets will be back on the road tomorrow against the Kenosha Kingfish (6-9) to attempt to get back to their winning ways. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM at Simmons Field.

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 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.