Runs Rain Down for Rivets in 10-8 Victory
Wausau, Wis. – The Rockford Rivets (12-8) needed ten innings, but in a long, wet game at Athletic Park on Sunday evening the Rivets pulled out at 10-8 victory against the Wisconsin Woodchucks (6-14). The difference was a big two run top of the tenth where Wyatt Mascarella and Jacob Vander Wal scored.
Mascarella stepped to plate in the top of the tenth with nobody on and one out. He singled up the middle, before Vander Wal walked to get runners on first and second with still only one out. Joe Butler drove the count full during a gritty at-bat and eventually took a pitch for an infield single where Mascarella was able to round third and get home safely. Pat Loeffler then walked to load the bases and Brandon Giltrow was hit by a pitch that pushed Vander Wal home. Those two runs proved to be a deficit Wisconsin could not overcome.
“I was just trying to get on and get a run home,” Mascarella said, “And once I got, just trying to get score, know where the outfielders are so I can get rolling.”
After falling behind 2-0 early in the game, Justin Walker was the first Rivet to cross the plate on a double by Parker Bates. Bates then stole third base, and when the Woodchucks’ third baseman couldn’t handle the throw, Bates was able to score as well. On the next pitch Mascarella tattooed a baseball to left field for his first home run in a Rockford uniform and a 3-2 Rivets’ lead.
“Honestly, I was just trying to get a pitch to hit,” Mascarella said of the home run, “And he happened to elevate a ball right to me and I got a pretty good swing on it.”
After some back and forth baseball, Loeffler looked like he cemented the win for the Rivets when he belted a two-run homer to right field to put Rockford up 7-4 in the top of the sixth. Rockford would add one more insurance run and the score would be at 8-4 going into the bottom of the ninth.
A lightning and rain delay would then put the game on hold for almost an hour before Adrian Marquez would come on to close out the game for the Rivets. Five batters later Javier Valdes would hit a grand slam to tie the game and take it into extras.
After the two-run top of the tenth, another rain delay put the game in limbo before it was Jimmy Burnette’s turn to try and finish off the Woodchucks. The bases were loaded with two outs as Burnette got Dom DeRenzo to fly out to Vander Wal to finally finish the game almost four hours after it started.
“Jimmy came on and closed the door for his first career save ever,” said Manager Brian Smith, “Which is never an easy thing to do, especially in a terrible situation like we were in tonight.”
The Rivets don’t play tomorrow as the Northwoods League has a rare off day, but the boys are back in action Tuesday against the first place Madison Mallards at Warner Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 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 (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.