The Madison Mallards defeated the Rockford Rivets on Wednesday night at Rivets stadium in a pitchers dual that lasted 14 innings.
Entering the top of the fourteenth there were zeros across the scoreboard for both teams. That was until Madison infielder Tyler Plantier came in to pinch-hit and ripped a double down the left field line to score two runs and put the Mallards ahead 2-0, which ultimately decided the game.
Despite the loss, Rivet’s starting pitcher Cooper Cain continued his dominance on the mound this season. Cain went eight innings while allowing just three hits and striking out eight batters. In four starts this year Cain has pitched 28 innings, struck out 29 batters, allowed just six walks and only nine hits. He also holds an ERA of just 0.32, which is currently third in the Northwoods League. However, he only has a record of 1-0 this season to show for it.
Nolan Gazouski, Nathan Schneiderman and JT Baksha then came in to pitch six innings all together in relief, with Baksha giving up the winning runs in the fourteenth.
Rivet’s manager Brian Smith had nothing but good things to say about his starting pitcher
“Cooper did what Cooper has been doing all summer long and he just keeps on impressing us each time he goes out there,” Smith said. “Nolan and Nate went in there and did what we expected them to do, they pumped the strike zone and got outs.”
The Rivets had their opportunities throughout the game. They struggled on the base paths and on two separate occasions a Rockford base runner was picked off at first base by a Madison pitcher.
Smith said that base running mistakes like these contributed heavily to the loss.
“It came down to us making bonehead decisions on the bases,” Smith said. “That’s what will cost you. We had opportunities to score and we didn’t, and they had an opportunity and they did.”
Niether team could seem to put the bat on the ball throughout the night. Rockford’s batters struck out 14 times, while the Mallard’s total reached 12 strikeouts. Right fielder Jake Vander Wal had another good day at the plate for the Rivets and finished with three hits, including a triple.
The Rivets will look to find their bats tomorrow night against Battle Creek when they take on the Bombers in Rockford at 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 (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.