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Rivets struggle against Kalamazoo in 21-9 loss

Loves Park, Ill. – The Rockford Rivets lost to the Kalamazoo Growlers on Friday night at Rivets Stadium by a score of 21-9 in a very one sided game.

If the Growlers were seeking revenge after their 14-1 loss on Thursday night to Rockford, they got it on Friday night. On any other day, nine runs might be enough to win a game, and the Rivets even managed to put up six runs in one inning.

However, Kalamazoo had six players with at least two hits and finished with 20 hits total to help put up 21 runs against the Rivets.

Rivet’s starter Cole Bellair was pulled in the first inning after exceeding the Northwoods League pitch count rule of 35 pitches in one single inning. Bellair was pulled in the first after giving up nine runs, with six of them being unearned due to errors committed by the defense.

This was Bellair’s final game in a Rockford uniform this season and despite this tough game he finished the season with numbers worth noting. In six starts this summer, he went 31.2 innings with 32 strikeouts and just nine walks, while also posting a 2.55 earned run average and a 4-2 record. Bellair has spent the last three summers with the Rivets since they first joined the Northwoods League three years ago.

Rivet’s Manager Brian Smith spoke about his starter after the game.

“It was unfortunate it had to be Cole’s last night,” Smith said. “Tonight he just didn’t have command and it’s unfortunate, but you can’t ask the guy to go out and throw up zeros every single start.”

Rockford used a combination of pitchers to complete the game, which included JT Baksha, Matt Vanek, Cade Bunnell and Cory Wright. In the end, the Growlers bats were just too much on this particular night.

The Rivets now travel to Battle Creek for the first time this year to take on the Bombers for a weekend series that starts tomorrow 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.