Published On: July 1st, 2018

Battle Creek, Mi. – It was a back and forth game in C.O. Brown Stadium Sunday afternoon, but after 23 total runs, 25 total hits, and 6 total errors, the Rockford Rivets (18-15) were able to close the door on the Battle Creek Bombers (16-17) and win 12-11.

The scoring came early and often for the Rivets as they scored two in each of the first three innings. Hal Hughes, Cade Bunnell, Brennan Reback, and Justin Walker all pocketed at least one RBI before the fourth inning.

Tyler Thornton started strongly on the mound getting out of the first three innings scoreless, but after a Bomber outburst of seven runs in the bottom of the fourth, the Rivets needed to answer with more runs.

A five-run top of fifth capitalized by a two-run homer by Cade Bunnell put the Rivets back up 11-7. After three runs in the bottom of fifth by the Bombers, the scoring for both sides was put on hold till the ninth.

Brock Martin hit a deep fly to left field that was caught for an out, but Brennan Reback was able to tag up from second base to put a crucial insurance run on the board for the Rivets in the top of the ninth.

Nathan Schneiderman came on to complete the save in the bottom of the ninth, and after some stress put on from the Bombers’ bats, Schneiderman was able to get the final out of the inning to get the split in the two-game series with Battle Creek.

“I just knew I needed to go in there and pound the zone,” Schneiderman said, “Get weak hits, and just contribute. I knew they were going to be ready to swing, I just had to go out there and compete.”

The Rivets were able to get an array of help from their defense as well with multiple highlights to simmer the Bombers’ bats. In the bottom of the eighth Reback made a leaping catch over the center field wall to turn what would have been the game tying home run into the second out of the inning. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, a hot ground ball hit Hal Hughes in the head, but Justin Walker was able to snatch it up and throw back to Hughes at second who tagged the runner for the out.

“Brennan [Reback] did a great job finding the wall, and timing it just right,” Manager Brian Smith said of the defensive highlights, “And the play in the ninth, Justin [Walker] did a great job knowing where the ball was, and Hal [Hughes] got up, got to the bag, and Justin made that nice easy throw to him.”

Cade Bunnell had three RBIs on the day and had three runs as well. Pat Loeffler also scored three time, and Hughes finished 5-6 on the day with five singles and three RBIs.

“I was in good hitters’ counts, I was getting good pitches to hit,” Hughes said of the day that moved his batting average to .355, “I just got to build off that, keep getting in good counts, and keep getting pitches to hit.”

The Rivets’ road trip now shifts to Kalamazoo where Rockford will play a two-game series against the Growlers (23-11). It will be the first game of the year for the Rivets at Homer Stryker Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 CST.

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 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.

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