Published On: July 15th, 2018

Kalamazoo, Mi. – The Rockford Rivets (20-26) fell in both games against the Kalamazoo Growlers, despite hitting a total of four home runs in the two seven inning games.

The first game was a back and forth affair with lots of long balls for both sides. Kian O’Brien got it started with a two-run home run in the second inning, and Pat Loeffler added two more with home runs in the fourth and sixth inning. The Rivets led 5-4 going into the bottom of the sixth, but a seven-run outburst by the Growlers slammed the door on the Rivets.

“Pat Loeffler, two tanks today, you can’t ask him for any more,” Rivets’ Manager Brian Smith said, “He had a talk with [Assistant Coach] Zach [Thomas] before his at-bat, and he just decided to stop looking for the wrong thing.”

In game two, the Rivets offense was dormant until a solo home run by Parker Bates broke up a no-hitter by the Growlers’ pitcher. Jacob Vander Wal punched two home in the top of the sixth on a single to tie the game at three apiece. Ultimately, the Rivets fell on a walk-off base hit by Jonathan Foster in the bottom of the seventh to go 0-2 on the day.

“[Game two starting pitcher Brandon] Hickey filled it up, he challenged guys and he made them swing at his pitches,” Smith said, “He threw bad strikes and he threw good balls, and he made them swing at pitches outside the strike zone all night.”

The Rockford Rivets play their final game against Kalamazoo Growlers tomorrow at 2:05 CST at Homer Stryker 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 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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