Loves Park, Il. – The Rockford Rivets used one inning of offense on Saturday to defeat the Kenosha Kingfish 5-1 at Rivets Stadium.
That offense came in the second inning, when the Rivets used a series of hits to score all five of their runs.
Right fielder Jake Vander Wal scored the first run of the inning after left fielder Brock Martin hit a sacrifice fly to right field. With two outs and the bases loaded, designated hitter Ryan Cole singled to right field to score both second baseman Kian O’Brien and shortstop Justin Walker. Later that inning, catcher Wyatt Mascarella singled to score third baseman Parker Kelly and Cole to put the score at 5-0.
Cole and Mascaralla both finished the game with two RBI’s and one hit a piece.
“We did a great job of getting hits with runners in scoring position,” Rivet’s Manager Brian Smith said after the game. “Of course the guy to get the job done was Ryan Cole, who’s been doing it all season. He’s really coming into his stride and I think he’s really starting to like being the designated hitter.”
Starting pitcher Tyler “Big Country” Thornton made it hard for Kenosha to answer Rockford’s rally. His only mistake came in the sixth inning when he allowed a solo home run to Kenosha catcher Bryce Carter. Thornton finished the game going 6.0 innings, while allowing just two hits, one walk and picking up four strikeouts.
The Rivets bullpen then came in and continued the trend. Dane Haveman came in for two innings of work and allowed no runs, two hits and three strikeouts. Nathan Schneiderman then came in for the ninth inning and picked up the save.
Smith said that Thornton did a good job handling the weather with the wind being a big factor during the game and he also commented on the bullpen’s performance.
“Tyler Thornton dealt with the wind, pitched to the field and pitched to his strengths,” Smith said. “With their lefty heavy lineup it was a no brainer to go with Dane [Haveman] and Nate [Schneiderman] to close that thing out.”
The Rivets will wrap up their series with the Kingfish tomorrow at home in a matinee game at 1 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.