Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – The Rockford Rivets (24-32) ran away with a 10-2 win against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters on Saturday night at Witter Field.
Jimmy Burnette suffocated the Rafters’ bats all night and had a no-hitter going into the seventh. After an infield single to break it up, Anthony Leedle came on to hold the Rafters scoreless for the next two innings, before Anthony Dahl finished it off in the bottom of the ninth.
“I had my slider working really well tonight,” Burnette said of his first win of the season, “I was throwing it for strikes, throwing it where I wanted, so it was my fastball command and my slider that was working well.”
Parker Bates was the offensive MVP for the Rivets tonight accumulating five RBIs and going 3-6 on his way to earning Northwoods League Player of the Night. Cade Bunnell had two RBIs to add to that total, and Ryan Cole chipped one in as well. Bunnell, Parker Kelly, and Brennan Reback all scored multiple times for Rockford.
“I was recognizing pitches, seeing the ball real well today,” Bates said of his night, “I just tried to put the ball into play every time, but shout out to Jimmy [Burnette], who had the no-hitter through six and he was just allowing us to free up and get all those runs today.”
This stops a skid of 12 straight road losses by the Rivets and gives them their first win streak of the second half of the season. With 15 games left, the Rivets find themselves only three games back of fourth place in the overall standings.
“Every time we go out there in the first inning and throw up a zero as a pitching staff, it allows the offense to cool off a little bit and not stress so much,” Rivets’ Manager Brian Smith said, “We had the bases loaded in the first three innings, and we capitalized in the second and third, and you have to do that early against a good team like this.”
The Rafters host the Rivets again tomorrow, before the two teams play two more games in Rockford on Monday and Tuesday. First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 4:05 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.