The Rockford Rivets traveled to Kokomo, Indiana on Saturday to take on the Jackrabbits.
Kasey Ford took the mound for the first time with Rockford, pitching 5 and a third quality innings, allowing zero runs with 5 strikeouts. The Kansas State player measuring up to 6’6”, 295 pounds, allowed only 3 hits on his night.
Manager Josh Keim had nothing but praise for Ford. “It was a well-pitched game from both sides,” says Keim, “It was great to see Kasey out there just doing his thing. He’s got great stuff, and we saw that first hand.”
Kokomo tied the game at one in the bottom of the eighth, sending the game to extra innings. Before the start of the tenth, the game entered a lightning delay, extending the game even further. The delay lasted 30 minutes.
Coach Keim spoke on the team’s morale after the tough lull of the weather delay: “Our guys battled hard. We hit the ball hard all night, and going into extra innings didn’t change that. This team is starting to trust each other, and that’s huge for this ball club as far as keeping the faith.”
Assistant coach Chandler Purcell was highly impressed with his team on the win: “We’ve pitched very well in the first five games. We have so much versatility, that we can do so many different things. We have guys that can hit, we have guys that can field, and we definitely have guys that can run. I’ll be surprised to see Blake Burrows thrown out at first this summer. He’s the fastest guy in the league.”
Burrows went 2 for 5 with a run.
Joe Dittmar entered the game to close for the Rivets.
Joe pitched 2 full innings, and struggled with command, throwing 34 pitches for only 16 strikes, and a handful of wild pitches, which allowed Kokomo to score a few runs.
Pitching coach Adam Carey spoke on Dittmar, and the decision to leave him in the ball game: “Joe is a self-corrector and a battler. We had no doubt he was gonna pull through. He’s very intrinsically motivated, and he figured it out just as we expected him to.”
Dittmar closed the game as the winning pitcher.
The Rockford Rivets are back in action on Sunday in Kokomo for game 2 of the first road series.
The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 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 (MIA). 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.