The Rockford Rivets dealt their first sweep of 2019 to the Traverse City Pit Spitters Thursday night in Rockford.
Traverse City drew first blood with a 2 RBI double by Daniel Head, but the screw squad was quick to respond.
A lead off single for Jeff Heinrich, started the Rivets on the right path to fight back. Andrew Wilhite returned fresh off of the injured list with a blazing single to right. Matt Higgins then walked to load the bases for arguably the hottest bat on the field in Jake Vander Wal. Vander Wal singled to right to drive in Heinrich and keep bases loaded. A force out at home to retire Wilhite put two outs on the scorecard. Then, a passed ball scored Higgins to tie the game before the inning ended.
The 2nd inning was all about Jeff Heinrich. Number 11 for the Rivets turned a 6-3 double play after scooping the ball, stepping on second base, and throwing a rocket to Malik Williams at first base. In the bottom of the inning, Heinrich launched a 2-run scorcher over the left field wall. Heinrich stayed hot throughout the evening.
Coach Keim spoke on Heinrich’s performance: “He’s found his groove since he was put in that lead off spot. He’s had some good at bats along with some quality swings. He looks confident in the box, and the results are showing.”
Kyle Seebach came into the game to pitch for the Rivets to attempt a two inning save. Seebach recorded 4 strikeouts while allowing no hits from the Traverse City hitters. The Rockford pitcher wearing number 35 clocked breaking balls at 69 miles per hour, and stretched his speeds to an 89 mile per hour fastball.
Kyle Seebach talked about his mindset going back out for a second inning of work: “I just wanted to be as good as I was in the 8th inning. I wanted to stay focused on me. All I could do was try not to do too much, pump fastballs, throw strikes and get those hitters out.”
Seebach also spoke on proper recovery and how important it was to him to take care of himself physically to ensure a prime pitching performance each and every time on the mound.
Rockford held on to put the stamp on a 4-3 victory, improving their record to 5-5. The Rivets are set to take on the Kalamazoo Growlers Friday at Rivets stadium.
For tickets, call the box office at 815-240-4159.
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.