Resilience Leads Rivets Over Kingfish in Extra Innings
By Grant Montgomery
The Rockford Rivets make it back to back wins on Saturday night as fans celebrate First Responders Night. The final score was 3-2 in 10 innings. Aaron Mann recorded his first win of the season for Rockford, as Tanner Fallon gets the loss for Kenosha.
Jared Nelson, of the University of Dubuque started his first game of the season for the Rivets. He pitched a strong game on the evening as he ended with 5 IP, 2 ER, and 6 K. He ran into trouble in the first inning when he allowed both runs of his outing on the Nate Thomas RBI single. Manager Josh Keim spoke highly of the right hander. “The guy competes every time he is on the mound and he is never out of an at bat. He didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but he fought and gave us all he could” Keim said.
The offense in this one for Rockford was tough to come by up until the 9th inning as they only reached base four times. When asked about the struggles coming from the Rivets batters, Keim said, “I thought that we ran into a good arm” talking about David Luethje of Kenosha. He also went on to say, “I thought we squared a lot of balls up and our guys battled all night, but we didn’t have anything to show for it.”
It was a completely different story for the Rivets as they entered the 9th inning. The first two Rivets batters of the inning reached on a single and a walk respectively. The game tying run came from the legs of Andrew Wilhite as he was able to beat out an infield single to the shortstop position. In the 10th inning, Mason Minzey came around to score the game winning run on an error by Kingfish catcher Brian Vance. As Nick Figus bunted a ball that dribbled in front of home plate, Vance fielded the ball cleanly but made an inaccurate throw that sailed over the first baseman’s head allowing the run to score.
Perhaps the biggest reason the Rivets were able to stay competitive in this contest was the strong presence from the bullpen once again. After Jordan Nelson’s exit, Hunter Keim came in to pitch two scoreless innings. It was then Tanner Prospt’s turn to show off his arm as he came in to protect Rockford’s lead with two scoreless innings himself. When asked about the strength of the bullpen, pitching coach Adam Carey said, “They were unreal. They did exactly what we expect of them every single game. They came through in a big way.” Aaron Mann then came in and recorded the win on the night.
The Rockford Rivets take this win into a match-up against the Kingfish on Sunday in Kenosha as they wrap up the series. The Rivets take a 13-12 record into this contest.
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.