By Grant Montgomery
On Saturday evening, the Rockford Rivets hosted the Battle Creek Bombers for a double header. Rockford swept the twin bill by winning both games by scores of 6-5 and 2-1. The win streak now sits at five games, which is their best mark on the season.
Game one of Saturday’s doubleheader was a continuation of a suspended game that was postponed due to rain on June 19th. It picked up in the 4th inning with the Rivets trailing the visiting Bombers 4-2. Strong pitching, and timely hitting were the biggest factors in the contest. Nathan Schneiderman started the day on the hill for the Rivets and he was outstanding. He pitched five complete innings on the day en route to his third win on the season. Manager Josh Keim had great praise for the performance that came from the left hander from the University of Dubuque by saying, “Our plan was to get him through the 8th. We trusted him with the ball in a game like that, and he knew that he would give us quality pitching.” Schneiderman now owns a 3-0 record along with a 1.17 ERA thus far in the season.
Timely hitting was also a huge factor in why the Rivets were able to come from behind and grab the victory. Rockford found themselves trailing the ballgame when entering the bottom of the 7th inning as the score was 5-3 Bombers. This suddenly changed as they scored three runs in the inning with RBI coming from Mason Minzey, Andrew Wilhite, and Branden Comia.
In an interesting situation, the Rivets were able to keep their composure and come from behind. When speaking about the uniqueness of the situation, Keim said, “We treated it like a normal game. Even though we were down by two runs, we had the mentality that we were going to go out there and put some runs up.” This is exactly what the Rivets did as they were able to come out on top.
In game two of the evening’s double header, Rockford won by a score of 2-1. Pitching was the storyline, as both starters were stellar. Jarret Olson out of Michigan State got the nod from Josh Keim in game two, and he continued to show that he can be trusted in any situation. Olson pitched six innings of one run ball while recording five strikeouts and working around three hits. Keim said that it was “his best start of the year” and that was truly the case as he earned his first win on the season. He now carries a 1-0 record with a 1.88 ERA. Battle Creek’s Lyle Hibbitts was also strong on the evening. His line was 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, and 6 K in the game. It was two costly misplays in the field that opened the door for the Rivets to seize control of the game.
Rockford will take the five game win streak into the series finale against Battle Creek on Sunday at 1:05. Rockford finds themselves one game back of the Traverse City Pit Spitters in the Great Lakes East division of the Northwoods League.
Perhaps something that took place at Rivets Stadium on Saturday night that was bigger than baseball was the acknowledgement of autism awareness. The night was sponsored by the Super Hero Center for Autism, which opened doors recently in Loves Park, IL. The center offers support and education for individuals with autism and other special needs and their families. Josh Keim was proud of the event on Saturday night, saying, “The night means a lot. We have enjoyed the platform we’ve been given, and it was great to see so many fans come out and support autism awareness.” It was a great night for the Rivets, as they were able to pick up two wins and bring awareness to a great cause.
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.