By Grant Montgomery
It was an exhilarating Independence Day at Rivets Stadium, as the Rivets come out on top of an up and down contest against the Kenosha Kingfish. The final score was 10-9. Pitchers of record in this one were Sultan Solebo for Rockford, who got the win, and Tanner Fallon received the loss for Kenosha. Their records now sit at 1-1 and 3-4 respectively.
Rockford got out to an early lead in this one, as they recorded three triples in the first three innings coming from Jake Vander Wal, Andrew Wilhite, and Blake Burrows. Through this point, it was 4-0 Rivets.
After the Rivets added on more runs, and entered the 9th inning with a four run lead, things got rather tight for Josh Keim’s Rockford club. Tanner Propst came in to try and slam the door on the Kingfish, but it was not that simple. Propst, out of the University of Louisiana Tech came into the contest only allowing three earned runs on the season, but had trouble closing out Thursday’s game. He pitched two-thirds of an inning, while surrendering five runs (one earned), and issuing two walks. Sultan Solbeo came in after Propst’s exit, but he was the one who ended up allowing the go ahead run.
It all worked out in the end, as the offense was able to make up for the bullpen woes for Rockford. They were bailed out by Matt Higgins, who drove in Andrew Wilhite out of the University of Minnesota to walk the game off in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Offensive standouts for the Rivets include Jake Vander Wal and Andrew Wilhite. Vander Wal was 3-5 with four runs scored, and an RBI to his credit. Andrew Wilhite, Stillman Valley, IL native was an offensive machine during the game. He was on base in all of his at bats, going 3-3 with four runs scored and three RBI.
This moves the Rivets to 1-1 in the second half standings in the Great Lakes East division of the Northwoods League. The Rivets look to carry momentum into their next game, which comes on Friday, July 5th in Green Bay, WI against the Green Bay Booyah.
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.