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Published On: July 14th, 2019

By Cory Berberian


LOVES PARK, Ill. — With the bats having gone cold earlier in the day and the largest crowd on hand this season, the Rockford Rivets (4-8) surged past the Kokomo Jackrabbits (5-7) in game two of the doubleheader Saturday, 6-1.


Rockford’s offense failed to produce a run in game one, tallying only six hits and striking out seven times against a combination of Kokomo’s Creede Jeffers and Joey Haass on the mound.


The Jackrabbits sent out Blaine Traxel, Northwoods League All-Star and the league’s strikeout leader for game two. By the end of the third inning, Traxel had already fanned 5 Rivets.


Kokomo’s 1-0 lead in the fourth inning would not last for long. Easton Murrell (Texas Tech) led off the frame by reaching on a throwing error, and Jake Vander Wal (Long Beach State) launched a ball to the party porch off of Traxel for his 3rd home run of the season. One bat flip later, the Rivets led 2-1 for their first advantage of the twin bill.


With Vander Wal, who finished with 3 runs batted in, having delivered the punch in front of a crowd of 2,157 at Rivets Stadium—the largest attendance number of the season—The Rivets offense followed him up with a 4-run 5th inning to give starter Jordan Nelson (Dubuque) a comfortable lead.


After allowing 4 runs on 10 hits his last start, Nelson worked quickly through the Jackrabbits’ lineup. The 6-foot-5 right-hander struck out a season-high 8 batters over 7 innings, going the distance for his second win of the year. Nelson joins Brad Littleton (Lewis) as the second Rockford hurler to throw a complete game on the campaign.


Right-handed pitcher Nathan Schneiderman is Sunday’s probable starter for the Rivets. Game time against the Kokomo Jackrabbits is slated for 1:05 P.M.


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 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.