Rivets Win Exhilarating Match-Up Against Mallards
By Grant Montgomery
The Rivets took game one of the series against the visiting Madison Mallards on Saturday evening in front of a record crowd of nearly 2,600 fans at Rivets Stadium. The final score in the contest was 7-6. It was Rockford’s biggest win all season as they now sit only one game out of a playoff spot.
Rockford got out to an early lead in the 1st inning when they touched up Mallards starter Trevor Marreel for four runs. The first four batters for the Rivets reached base and came around to score. It wasn’t until Alex Steinbach flew out to right field that Marreel recorded his first out. Rivets manager Josh Keim spoke highly of the offense in the first inning, saying, “It just sparked everything for us. One through nine in the order are rolling.”
It was Jordan Nelson on the mound to start the game for the Rivets. Nelson “didn’t have his best stuff” Keim said, but he was still able to exit the game with a tied game in the second inning. It was not to Nelson’s worry, as the bullpen was absolutely outstanding on the evening. Colin Kelly was the first one called upon out of Josh Keim’s bullpen. He pitched five innings in relief allowing only one while striking out three batters. Pitching coach Adam Carey spoke highly of the left hander out of St. Francis (IL), saying, “Kelly came in and threw a bunch of strikes just like we expected. He was phenomenal.”
After Ryan Riddle entered the game briefly, it was up to Tanner Propst to close things out. He had five outs to record to seal the win for Rockford, and that it just what he did. All five outs he recorded were strikeouts, which now brings his season total to 43 over 23.2 IP. “I was just pitching, and they weren’t hitting it.” Propst said about his performance after the game. Carey was also high on praise for him, going on to say, “Tanner absolutely slammed the door. He fought through some soreness, but he loosened up clearly and performed exceptionally well.”
The offense was on display for the Rivets in the contest as well. Big names on the stat sheet that stand out are Tom Josten and Alex Steinbach. Josten, of Central Florida, launched his fourth home run of the season in the 4th inning as well as walking twice. Alex Steinbach has also been outstanding in his few games with Rockford in 2019. The 6’3” infielder out of Illinois had two hits in the contest while driving in two runs. His RBI total on the season now sits at eight in five games.
The Rivets received good news after the game by checking the scores and seeing that the Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders defeated the Kalamazoo Growlers. Rockford now is one game back of the Growlers in the second half playoff standings in the Great Lakes East division of the Northwoods League.
It was a huge crowd on hand to witness perhaps Rockford’s biggest win of the season. Nearly 2,600 people were in attendance at Rivets Stadium which is the largest crowd in the Rivets four year history. Josh Keim was thrilled with all the support, saying, “I think that was the best atmosphere we have ever had here in Rockford. For our guys to be able to play in front of the home crowd and pull out a victory like that is huge. We appreciate all the support from the community.”
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.