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Dominant pitching leads Rivets to season-opening victory

By: Larry Larson

LOVES PARK, IL — Pitchers Bryce Barnett (R-Fr, Arizona State) and Keegan McCarty (So, Lake Land) combined for 9 innings of 3-hit ball – including going 7 innings without allowing a hit – to boost the Rockford Rivets to a 6-1 opening day victory over the Kenosha Kingfish on Monday afternoon at Simmons Field.

With the victory, the Rivets improve their all-time opening day record to 2-4.

After Barnett started the game with 3 hitless and scoreless frames, McCarty took over in the 4th and hurled 6 innings, allowing just 3 hits and 1 earned run on a 9th inning solo home run by Kingfish third baseman Henry Kusiak (So, Missouri Southern).

On the offensive side, after Kenosha starter Brock Weirather (Sr, Richmond) retired the first nine Rivets batters in order, Rockford struck first in the top of the 4th inning with a sacrifice fly by second baseman Dylan Robertson (Fr, Western Iowa CC).

Rockford tallied another run in the 7th after Austin Greco (Fr, Miami-OH) forced a throwing error by the Kenosha shortstop, which allowed Daniel Gutierrez (R-So, Roosevelt) to score.

The floodgates opened in the 8th inning, when the Screws rallied for four runs thanks to four consecutive hits from the heart of the order.

Wade Elliot (So, Louisiana Tech) started with a one out RBI single that scored Peter Fusek (Fr, Milwaukee Area Tech). Robertson followed by roping an RBI double down the left field line. Zack Beatty (Fr, McCook CC) then ripped a double of his own to dead center field to score Robertson. Beatty would then come home to score on a single by Gutierrez to round out the Rivets scoring.

The Rivets, now 1-0, will once again square off with the Kingfish (0-1) to wrap up the two game home-and-home series tomorrow night at 6:05 at Rivets Stadium. The game will be live-streamed on the Northwoods League Baseball Network.

Statlines

Wade Elliot – 2-4, RBI

Dylan Robertson – 1-3, 2 RBI

Zack Beatty – 1-4, 2B, RBI, 3Ks

Jake Klekamp – 1-4, 1B

Keegan McCarty – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 9Ks, 0BB, Win

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The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods 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 250 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. 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.