By: Larry Larson
LOVES PARK, IL — The Rockford Rivets struck first on Wednesday night against Traverse City, pushing across a second inning run on an RBI ground-out by Jared Herzog (Fr, Rockford University) but not much else went right, as the Pit Spitters scored 11 unanswered to down the Screws 11-1.
The loss is the Rivets’ second straight after they defeated Kenosha on Opening Day Monday afternoon.
After Rockford starter James Raffof (So, Volunteer State Community College) tossed a scoreless first frame, Daniel Gutierrez (R-So, Roosevelt) singled, Jake Klekamp (R-So, Milwaukee Area Tech) reached on an error, and Troy Tucci (R-Sr, Rockford University) singled to load the bases ahead of Herzog.
Unfortunately for Rockford, Tucci’s single would be the team’s last hit until the 8th inning, and the rest of the offensive highlights would belong to Traverse City.
The Spitters scored four times in the bottom of the 2nd, once in the 3rd and 4th. Raffauf got into trouble again in the 6th, surrendering a run and loading the bases with two outs before Rivets manager JT Scara brought in center fielder Peter Fusek (Fr, Milwaukee Area Tech) to pitch.
Fusek would escape the jam with a looking strikeout and then set down the ‘Spitters in order in the 7th – the only Rivet to do so all night.
Zack Beatty (Fr, McCook Community College) moved from first base to the mound in the 8th inning and surrendered three runs on two hits and four walks.
The Rivets, now 1-2, will get another shot at the 2019 Northwoods League Champ Traverse City (3-0) tomorrow night at 5:35 central time. Ross Thompson (Jr, Heidelberg) will take the ball for Rockford.
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.