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Rivets fall in rain-soaked series finale at Traverse City

By: Larry Larson

LOVES PARK, IL — Despite a strong start from Ross Thompson (R-Jr, Heidelberg), the Rockford Rivets dropped their third straight game on Thursday night, falling to Traverse City 10-4 in Northwest Michigan.

With the loss, Rockford drops to 1-3, while the Pit Spitters remain undefeated at 4-0.

The Rivets once again scored first, pushing across a run in the top of the first on a bases-loaded walk by Zack Beatty (Fr, McCook Community College) that scored Dylan Robertson (Fr, Iowa Western Community College).

It wouldn’t take long for Traverse City to respond, as they pushed across the tying run in the bottom half of the inning on a two-out RBI triple by Colin Summerhill (Fr, Triton College).

The game remained deadlocked until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Thompson surrendered another two out, run scoring triple – this time by Miles Simington (R-Jr, Purdue).

In the middle of the next at bat, the umpires called a rain delay. Thanks to the artificial turf field at Turtle Creek stadium, the game resumed 41 minutes later, and Thompson remained on the bump for manager JT Scara. One more run would come across on an error, leading to a 3-1 Spitters lead.

Thompson was pulled after one more scoreless inning, posting a final line of 7 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 strikeouts and 1 walk in 6 innings pitched.

After Hruz Wagner (Fr, Milwaukee Area Tech) tossed a scoreless 7th frame, the floodgates opened in the 8th inning when Chan Yao-Ming (Jr, Taiwan) let up 7 runs on 5 walks to swell the TVC lead to 10-1.

The Rivets wouldn’t go down easy though, as the team pushed across three runs in the 9th on a two-RBI single by Daniel Gutierrez (R-So, Roosevelt) and a sacrifice fly by Wade Elliot (So, Louisiana Tech).

Rockton, Illinois native and Hononegah High School alum Aren Gustafson (Jr, Olivet Nazarene) picked up the victory, hurling 5 innings of one run ball, striking out four and walking four.

Robertson continued his torrid start in his first collegiate baseball season, going 3-4 with a hit by pitch. The Downers Grove, Illinois native leads all Rockford hitters with a .500 batting average.

The Rivets return home tomorrow night at 6:05 to start a quick two game homestand against the Kokomo Jackrabbits.

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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.