By: Larry Larson
After entering the game with just one homer all season, the Rivets slugged three on Friday night, as Jace Warkentien (R-Jr, Western Illinois) pitched 8 dominant innings to boost Rockford over the Kenosha Kingfish 10-3 at Simmonds Field.
The win marks the first time the Rivets have won back-to-back games this season, improving the team’s record to 5-6.
The scoring started early, as Tyeler Hawkins (R-Fr, Louisville) sent a towering solo homer to the short porch in left field.
After striking out the first two batters in the bottom half of the inning, Warkentien surrendered three straight hits, which knotted the game at one.
The Rivets would respond with another homer in the third, as Brody Harding (So, Illinois) pounded a ball over the right field fence for a 3-run homer to give Rockford a 4-1 lead.
That lead increased to 6-1 in the 5th, as Hawkins scored on a throwing error and Cam McDonald (R-So, Illinois) brought home Wade Elliott (So, Louisiana Tech) on a sacrifice fly.
Warkentien surrendered another run in the 5th, but it would be his last. The lefthanded Winnebago native finished with a line of 8 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk and 8 strikeouts.
Rockford tacked on two more runs in the 6th on RBI singles from Hawkins and Harding. For good measure, the Screws drove home two more in the 8th thanks to a two-run homer by Elliott.
Lefty Tyler Horvath (R-So, Illinois-Springfield) made his Northwoods League debut in the 9th, allowing a run and striking out one in an action-packed inning that featured a fan running across the outfield.
Warkentien picked up the win to improve his record to 1-1 on the summer, while Kenosha starter Dominic Hann is charged with the loss.
The Rivets will look to extend their win streak to three tomorrow, as they host Fond du Lac for the first game of a two game series at 6:05 pm.
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.