Published On: June 25th, 2021

By Larry Larson

Game 2: Rivets prevail in 10th inning, sweep Growlers in doubleheader 

The Rockford Rivets and Kalamazoo Growlers once again came down to the wire in the 2nd game of a doubleheader – needing 10 innings to complete the third one-run game between the squads – and the Rivets once again prevailed, 5-4 on a walk-off walk from Josue Urdeneta (R-Fr, Indiana State) on Thursday night at Rivets Stadium. 

The win is Rockford’s third straight and boosts their record to 12-13.

Rockford jumped on Growlers’ starter Luke Krkvoski (Fr, Howard College) for three runs in the first inning. Urdeneta started the frame with a walk, and Wade Elliott (So, Louisiana Tech) followed with a double. Brian Fuentes (R-Fr, Indiana State) would score his Sycamore teammate with a sacrifice fly, before Daniel Cantu (R-Fr, South Florida) brought home Elliott with a single. 

Cam McDonald (R-So, Illinois) made the score 3-0 with a line-drive triple off the left field wall to score Cantu. 

Rivets starter Forrest Barnes (So, Missouri State) would allow a run to score in the 2nd on a wild pitch, but left two runners on to end the inning. 

The righty found himself in trouble again in the 4th, allowing Satchell Wilson (R-So, Huntington) to score on a sac fly, but once again stranded two runners.

Rockford stretched its lead to 4-2 in the bottom half, as Max Malley (So, Evansville) drew a walk and moved around the bases, eventually scoring on a ground out by Urdeneta. 

Barnes danced into trouble once more in the 5th, loading the bases with no outs. However, the hard-throwing Missouri native induced a 6-4-3 double play, which allowed another tally to score but prevented further damage. 

Barnes left the game after the 5th in line for the victory, but it wasn’t a straightforward path to victory for Rockford. 

In the top of the 7th, K-Zoo’s Brooks Coetzee (Jr, Notre Dame) singled and Stephen Cullen (R-So, Southeastern) reached on an error, which set up runners on the corners. The Growlers then ran a play in which Cullen induced a rundown, allowing Coetzee to dash home to tie the game at 4. 

The game would remain tied as Kalamazoo left 2 runners on base in the bottom of the 9th, pushing the contest to extras. 

Tucker Shalley (Fr, Illinois) set down the Growlers in order in the top of the 10th to set up the walk-off in the bottom half. 

The Rivets would load the bases with no-outs, but when Grant Magill (R-Fr, Indiana State) blooped a single to center, Growlers’ 2nd baseman Dominic Pitelli (Fr, Miami) threw a miraculous strike to home plate to retire Tyeler Hawkins (R-Fr, Louisville) and extend the game. Greg Zigler (So, Missouri State) tapped into a fielders choice for the 2nd out, but Growlers reliever Kyle Salley (Fr, Duke) walked Urdeneta on four pitches to end the game. 

Rockford will look to sweep the 4-game series with their Great Lakes East rival tomorrow at 6:05pm. 

Game 1: Rivets comeback complete 6-run comeback, walk-off Growlers

After allowing 7 runs in the fourth inning to put themselves in an 8-2 hole, the Rockford Rivets clawed all the way back and scored 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth to stun the Kalamazoo Growlers 9-8. 

The win marks the Rivets’ second straight and moves the team’s record to 11-13. 

After Rivets’ starter Noah DeLuga (Fr, Minnesota) allowed a Devin Burkes (Fr, Kentucky) solo homer in the 2nd, the floodgates opened in the 4th with the Rivets ahead 2-1. 

After walking Dylan Stanton (Fr, Michigan) to start the inning, Don Goodes (So, Northwest Ohio) singled up the middle. While it looked like a routine play, center fielder Greg Ziegler (So, Missouri State) had trouble with the short hop, and the ball rolled past him, allowing Stanton to score and Goodes to zip all the way around the bases for a little league home run. 

Ian McCutcheon (Jr, Huntington) followed with a triple, and scored on a Damon Lux (R-So, Duke) double. After issuing a walk, DeLuga was chased from the game after just 3.1 innings. Jake Armstrong (R-So, UW-Milwaukee) allowed two more runs, but closed the inning. 

From there, Rockford’s bullpen would keep the Growlers off the scoreboard, as Armstrong delivered two scoreless innings and Ben Vitas (Fr, Central Michigan) tossed 3 frames while allowing just one hit. 

The Rivets would climb back into it by scoring one run in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th innings to enter the bottom of the 9th trailing 9-8. 

After Cam McDonald (R-So, Illinois) was retired to start the inning, Jake Donahue (Fr, Central Michigan) drew a pinch hit walk. Brian Fuentes (R-Fr, Indiana State) flied out in another pinch hit appearance to bring the Rivets to their final out. 

From there, the Rivets strung together a hit parade to win it. Wade Elliott (So, Louisiana Tech) started with a pinch hit single into left. A wild pitch then allowed Donahue to score, and Max Malley (So, Evansville) – who pinch ran for Elliott – to move to third. Pitches later, Josue Urdeneta (R-Fr, Indiana State) grounded one through the hole on the right side to tie the game. 

Tyeler Hawkins (R-Fr, Louisville) picked up an infield single to extend the inning for Daniel Cantu (R-Fr, South Florida) who blooped one into left to score Urdeneta to walk the game off 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 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.

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