Published On: June 26th, 2021

By Larry Larson

The Rockford Rivets entered Friday night’s series finale with Kalamazoo with a league-worst ERA. 

Behind a Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night effort from Ross Thompson (Jr, Heidelberg), Rockford lowered that ERA by shutting out Kalamazoo 7-0 to sweep the four game series from their Great Lakes East rival. 

The victory is the Rivets’ fourth straight and brings their record to 13-13. 

Thompson tossed 6.2 innings, allowing just three hits – but the shutout was nearly lost in the 1st inning. After recording the first two outs of the game on just two pitches, Thompson surrendered back-to-back hits. 

After Blake Dunn (Sr, Western Michigan) singled, Luke Storm (Fr, Duke) followed with a hard hit double down the right field line. 

Right Fielder Phil Matulia (Jr, Louisiana Tech) fired a strike of a throw to second baseman Josue Urdeneta (R-Fr, Indiana State) who threw home where Grant Magill (R-Fr, Indiana State) applied the tag to Dunn in time to end the inning. 

That would be the only inning in which the Growlers would record more than one hit. 

The Rivets opened their lead with a 3-run third inning – which was highlighted by a two run home run off the bat of Matulia, his first of the summer. 

Rockford would chase Kalamazoo starter Adam Wheaton (Sr, Trine University) after 5 innings, charging the righty’s line for two earned runs after he entered the night with a 0.99 ERA in four starts. 

Kalamazoo’s bullpen would again struggle, as the Rivets tallied two runs in the 6th inning without recording a hit thanks to three walks, a hit by pitch and two wild pitches. 

The Rivets lineup would put things out of reach with two more runs in the 8th on an RBI double by Grant Magill (R-Fr, Indiana State) and a sacrifice fly by Greg Ziegler (So, Missouri State). 

Rockford will take its season-long 4-game win streak to Kokomo, as they take on the Jackrabbits for a two-game weekend series before returning to Rivets Stadium on Monday. 

Saturday’s first pitch between the Rivets and ‘Rabbits is set for 5:30 central. 

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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