Rockford mayor Tom McNamara wasn’t in the house at Rivets Stadium on Tuesday night, but Battle Creek starter Tanner McNamara (So, Tyler Junior College) pitched like he ran the city, helping hand the Rivets their 4th straight loss in a 7-3 Bombers win.
With the defeat, Rockford’s record falls to 13-17 on the season as six games remain in the 1st half of the Northwoods League season.
McNamara tossed 7 innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits to earn his third win of the summer.
Rockford starter Noah DeLuga (Fr, Minnesota) didn’t find such success, and put the Rivets in an early hole, allowing three runs in the 1st inning.
After recording the first out of the game on one pitch, DeLuga would surrender four hits, including back-to-back RBI knocks from Harold Coll (Fr, San Jacinto College) and Heath Hood (So, Tyler Junior College). The Rivets’ lefty then issued a bases-loaded walk to Drew Dyer (Jr, Carthage College) for the third run before inducing a ground out to escape the frame.
In the bottom of the 3rd, a single by Cam McDonald (R-So, Illinois) and an RBI groundout from Tyeler Hawkins (R-Fr, Louisville) cut the deficit to 3-1.
That narrowed lead wouldn’t last long, as Battle Creek tossed another 3 spot on the line score in the 4th, scoring first on a sacrifice fly to center by Caleb Balgaard (R-Jr, South Alabama). The very next batter, Mason Sykes (Jr, Toledo) sent a home run over the left center field wall to open up a 6-1 lead and chase DeLuga.
Michael Oh (Jr, North Carolina) came on to put out the fire for Rockford, and did so masterfully – eating the remaining 5.1 innings of the contest, allowing just one run in the top of the 9th.
Trailing 7-1 entering the bottom of the 9th, the Rivets’ bats woke up, as Phil Matulia (Jr, Louisiana Tech) drew a leadoff walk, and Daniel Cantu (R-Fr, South Florida) brought him around on an RBI triple. Jared Cushing (R-Fr, Xavier) followed with a four-pitch walk, leading to Battle Creek manager Mike Ruppenthal pulling David Williams (R-So, UW-Milwaukee) in favor of Beaux Bonvillan (R-Jr, Central Oklahoma).
Bonvillan subsequently recorded the first two outs, retiring Brody Harding (So, Illinois) and Jake Donahue (Fr, Central Michigan) before allowing an RBI single to McDonald to cut the lead to 7-3.
With runners on first and second, Bonvillan struck out pinch hitter Brian Fuentes (R-Fr, Indiana State) to seal the victory for the Bombers.
Rockford and Battle Creek will continue their four-game, Great Lakes East divisional series with the third game of the set tomorrow at 6:05 at Rivets Stadium.