By Larry Larson
Rockford’s losing streak burgeoned to a season-long 5 games as the Rivets lost 12-7 to the Battle Creek Bombers on Wednesday night at Rivets Stadium.
The pitching staff’s early inning struggles continued, as Forrest Barnes (So, Missouri State) allowed 3 runs in the 1st inning, reaching the Northwoods League’s single-inning pitch limit of 35.
Just one of the first inning runs was earned, as two came in to score on a two-out error by shortstop Brody Harding (So, Illinois) which extended the inning.
The Bombers’ 3-0 advantage wouldn’t last long, as the Rivets scored 3 of their own in the bottom of the 1st. After Tyeler Hawkins (R-Fr, Louisville) singed and Phil Matulia (Jr, Louisiana Tech) walked to start the frame, Tommy Benson (R-Fr, Triton College) brought them both home on a 2-RBI double in his first NWL at-bat.
Benson would then move to third on a ground out and score after a throw from the catcher to Battle Creek pitcher Drew Lasseigne (Fr, LSU-Eunice) wasn’t caught, tying the game at 3.
Rockford pulled ahead 4-3 in the 3rd thanks to a Matulia triple and a sacrifice fly by Daniel Cantu (R-Fr, USF).
That would be the last time the Rivets would lead, as Shemar Page (So, Louisiana Tech) let up a 4 run 4th inning, which was capped off by a 3-run homer by Aaron Beck (R-Jr, Indiana State).
Trailing 7-4, the Rivets got one back in the 5th via another RBI by Benson, this time a single to score Matulia and cut the deficit to 2.
Battle Creek broke it open with a tumultuous 7th inning. Cade Turner (Fr, Illinois-Springfield) started the frame by loading the bases and not recording an out. Tyler Horvath (R-So, Illinois-Springfield) then came on and hit back-to-back Bombers, allowing 2 runs to score.
Horvath bounced back with a 5-2-3 double play, and then induced what looked to be an inning-ending grounder to 3rd base. However, Benson’s throw to first base was wild, allowing two more runs to score to push the Bombers’ lead to 11-5.
The Rivets showed signs of life in the 8th, scoring on RBI singles from Matulia and Cantu. The rally would end there, as Matulia was picked off between 2nd and 3rd base to end the frame.
Jared Herzog (Fr, Rockford University) looked solid in his first outing of the bullpen, pitching the final 2 innings, recording the Rivets’ only 3 strikeouts while allowing one run.
Rockford was unable to string anything together in the bottom of the 9th, as Zach Williams (Fr, Lamar) completed the game for the Bombers.\
The Rivets will look to salvage the series tomorrow night at 6:05 at Rivets Stadium.