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Published On: July 4th, 2021

By Larry Larson

For the second consecutive night, the Rivets ran into a dominant Kalamazoo pitching performance and fell 3-1 at Homer Stryker Field on Saturday night. The loss is Rockford’s 7th in its last 8 games, and drops the team’s record to 14-20. 

Growlers starter Hayden Berg (R-Fr, Western Michigan) went seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit and no runs, earning Northwoods League Pitcher of the night. 

Rockford starter Payton Hutchings (Fr, Illinois) dueled with Berg, surrendering 3 earned runs in 6 strong innings of work, but picked up the tough luck loss. 

All of the Growlers scoring was done via the longball, starting with a Damon Lux (R-So, Duke) solo home run in the 1st inning. 

The Rivets squandered opportunities in the 2nd and 3rd, stranding two runners in each frame, before Hutchings surrendered the second homer of the game in the 4th – a 2-run blast off the bat of Nolan McCarthy (Fr, Kentucky), leading to a 3-0 deficit. 

Rockford was unable to string together a threat until the 9th inning, when hard throwing righty Trey Nordmann (Fr, Kalamazoo Valley CC) came in to close the game for the Growlers. 

After recording a strikeout to start the inning, Nordmann issued back-to-back walks to Jared Cushing (R-Fr, Xavier) and pinch hitter Tommy Benson (R-Fr, Triton College). Nordmann recovered by retiring Cam McDonald (R-So, Illinois) on a hard lineout to left field, but then walked Grant Magill (R-Fr, Indiana State) to load the bases. 

Rivets manager JT Scara then pulled the strings again and brought in Tyeler Hawkins (R-Fr, Louisville) to pinch hit with the game on the line – but Hawkins was hit with the first pitch to bring in Rockford’s first run. 

With the tying run on 2nd, Josue Urdeneta (R-Fr, Indiana State) grounded out to 2nd base to end the ball game.

Rockford will continue its 6 game road trip tomorrow, with a 5:05pm holiday matchup with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders.