By Larry Larson
Despite a strong start from Forrest Barnes (So, Missouri State), the Rivets dropped the final game of a six game road trip on Wednesday night, falling 7-4 to the Kenosha Kingfish at Simmons Field. With the loss, Rockford has lost 9 of its last 11 games, including back-to-back to start the second half.
For the second consecutive game, the Rivets struck first, pushing across two runs in the 2nd frame. After singling to start the inning, Daniel Cantu (R-Fr, South Florida) advanced to third on a one-out double by Jared Cushing (R-Fr, Xavier).
Kenosha starter Ethan Peters (So, Loras College) committed a balk, which allowed Cantu to score and Cushing to advance to third. Then, with two outs, Drew Stengren (Fr, Central Michigan) tapped a ground ball to third which was booted by Xavier Watson (R-Fr, Illinois) which allowed Cushing to score.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Barnes would allow an RBI single to Dustin Crenshaw (Fr, Grand Canyon) but limited the damage to preserve a 2-1 lead for Rockford.
That score held until the 6th, as Barnes tossed three straight zeros on the line score. In the top of the 6th, the Rivets pushed their lead to 4-1 via an RBI single from Jake Donahue (Fr, Central Michigan).
With Rockford in the drivers’ seat, Barnes came back out for the bottom of the 6th, but the wheels fell off the wagon from there.
The righty allowed 3 straight hits to start the inning, including an RBI triple by Justin Janas (Fr, Illinois). Shemar Page (Jr, Louisiana Tech) came on in relief, but couldn’t stop the fire, allowing an RBI double by Cam Redding (So, Saint Louis) and sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4.
Cam Collier (Fr, South Florida) gave Kenosha the go-ahead hit, driving in former Rivet Chase Estep (So, Kentucky) to put the ‘Fish ahead for good.
After the Rivets stranded runners on 1st and 2nd in the top of the 7th, Kenosha added two insurance runs in the bottom half to put the game out of reach.
With the loss, Rockford falls to 15-22 entering a 6-game homestand. The Rivets will kickoff the stretch with a 6:05 matchup with Battle Creek on Thursday at 6:05.